Spring is in full swing here in the great Pacific Northwest which means we have at least 6 more weeks of rain. Seems like everybody marks 4th of July as the weather tipping point. Armed with our top 10 Spring Home Improvement Tips you and your home will be ready for the sun when it finally arrives.
1) When you get a break in the weather check to see that your gutter system is keeping up with the rain fall. Often times the gutters & downspouts get clogged with debris during the winter and now is the time to clean them out. Repair sagging gutters because it is critical that water is able to flow easily to the downspouts. If the downspouts run to a splash block make sure that there is plenty of slope for the water to run away your house. Faulty gutter systems are one of the leading causes of basement flooding and foundation damage.
2) Since you were up on the ladder cleaning the gutters, now’s a good time to have a look at your Roof. Check to see if any shingles have blown off during the winter. If the roofing is beginning to cup or is missing granules it might be time to plan for a new roof. Don’t wait till later in the season when roofing companies get booked up and rates tend to climb. If you need a referral, give us a call and we get you in contact with a trusted roofing company.
3) Get Your Tools in Gear…Now is a great time to get your lawn mower tuned up and the blade sharpened. If your wheel barrow tire is flat again it’s time to spring for a Flat Free Tire. Better yet a 2 wheeled barrow will be sure to save your back. Properly dispose of any old gas thats been sitting around all winter.
4) Check Your Wood! As you’re roaming around the exterior of your home tackling tips #1-3 keep a flat head screw driver or chisel in your back pocket to check for rotten wood. Even if you have cedar deck boards or pressure treated fence posts, all wood is susceptible to rot in the moist conditions we enjoy in the Puget Sound. Use the tool to poke into the boards, especially porch steps, decking, fence boards, window trim, and hand rails. If the lumber crumbles apart or is spongy, you’ve got a couple of options: 1) Dig out all of the rotten wood, fill, and repaint the surface, or 2) Remove the entire board or cut in a new section of lumber and properly caulk and paint the new piece.
5) Is is time for a Beer Yet? Yes it is! And while you are taking a break wondering where you stored your lawn chairs over the winter, commit to improving your Outdoor Entertainment Area. Whether its a new grill that you’ve been promising yourself or the hot tub your wife has always wanted, lets have more fun outside this year! There are so many things you can do to improve your outdoor living experience from adding a covered BBQ area to extending your deck or adding a fire pit with built-in seating. No matter what your budget, the fact is if you improve your outdoor space you’ll be more likely to use it throughout the year.
6) Lets move inside now, shall we? Any energy expert will tell you the easiest thing you can do to improve your home energy level is to add and maintain the Insulation in your Crawl Space and Attic. Insulation can become compressed over time so measure the level of insulation in your attic. If its less than 10″ thick consider adding another layer. Its recommended that you maintain at least an R-38 insulation value in your attic and R-30 in the floor (depending on available joist space.).
7) Obviously, we always think that it is a great time for a Kitchen Renovation. If you are tossing around the idea though consider that you can alleviate a lot of anxiety that can come along with a kitchen renovation by planning to have it done during the spring or summer months. For the simple reason that you are going to be without the conveniences of your appliances and cooking space for a period of time. The warm weather is a perfect time to fire up the grill and do your cooking outdoors. Invest in some disposable cutlery and paper plates and pretend you’re on a backyard camp out.
8) If you’re not ready for a full scale kitchen remodel you can do small updates such as change out the light fixtures, add new cabinet hardware, or upgrade a faucet. Even a new coat of paint or reducing the clutter on your countertops is going to give your kitchen a new feel. If you need design inspiration look online at Houzz or Pinterest as there are endless pictures of furniture, appliances, and design ideas that will be sure to get you motivated.
9) You can also apply the tips from #8 to your Bathroom as well. Spring is a good time to look at the condition of your bathroom walls and surfaces. Take some time to thoroughly clean the walls of your bathroom to remove water spots that may have accumulated over the winter months. Clean your grout joints and make sure that the caulking around your tub, toilet, and sinks are in good condition. If your bathroom is dark and gloomy you might want to look into having a window or skylight installed for added visibility, ventilation, and value.
10) Get Your Recycling Under Control Already… Are you still collecting your recycling in a plastic bag tied on a pantry door handle? There are many after market pullout recycling bins that are ready to install in your base cabinet. This a great way to reduce the clutter in your kitchen. If you don’t have the cabinet space take this as a “Pinterest Opportunity.” Go online and see the many creative ways folks have used inexpensive containers as recycling bins while adding a bit of flair to the mudroom or kitchen.
Remember Spring is not only the season for cleaning but its also the season for Home Improvement! Enjoy!