Updated: Aug 8
Getting your home ready for summer is something to get excited about. There's lots of preparation that goes into this every year. Let's check out top outdoors projects.
Summer is the right season for outdoor renovation projects. But renovating is expensive and saving takes time and energy. The part where it gets better is when the work is completed and well done.
Comparing quotes, hiring a contractor and planning your project will ensure you get the best results.
1. The driveway
Most driveways are made up of asphalt. When you see cracks, do something about it ! If water gets in, it will eventually erode the surface and do further damage. There are other driveway options like gravel, cobblestone, crushed stone and concrete pavers.
Concrete, crushed stone, cobblestone and gravel
For concrete pavers popular designs are anvil, bow tie, keyhole, trefoil and hexagon. Color can be added to concrete and it can mimic stone. Gravel is exposed aggregate that allows the top layer of texture to show through. Cobblestone or Belgian bloc apparently only come in a rectangular shape.
How about planting a tree, flower beds and container plants ? If you do, plant a single species and cultivate it in a small quantity along a fence or an wide entryway. Do this to create a stunning visual effect and avoid messy entanglements.
Other simple landscaping ideas like getting rid of some weed and irrigating your lawn and are part of a good upkeeping routine. Other ideas however are more complex, like building a backyard pond, a water feature or a fire pit.
A water feature is good for sound. Adding some lighting will set the tone in the evening. To make your yard look its best, add pathway lighting and put a focus on trees, sidings and garden beds.
3. The roof
Architectural roof styles are wood shingles, metal and tile. They’re all durable. Wood shingles last about 50 years. Metal roofs perform well against the wind and water and can last up to 100 years. Tile roofs are heavy material that can last up to100 years. The great thing about redoing your roof, it increases the value of your home.
The color you choose will boost the overall curb appeal of your home. Another great thing is that it will affect your home’s energy efficiency and therefore make save you a ton of money on HVAC bills.
Shingle colors affect the internal temperature of your home. When the climate is cold with long winters and short summers, dark-colored shingles are ideal. They're capacity to absorb heat from sunlight will warm the higher levels of your home and also melt the snow off the that accumulates.
Light-colored shingles do just the opposite and reflect light away from your home which is a preferred option in warmer locations.
4. Outdoor facade
This one comprises all the elements you see while standing in front of your house, like the front door gutters, brick work, sidings, steps and staircases, porch, windows, etc. It's always good to check them every season. So when summers comes around you can do maintenance. They're a part of the structure of the home so it's crucial to check for any damage, water infiltration that can get into the attic, fascia, foundation or walls.
5. Home extension
For a home extension project you need to study the feasibility with a structural engineer. Measurements and soil laboratory sampling will determine if structural reinforcements are needed. While the engineer studies the structure and its environment, a contractor can carry out the plans for construction by an architect and assist with navigating the City boroughs to get a permit.
There's the horizontal house extensions that stretches (width) and the vertical addition, when you add a new floor (height).
The most common decking option of course is natural wood. But there's also other excellent products like composites, plastic and aluminum to choose from.
Wood can rot, splinter, turn gray and warp but is the favorite material by far. It requires maintenance like power-washing, sanding, water-repellent and sun-blocking staining. Cedar is budget-friendly, redwood is the the most fire-resistant wood on the market. Some woods are too heavy to handle and not malleable.
Choose a light color, they resist to insects and decay. If your deck is exposed to the sun a lot, stay away from dark colored woods, they'll heat up like hot coals. Pressure-treated wood is mostly made from yellow pine and is the least expensive type of decking.
Composite boards are made to look like real wood with natural-looking hues, grain patterns and hidden fasteners so no screws are visible on the deck's face. But they're made of plastic and waste wood fibers. So they'll move more in response to changes in temperature than wood and have built-in UV resistance. They don't splinter and don't need to be stained or painted. Because of this they're more expensive than real wood.
Plastic decking material is vinyl made entirely from 100% environmentally safe plastic. It's more durable and should last a lifetime. Plastic won't splinter but is more expensive than composites.
Aluminium is better than wood, composite and vinyl It’s recyclable, it performs better, is resistant in all kinds of weather and against insects. Because of this it's the most expensive decking option.
7. Outdoor kitchen
Combine the joy of cooking while entertaining guests with an outdoor kitchen. For a lot of outdoor enthusiasts, its a must have in the backyard. To see the countertops we recommend for outdoor kitchen projects, see the outdoor kitchen section from a previous article on this blog.
Most people enjoy a good BBQ a few times during the season and are content with having the grill on a deck. But some people prefer having distinct areas for cooking with smoke and dining. There's lots of ideas to decorate your backyard and turn it into a cozy and tropical haven.