While some social distancing restrictions are likely starting to lighten up where you live, you may have already realized a newfound appreciation for your home. Although you may be feeling a bit stir crazy, home is the place that has kept you safe. It’s where the people you love, live. According to Dorothy from Kansas, there’s no place like it.
With baseball on hiatus and many social limitations still in place for the near future, you can broaden your world by looking to your backyard to expand your home’s space. The weather is on the brink of becoming more temperate, so this is your time to plan for your summer.
Where to Begin?
If you look at your backyard as a destination, it may be easier to envision the possibilities. So…make your list! The items that should top that list include preparing the space. (This is your opportunity to put down the remote, close your laptop, and get some much-needed fresh air!) Right now, that means zipping up a hoodie and putting on some gardening or construction gloves. Make it a family affair with tasks for everyone to share.
Even the gentlest of spring showers can cause an overflow and erosion to your home’s topsoil, washing away that protective layer. Before you venture up that ladder, it’s best to wait until the ground is dry so your ladder has a firm footing. If you have any trepidation about going up to roof level, hire someone. Gutter cleaning is not typically an expensive venture and is a job that can be executed quickly. However, some service providers are known to walk along the edge of roofs instead of moving the ladder every few feet. For the integrity of your roof, request they stay off it. No reason to risk roof damage when you’ve got a backyard oasis to build!
Additionally, there are a variety of gutter guards on the market. Doing a little research on them might be a cost saver in future.
This is the perfect time of year to check the caulking on their exterior. Winter temperatures and the sun’s rays can cause cracks and peeling. A low-cost and a relatively easy task, DIY Network demonstrates How to Check for Air Leaks and Seal Windows. “Drafty windows make it harder and less efficient to heat and cool a home throughout the year. Windows are not maintenance-free, but with regular cleaning, caulking and glazing they can be kept in good condition.”
With the gutters done and the windows shored up, this is the fun part. Pressure washing will brighten everything from pavements to porches. You can hire someone to do this as well, but when you can affordably rent a machine from most home improvement stores, you can save money.
The caveat with pressure washers is you want to set the appropriate strength for the appropriate surface. For example, the setting you use to blast dirt and algae off your concrete pathways is much stronger than the force needed for your wooden deck. Too much of a blast can damage those softer materials. Even engineered woods have a limited tolerance. You can therefore never go wrong following the manufacturer’s suggested guidelines for maintenance.
Preparing Your Garden
Cleaning out those flower beds to remove leaves and twigs is excellent exercise. Real Simple offers up these 5 Ways to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring. They also suggest to, “Clean off the tools with soap and water, and use mineral spirits on wood handles. The mineral spirits will help prevent the wood from splintering.”
Besides preparing, you are planning. Is this the year you start that vegetable garden you’ve been contemplating? We’ve got a good Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Vegetable Gardens to get you started! With some fresh blooms from your flower beds and garden-fresh tomatoes and basil from your veggie patch, you can bring the beauty of nature indoors, not to mention the aroma of home-grown herbs to your table.
Fencing and Other Repairs
With a trusted handyman you can get all the other little things made safe and secure for your spring and summer seasons. Whether you haven’t the tools or the time, give the balance of the repair list to that reliable resource who can probably get the rest of the seasonal and pool preparations done in no time.
What to Add
Outdoor Kitchens and Pizza Ovens
With good interest rates and flexible solutions, now is the time to expand your alfresco entertainment center. Has an outdoor kitchen been on your mind? If you’re not ready for that project yet, how about a brick pizza oven? That bubbling mozzarella cheese and the intoxicating scent of fresh basil from your garden will offer some incredible aromatherapy! Like your indoor kitchen, an outdoor one or even a firepit is the heart of the home. It’s a gathering place. A place to share food and the stories of the day.
These versatile structures are also aesthetically pleasing. Offered in a wide variety of designs, this could be your new yoga studio! Or your music room. Or your guest cottage. Or your outdoor dining room. Or all of the above. Whether open, screened, or winterized, a gazebo adds ambiance, as well as functionality.
If there’s a plot of land in your yard that looks like it could use a patch of sparkling water, pools come in all shapes and sizes today. You can find just the right one to suit your needs and your budget. As a workout facility or a relaxation zone, a backyard pool will bring the whole open-air space together and make for a shimmering centerpiece.
Spring cleaning is a gratifying activity. (Once it’s all done, that is!) But especially today, preparing your “great outdoors” is a wonderful opportunity to break free from the confines of your home and move forward into the pool season with a backyard that’s primed and ready for relaxation.
With Mother’s Day approaching, now may be the time to add something new to that backyard space. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rose garden or an outdoor kitchen, but May is the month to show appreciation to this special person who loves and cares for you.
As home improvement financing solution experts since 1979, we have seen our clients create fantastical backyard retreats. That’s why Lyon Financial loves the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.