With summer—and barbeque season—close at hand, it’s time to conduct a backyard inspection to make sure that your home is ready for entertaining family and friends over the next several months.
How well did the lawn and flower beds come through the winter? Are there brown or bare patches in the grass? Have the shrubbery and other bushes become scraggly and overgrown? Could the lawn furniture stand a good power-washing?
Often, just a little “sprucing-up” is required to have your backyard looking its best again, but it all begins by conducting a careful inventory, looking at everything through the eyes of a guest. Prepare to make a few notes as you walk around the areas where you will be entertaining, and ask yourself four questions:
- What needs cleaning/trimming? Is the grass overgrown? Are the lawn cushions looking soiled or faded? Are your windows streaked or muddied from a winter’s worth of storms? Do you have trees and bushes that could use a good trimming? Are the gutters clogged or overflowing?
- What needs repairing? Stand in the middle of the yard and turn around slowly, taking in everything you see. What could stand a fresh coat of paint or stain? Are there boards dangling or missing from the fence? Do your kids have a tree house or playground equipment that has seen better days? Is the gate sagging or are the hinges loose? Is it a struggle to open or close the sliding patio door?
- What needs replacing? Is the bird feeder cracked or dangling by a frayed thread? Are the vinyl straps on the patio furniture loose or broken? Has the umbrella over the deck table seen its last season? How old and how reliable is your grill?
- What presents potential hazards? Most importantly, determine whether there’s anything around the yard or patio that could cause injury. Are there loose flagstones in the garden, crumbling or loose bricks on the low patio wall? Are there wobbly deck railings, or cracked boards on steps? Are there dark corners, stumbling hazards, low-hanging beams or any other hazards where adding outdoor lighting could reduce the risk of injury?
Entertaining company on summer afternoons and evenings should be a laid-back, stress-free experience. And, in truth, people are there to enjoy one another’s company. Things don’t have to be perfect for everyone to have a good time. But a little clean-up and repair ahead of time will go a long way towards enhancing your time with friends and family.
For assistance in sprucing up your home and yard for the summer months, you can always rely on the friendly and capable craftsmen at Handyman Matters to help out with any project, large or small. Call 1(866)FIX-MY-HOME or go to www.handymanmatters.com where you can enter your zip code to find the number of the location nearest you.