Exterior project ideas to think about
Exterior project ideas are what many homeowners are thinking about this time of year. The clouds have parted and the sun has come out of hiding. That’s right, summer is here!
It’s time to take advantage of our couple of short-lived months of sun and ignore those sporadic summer showers. It is time to get ready to use the long summer days to get your home’s exterior up to snuff.
Take advantage of the summer months and preform your annual inspections and maintenance outside to make sure you keep things in good condition. Since the sunshine is finally here, we are going to explore the top exterior project ideas for this season. In this article, we are going to lean away from what is trending and really just stick to the practical. We will cover what is trending in outdoor living spaces in a future post.
If you spot any cracking and chipped paint it’s time to break out your overalls or call a professional. Painting in the summer is always good as the increase in temperature will help the paint to dry very fast. This is perfect weather for applying multiple coats in a short time frame. This is important as the side of your house which gets the most sun exposure will likely need to be primed before you apply the finish coats.
Yes, we said coats. It is always recommenced to apply a single coat of primer, followed by two finish coats for a high level finish, optimal coverage, and long lasting results. This is the consensus among all professionals even if those big-box stores tell you otherwise. A paint and primer mix will NOT provide you with the professional results you are looking for. That option really defeats the purpose all together. This is supposed to be your ”prime” coat, meaning it is your primary or base coat which is part of preparing the surface for your secondary and top coats.
Deck building and upgrading
There is no better time to build a deck than the summer. Whether you are looking to build a new deck or make upgrades and repairs to an existing one, this is the perfect time of year to make it happen.
When selecting the appropriate material for your deck, you have four good options:
- Pressure treated lumber (chemically treated for use outdoors)
- Cedar or redwood (the natural oils in these species of wood make them weather resilient)
- Composite decking (man-made synthetic material – engineered to last)
- Exotic hard woods, (many exotic hardwoods are also naturally resistant to decay).
A common question many homeowners wonder is whether or not a permit will be required for their deck. As a general rule of thumb, if you are building a new deck at it is going to be over 200 square feet or if will be 30” or higher in height, you will need a permit.
Required Maintenance: Make sure your deck is properly maintained by cleaning it seasonally. In our neck of the woods decks are susceptible for mildew and moss growth. If this is the case with your deck, use a pressure washer to clean the deck. Avoid removing any of the deck’s finish by making sure NOT to use a pressure washer that is over 3,800 psi.
Fence building and repairs
Fences are an integral part of any home. They not only set the boundaries of your property, they provide you with the security and privacy you need. Just like deck building, summer is the most appropriate time to work on your fence because good weather can make these outdoor project ideas happen.
Before starting any new fence project, it is important to decide which material to use. This will be largely influenced by your budget, taste, and maintenance goals. The most commonly used type of fence materials include:
- Wood (cedar, hardwoods, etc.),
- Vinyl, and
- Steel / wrought iron.
Wood fences are preferred by most people because they offer a very wide variety of style choices to choose from. The only down fall to this option is that the fence will require painting or re-finishing every couple years.
Aluminum and wrought iron fences will be the most expensive options. However, they come in a variety of styles as well. They are also very low maintenance. Another low maintenance option is vinyl fencing, which is also very affordable. Although, they lack the natural appeal of a real wood fence.
New roof installs
Next up on our list of exterior project ideas is re-roofing. Every summer there is a spike in the number of roofing projects in the neighborhood. Many of the projects we mentioned can be done on your own, but re-roofing your home is really something that is best left to a contractor. This is a big job which can be a bit risky as an improperly installed roof will lead to leaks.
Other exterior home maintenance
Maintaining your home can feel like a second job sometimes. You go to work only to come home and think about the work you have to do to maintain your home. When it comes to your home’s to-do list, just tackle things one step at a time, in little bite-sized chunks. A little effort will go a long way.
The very first step towards maintaining your home is to preform an inspection yourself. Go around your home and look for signs of issues. Look for cracks in concrete and wall surfaces, peeling or chipped paint, etc.
Create an annual maintenance checklist, so things don’t get overlooked. Don’t forget to add things like:
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year,
- Touch up or coat chipping / peeling paint,
- Pressure wash your driveway and exterior walls annually.
- Pressure wash areas susceptible to moss growth at least twice a year.
The few exterior project ideas we’ve mentioned here make great summer goals. Some are simple tasks that you can do yourself, but a few may require the help of a professional. When that is the case, you can count on the home improvement specialists at HTP Builders. Whether you are thinking of getting into some major projects or a little DIY, remember its summer time, so let’s make it count.Share
About the Author:After taking the reins as part owner and project supervisor for HTP Builders in 2011, Ken began to use his extensive industry knowledge to meet the needs of each individual he works with. He is a certified journeyman carpenter with over 15 years of experience and holds a number of crucial industry certifications. Ken Reusser’s philosophy is simple: Your project is as much about partnership as it is craftsmanship.