With warmer weather approaching and social distancing likely continuing into the summer months, like many people you may be forgoing a vacation this year in favor of spending the summer at home.
So, why not turn your home into the perfect spot for summer hang-outs?
There’s no reason to sweat over the idea of summer remodeling. With the following tips, your home can become just as comfortable and entertaining as a Florida resort would be.
The first step to achieving a desirable summer home is to let the sunlight in! Natural light is known to improve moods and provide a boost to your vitamin D levels. After being cooped up for much of the previous year and enduring a holiday season that consisted of Skyping with relatives rather than taking a flight to Grandma’s for a taste of her pecan pie, many people have begun to develop the blues.
Even if you won’t be basking in the sun on an exotic beach this summer, you don’t need to hole up on your couch binge-watching Netflix with the shades drawn. Open up the curtains and let some light in! Better yet, consider window replacement.
Contrary to popular belief, not all windows are created equal. The ideal windows for your home depend upon the type of climate you live in. If you reside in a warmer climate, you may want to opt for low emissivity (Low E) glass which allows sunlight to pass through while blocking out harmful UV rays. Low E glass is also recommended for mixed climates as well.
Another option to consider is vinyl windows which offer insulation so that your home will stay cool through the summer months. Window replacement has the added benefit of reducing your air conditioner’s impact on your power bill during the season.
One of the best ways that you can bring a resort home with you is to have a pool installed. Although it is costly to have a built-in pool installed in your yard (prices typically range from $10,000 to $100,000), if you have enough dough to afford this luxury, the price tag is well worth it.
In-ground pools are available in a variety of designs depending upon your desired shape, if you prefer a diving or sliding board, or if you are looking for a relaxing backyard sanctuary complete with rocks and waterfalls. Browse online and flip through catalogs to choose the design of your dreams and reach out to your local pool guy. This is an expense that you won’t regret!
Of course, not everyone can afford the hefty cost of pool installation. If you’re not amongst the lucky few, keep your chin up! Having a pool in the backyard is still within your reach! You can purchase an above ground pool for as little as $500. These can be purchased at many retailers, and you can install certain models yourself.
While soft-sided pools are more cost-efficient, they don’t last very long compared to harder-sided pools which could run you a few thousand dollars, but last several summers. Once again, it depends upon individual budget, but hopefully, by next summer it will be back to vacationing anyway.
Naturally, if you decide to purchase a pool this summer, it will have to be cleaned and maintained. Although you’ll periodically need to have pool maintenance come out to your house, swimming pool cleaning is a basic maintenance task that, for pool owners, eventually becomes as routine as washing the dishes.
You’ll need to purchase a pool skimmer which will need to be used regularly to scoop up debris such as leaves that are floating on your pool’s surface. For the bottom of the pool, you can get a robotic vacuum cleaner that will clean the bottom potion for you (They’re really neat and are the easiest vacuums you’ll ever use).
Another regular maintenance task is cleaning your pool’s filter. This should be done on a weekly basis and is as simple as taking out the garbage. Just remove the basket from the filter, discard debris, and put it back.
So, what’s the purpose of those pool maintenance guys? Well, pool water needs to be tested periodically to ensure that it’s maintaining certain levels of chemicals. Occasionally, pool water may need to be treated or even shocked so that it remains safe to swim in. Additionally, pools will need to be scrubbed to remove any algae growth. Hey, if the pool guy’s already there, why not have him skim the pool, too?
This may sound like a mundane task that has little to do with summer, but if you reside in the South or along the East Coast, then you probably understand the importance of having a strong roof through the summer months.
Although summer is a season that everyone looks forward to, one must not forget that summertime also includes peak hurricane season. Metal and slate tile roofs are the strongest types of roofs when it comes to withstanding hurricane-force winds, but some people tend to choose asphalt shingles due to affordability. This is not a good choice when trying to weather a storm. If you do decide on shingles, wood shingles are more durable, but don’t last very long.
Of course, if you want your home to be summer hang-out worthy, you certainly wouldn’t want to spend your summer sitting in front of a box fan desperately trying to escape the sweltering heat. That definitely wouldn’t be a place where you’d want to relax and chill out. The reasonable solution to this is air conditioning installation.
While it’s true that you can purchase window units at your local hardware store, running separate units in each room actually results in higher utility bills than if you were to have a centralized unit installed. Like a pool, this is an expense that’s worth the investment. Central air conditioning units are tailored and sized to fit your home and are installed and maintained annually by professionals. They involve less hassle than window units and cool your entire home rather than a single room.
