Escape To Your Backyard
Staying home doesn’t necessarily mean forgoing outdoor activity. Why not turn your backyard, patio or balcony into a space you can really enjoy? Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Create an inviting spot to have lunch or dinner. Chairs and a table that can be moved easily let you enjoy your feast in or out of the sun.
- A patio umbrella not only provides shade, it brings a welcome punch of color to your space. To prevent fading and stains, choose a fabric made specifically for outdoor use. With a huge variety of colors and patterns available you’ll have fun deciding!
- Try container gardening. Kids will have fun growing cherry tomatoes, snap peas and herbs like chocolate mint or lemon thyme.
- Flowering plants grown in eye-catching containers soften the space and add visual interest all season long.
- Add battery-powered string lights for some evening sparkle.
FORM & FUNCTION
Spotlight on Skylights
There’s something special about natural light from above. Skylights bring natural light where it would be difficult or impossible to add a window. Some examples:
- Natural illumination of a stairway
- Where privacy is required, such as a bathroom
- Small lots where windows would look directly onto a neighboring home
- Where an attic has been renovated into a living area
Ventilation – Openable skylights provide natural ventilation. Some fixed skylights also have a venting option.
Light Shaft – This type of skylight is used where there is an attic above the space you want to illuminate. The simplest type of light shaft extends straight down from the skylight in the roof. A flared design will let more light in but are a bit more complicated to install.
Heat – In warm climates, skylights will add considerable heat to a home especially if they face south or west. But choosing the correct skylight for your climate helps. Your installer should be familiar with the different options and heat ratings available. A low tech solution is a shade for the skylight.
Leaks – The difference between a skylight that leaks and one that doesn’t is a good installer! They will know how to choose a quality skylight and how to install it properly so it sheds water. It’s important to know that moisture or stains on the inside could be a leak or could just be condensation.
Consult with a professional installer to help determine the best type of skylight for your situation. Then let the sunshine in!
Spring Curb Appeal
Try these tips to help keep your place looking its best this season and beyond!
- Keep shrubs and trees trimmed, removing any damaged or dead branches.
- Use seasonal accents such as flowering plants, brightly colored planting containers and a fresh doormat to create a welcoming entry for your family.
- Paint the front door in a bold accent color for maximum impact.
- Update the front door hardware and house numbers to a new style that suits your home.
- Make sure window and door trim is in good shape and give it a new coat of paint if needed.
- Concrete steps and walkways can be stained to coordinate with your home’s color scheme.
- Clean the windows so you can’t miss the sparkle from the street. It really makes a big difference!
All Hands On Deck!
Adding a deck to expand your indoor-outdoor living space? Before you build, it’s important to choose the right decking material for your situation and budget.
Pressure Treated Wood
This common decking material can last 20 years or more if properly maintained. Typically, pressure treated wood for the deck structure is rougher and less expensive than the higher-quality boards used for the decking surface. These boards look better both right after construction and in the long term.
Cedar is a premium decking material with a rich look and feel. It deteriorates slowly even if left untreated. Untreated cedar will naturally turn silvery gray in a short amount of time, so if you that’s not the look you’re after you’ll need to stain it soon after construction. In the Western U.S. redwood is a popular, long-lasting decking option that can weather naturally, but unlike cedar the original color can be restored.
Composite decking is more expensive than most hardwoods but requires little to no maintenance beyond cleaning. Popular brands include Trex, AZEC and TruOrganics and typically offer a 25-year warranty. Composite decking is usually very heavy and normally requires a strong support structure. It can also get very hot underfoot, especially darker colors.
Most municipalities require a permit to build a deck to help ensure it’s safely designed and built. Be sure to check on local requirement before proceeding. Then sit back, relax and enjoy your new space!
Discover the Pillar To Post Difference. Schedule your next home inspection today!