Summer is the season that reminds us of vitality, it symbolizes freedom, growth and exudes youthfulness as we take part in fun activities. The days are longer and the nights warmer to spend more time outdoors—gardening in the yard, jumping in the pool, firing up the barbecue, dining al fresco and soaking up the summer sun.
The earlier days in the season provide additional time to take on outdoor maintenance projects you may have come across when you inspected the exterior of your home in spring, but didn’t have time to get to yet. So, take action and sprinkle some of those projects into your schedule along with these tips below to welcome summer—don’t forget to plan a few adventures as well.
Over the weekend Sal and I grabbed our new home planner, which highlights common seasonal projects and gives you a place to store all your home ideas. We prioritized which projects to research, plan, and actually complete. But, before moving forward let me share with you our spring home goals that we planned on conquering in our home this year.
Our planner helped us stay on track, for the most part. Most of our to-do’s have been crossed off the list and the ones that remain will be revisited to determine if the task should be moved to our summer home goal list. The summer for us is all about maintaining the yard, while inside we’ve planned a few major renovations to update the property and provide a bigger return on investment.
We have a few projects that will get underway this season now that we’ve hired a contractor and supplies to get started:
Our property only has one bathroom upstairs at the moment and is in dire need of an update. The problem is the roof line enters into the shower space making the room feel small and cramped. Rather than replace the bathroom, then dormer the property. We need to dormer first to save money and avoid ripping work out that was just completed. A bigger issue though is we require another bathroom, while the dormer is under construction. So, before we can dormer the house — we need to add a second bathroom downstairs.
Do you see how proper planning can save money, labor costs and relieve stress on the daily life of a homeowner?
Now, you may not be planning a big summer home project like this, but you should consider some popular tasks homeowners undergo during the summer season:
As temperatures heat up you’ll need a cool place to escape indoors either using an air conditioner or fan. Replace the air filter on an air conditioner every 1-3 months, this helps the system to run more efficiently, plus keeps the air in your home clean. Now, most fans are reversible so make sure the fan is pushing air down to create a summer breeze; the other direction sucks air up to distribute heat in winter.
Many homeowners opt to install a water feature on their property. This could be a fountain, pond, spa or even pool. The sound of water is calming, a great place to entertain and can be a way to drown out unwanted neighborhood sounds. Check any features you have around your home and determine how it will be maintained throughout the season. Speaking of water put a plan in place to keep lawn and flowers watered daily to sustain their green, healthy look. Plus, scout the yard to remove standing water that can be a breeding ground for mosquitos.
A deck or patio space can define an outside area, not to mention instantly creates a space to entertain. Fix any minor repairs that are needed like cracks in the concrete or re-staining the deck. These spaces should be cleaned once a year with a power washer to remove any dirt or deep stains. Keep garbage and clutter at bay in these areas. Bugs and animals can also be an issue, so you the proper treatment and preventative measures to keep pests away.These areas should also have a light source available to keep the party going once nightfalls.
Whether dining under the stars, lounging on the patio or reminiscing near a fire pit it’s important to dress up each section of the yard with a different function to create the perfect balance between a place to play and eat. Clean all patio furniture to remove dirt and cobwebs before first use. Replace worn out cushions. Add a pop of color with flowers, patio umbrella, rug, throw pillows and dishware. I love making these spaces feel more comfy by pulling accessories used usually indoors outside. Try playing with artwork, mirrors, sculptures, photos and books to set the scene when entertaining, just make sure to protect the items in inclement weather.
Summer isn’t complete without some fresh food finds thrown on the BBQ. Your grill will be the star of most summer meals and should be ready to go with a clean surface. Use a sudsy mix of warm water and soap to soak grates. Scrub under the hood and inside walls. Replace the drip pan and use stainless steel wipes to keep the grill’s exterior shiny. If you have an outdoor kitchen wipe down the fridge, sink and other appliances you may have, as well as the countertop surfaces after every use.
Kids (even adults) love to play outside under the summer sun. Swing sets can be a nice addition to a family’s backyard, but should be maintained. Take a wrench outside to inspect bolts make sure they don’t need tightening. Check for rough spots on edges and corners, which may need sanding if it’s a wood set. Lastly, make sure all accessories are in good condition and not in need of replacing. Give sandboxes a once over too! Use fresh play-graded sand, rake it regularly to find any unwanted debris and keep the box covered to avoid animals burrowing or using the box as a bathroom. Consider a safe place to store pool floats and toys. Oh, and why not build your own DIY lawn game this season – a game of chess, tic-tac-toe or corn hole anyone?
While most head outdoors this time of year, don’t forget to celebrate the season inside decorating with organic materials, lightening up textiles and color schemes. Be unexpected by using bright colors with soft, airy colors for contrast. You may want to replicate a cozy Hampton’s beach house or Martha Vineyard’s cottage using varying shades of white, textures and distressed finishes. Be sure to inject your favorite summertime theme like sailing, the beach, seas creatures, hiking, traveling, tropical or tribal prints to show off a space you’ll love.
Grab a copy of our signed home planner, Make It Home: The Ultimate Property Project Planner to manage seasonal checklists, design projects and home maintenance. This season keep it simple and find a work life balance that fits your needs. Whether planning on a staycation or venturing across the globe the time spent with loved ones will help enhance your personal story, which will reflect in your home. What’s your work life balance to enjoy these long summer days?