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Home Improvement Projects

Preparing our homes for the warm weather

By Nikki Luttmann, Interior Designer

Well, summer is officially here, and this year the warm weather is especially welcome. Many of us have spent far more time inside our homes recently than in months and even years past due to COVID-19. These past few months have taught me so much about my home and my family, and even myself. For example, I make a great art teacher but a rotten third-grade math teacher! This month I’d like to focus on preparing our homes for the warm weather and helping to boost the local economy while we’re at it.

Something that can be overlooked in any home is the addition of fresh air and sunshine. Your home could be picture-perfect, but without fresh air and sunlight, it can feel stagnant. One way to add fresh air without inviting in the mosquito family from next door is to update or add screens to your home. Look into an “invisible” screen product that retracts and can be added to virtually any door. While you’re at it, look into replacing windowpanes that have cracked or fogged, which happens when a window loses its seal, and can really detract from your view.

Adding window coverings can also be an asset in the warmer months. There are so many to choose from, from solar shades to insulated double-walled cellular shades that can keep heat out and cool air in. Proper window coverings also protect your flooring and furniture from harmful UV rays and keep your home finishes looking newer longer.

I’m a big fan of wood blinds for a classic look, and shutters are definitely making a comeback in the home trends department. Any of these options can update the look of your home but also add to your quality of life by reducing glare, making air conditioning more efficient and blocking out our early morning northern sun until we are good and ready to wake up!

Summer is also a great time to have your flooring replaced, as your outdoor spaces can be utilized to store furniture and other belongings while they have the old flooring going out and new flooring going in. Also, you can keep your windows and doors open for fresh air while they are doing the installation, which helps get rid of any contaminants or volatile organic compounds that might linger when doing flooring installs.

Painting the outside of your home is another popular summertime home improvement project. Good weather is always a boon for painters, who will fully utilize the upcoming sunny days to get their projects finished on schedule. If you are considering having your home painted this summer, it’s a good idea to speak to a painter as soon as possible to ensure you get a spot on their list.

Outdoor living spaces are all the rage on sites like Houzz and Pinterest—and for good reason! They can really add value to your home and even give you more usable space. In general, we are still spending more time in our homes, and adding an outdoor living area can really help boost morale during this time. Pergolas and patios are great, but think about adding some fun elements as well. Fire pits, built-in grills and even pizza ovens are great additions to any home, and many can be done safely, even on a budget.

Outdoor lighting is also a fun way to spruce up your space. Adding new exterior lighting can work wonders in updating your exterior, and the addition of twinkle lights, path lighting or café lights can add ambiance and character to an otherwise bland space. Some of these can be easy DIY projects, but adding new outlets or other larger installs are usually only a phone call away with a good electrician!

I hope this list gives you a few ideas for the upcoming summer months! Have fun, stay healthy and enjoy our beautiful summer!

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