The main DIY task with air conditioners is cleaning and replacing filters and vents to prevent clogging and ensure continuous airflow. However, if you are experiencing trouble with your air conditioner and cleaning the filter doesn’t do the trick, then you may need to reach out to an air conditioning service.
Central air conditioning units need to be serviced once a year to be cleaned professionally, tuned up, inspected, have parts tested to make sure they are functioning properly, and have parts replaced when necessary. If you already have an air conditioning unit, but it hasn’t been checked in a while, you should contact a local servicer to schedule annual maintenance. You definitely wouldn’t want your air conditioner to suddenly quit on you in the middle of August!
Whether you don a sparkling pool in your backyard or simply use your yard for Fourth of July cookouts while your kids play on the swing set, a must this summer is fence installation. There are different types of fences that you can choose from depending upon your purpose for fencing and your desired appearance. While the stereotypical white picket fence will improve the overall appeal of your yard the most, this option doesn’t offer much in the way of security or privacy.
Other options include aluminum fencing, wrought iron fences, wooden privacy fences, and chain-link fences. Wooden fences have gained increasing popularity and are a good choice, especially for privacy. Wrought iron fences provide the most security, but installation is expensive, and they require regular upkeep. Aluminum fencing looks similar to wrought iron fencing but isn’t as secure. The most durable and cost-efficient option for fencing is chain link fences. While they do not offer much privacy, this issue can be remedied with creative landscaping.
Outdoor Living Space
While landscape design is something that’s well worth considering especially if you opt for a chain-link fence, you may also want to look into hiring an outdoor living space designer (Yes, they do exist). True, you could just pick up some discount lawn chairs and call it a day, but with the amount of time that’s being spent on the home front lately, having a luxurious outdoor living space would be an excellent investment this coming summer.
A patio doesn’t need to be limited to a few chairs and a grill. Outdoor living spaces can be designed using ceiling fans and comfortable furnishings that will leave you eager to spend more time relaxing outdoors this summer.
Your outdoor Etopia can be further accented by your choice of plants. Dahlias, Zinnias, and Marigolds are amongst the more popular flowers for summertime. If you live in a subtropical climate, by all means, plant some palm trees. Otherwise, consider planting maples or weeping willows to add shade to your yard.
If you’re going to renovate your patio, why not go ahead and work on some home renovations as well? This doesn’t necessarily mean calling a bulldozer to come out and start ripping out walls. Renovations can be as simple as getting a new interior or exterior paint job, installing new shelving, turning that walk-in closet into a home office, or getting new kitchen cabinets.
When choosing a paint color, make sure you choose a shade that projects an inviting appeal. Some of the best shades for summertime include coral, yellow, and mauve (with mauve being the most popular shade), but it may be wisest to choose a shade that vibes well with your furnishings. A fresh coat of paint also has the ability to revamp the look of old wooden furnishings, outdated cabinets, and doors.
When renovating your kitchen or bathroom, decide on the desired finished appearance prior to having your contractor begin the labor. This involves shopping online for flooring, new appliances, cabinets, etc. There are several options of flooring that you can choose from including hardwood, vinyl tiles, linoleum, porcelain tiles, and ceramic tiles, depending on your budget and personal preferences.
Your choice of appliances will depend upon the layout of your kitchen. Also, take into consideration the size of your family and your family’s cooking habits. Yes, smart appliances are really snazzy, but if you live with an elderly relative or a two-year-old, would they be able to operate the refrigerator? Do you cook frequently? Or do you prefer take-out? While some families may need larger capacity appliances, other people can make do with the basics.
When deciding on a bathroom remodel, there are also several decisions that need to be made. Do you want a complete makeover? Or would you be content with refinishing? In some cases, refurbishing a bathroom can result in an appearance that looks just as fresh as a total remodel. New faucets, prefabricated bath fittings, and laminate bathroom countertops can also freshen up a bathroom. However, if your bathroom hasn’t changed since the 70s, you may want to start from scratch.
Improved lighting can change the entire aura of a room but is often overlooked when remodeling. While brighter lights are preferable in the kitchen, stylish lamps give living rooms and bedrooms a homey appeal.
Another surprising tactic that’s simple but will noticeably improve your home’s look is a new front door. There’s a large selection of front doors that you can choose from and all you need to consider is measurements and preference. After all, your front door is the first thing that your guests notice. And with these tips, guests will surely come knocking with your home being the perfect summer hang-out spot!