How to Prepare the Backyard for Summer

Prepare the Backyard for summerWith summer (finally!) approaching, it’s a good time now to start putting together a to-do list to get started on spring cleaning for your backyard.  This can be a little to do list such as raking old leaves away, pruning the bushes, or even cleaning off the deck and side of the house with a pressure hose or it can be a little more expansive such as bringing out the lawn furniture, putting up new foundations to keep the summer heat away and add a little shade, or even repainting the deck!  Here we will do a little bit of both with the to-do list below.

Rake Dead Grass and Leaves

If you just mowed your lawn a few weeks ago because of some warmer weather moving through your area, you may have left some lawn clippings or leaves on the grass.  Lawn clippings and leaves can actually kill your grass and it brings more bugs to the lawn – bugs that like to eat grass.  In order to remedy this, you need to get out your old rake and rake everything away that shouldn’t be there.  This is also a good time to clean up any debris left over from windy and rainy April.  Make sure you lift up old tarps, move furniture, etc. and get all of the clippings and leaves.

Bring Out the Lawn Furniture

April is a good month to bring out any lawn furniture or even deck furniture.  If they are dirty or dusty, depending on the exact material of the product in question, you should be able to take a soft rag or a sponge and a bucket with warm water and rub it down that way.  If you have some really big dirt issues, you can also spray some outdoor furniture cleaner on the furniture and take a hot water hose to it.  Be sure you clean underneath the furniture as well, not just the parts you and your guests can see!

Painting and Touch Ups

Through the months, your deck, fence, and stairs tend to get dirty, chipped at with snow and ice, and sometimes they can even get mold on them.  One of the biggest exterior remodeling questions when it comes to these issues is, is it better to touch up, or completely redo the item.  Really this is going to depend on a few factors.  First off, do you have the ability (time and money) to repair the fence, wall, deck completely or not?  If not, then a few touch ups might be the way to go.  Or you could always hire someone to do it for you.  The second factor is how bad the item is.  For example, if you have a wood fence along the perimeter of your yard and people can visually see the fence, you might want to fix it no matter how simple or complex the issue is, just because you don’t want it to be an eye sore.  Also, if it’s really bad, you will want to do a complete rehaul and paint the entire thing.

Add Shade Foundations

One of the more popular shading options for people that want shade, but still want to be outdoors are roll out awnings.  These come in a lot of different sizes, shapes, styles and colors.  Essentially they are drilled into the exterior wall of the home and then you can either use a pulley, handle or a remote to spread the awning out when you want there to be shade and then pull it back in when you are finished.  Another really popular option are shade arbors.  These can either be built by you from scratch, by someone else, or you can even buy a kit.  One of the most asked exterior modeling questions about shade arbors is what are they exactly?  These structures are usually made out of wood.  And while the top of the arbor does tend to have slats in it, the spaces between the slats are small.  You can sit underneath these and still get some light, but because of the slats less sun gets through than if you would just sit out in your yard in the sun.  These can be made using natural wood, or you can paint the wood, and you can even place planters by the frame or posts of the arbor, grow vines and ivy, etc.

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