6 Tips to revamp your outdoor space for Summer

Whether you are social distancing or having company over, you are bound to be making some use out of your backyard this summer. Here are some tips on how to revamp your outdoor space!

Maintain landscape
It might sound obvious, but having a kept lawn is the first step towards functionality and a clean cut foundation. Xeriscape is a great cost effective alternative that all utilizes vegetation while requiring considerably much less water and effort to upkeep. 

Gardening
Whether it’s vegetables or flowers, taking some time to garden can be as rewarding as it is enjoyable. Hanging plants are a viable option if you are limited on space, or create a vertical garden by drilling planter pots into a wooden pallet and lean it against your siding or fence. Add a water fountain for some extra decor, or DIY your own using galvanized buckets or watering cans.

Give the framework a face-lift
Clean off and consider painting the cement on your front or back porch or lay out an outdoor rug. Sand off rust from railings and take a day to stain your deck if you have one.

Lighting
In addition to your standard porch and garage lights, there are endless ways to illuminate your outdoor space to use it further into the evening. Create some ambiance with fairy lights, candles or torches; real or fake. Solar lights come in wide style varieties and rope lights can be used to create or outline a path.

Furnishings
Patio furniture is not just great for entertaining guests, but also expands your functional quarters. From a simple table and umbrella to a full outdoor dining set you can enjoy the nice weather and a home cooked meal simultaneously. Set up a station to grill and utilize a portable bar or an inexpensive kitchen cart for serving snacks and drinks. There are also several ways to build your own seating and tables with scrap pieces or up-cycling old furniture.

Entertainment
Storable games are a hit for entertaining guests, such as horseshoes and corn-hole. Set up a backyard theater with comfy seating, a projector, and a screen or white sheet tacked up to the roof. Create a warm place to gather at night with a store bought fire pit or DIY your own with easy to find supplies such as cinder blocks. Aside from already having an above ground or in-ground pool, you can build a small pool area with a stock tank or for a more advanced challenge with wooden pallets.

5 Low cost upgrades, with potential High returns

When putting your house on the market, it is vital to have it shown in its best possible light. The key however, is figuring out how to achieve this without breaking the bank. Consumer Reports provides the following agenda, for finding that perfect balance.

  1. Freshen up the bath: $300-$1,000
  2. Paint the rooms- selectively: $100 (DIY)-$1,000 (Pro)
  3. Clean up, clear out; smells and clutter: $0 (DIY)-$2,500 (Pro)
  4. Enhance the exterior: $150-$7,500
  5. Spruce up the kitchen: $300-$5,000


For complete descriptions on each, as well as potential returns, check out the following link from Consumer Reports here.

Enhance & Extend the service life of your Outdoor Furniture

With Memorial Day this past weekend, many of you may have broken out your lawn furniture for the first time this year. With the harsh and unpredictable weather we are accustomed to here in Buffalo; wear-and-tear on outdoor fixtures is virtually unavoidable. Check out these quick and easy tips from Zillow.com on how to get the most out of your  outdoor furniture.

Extend the lifespan:

  • Wipe up any beverage or food spills right away.
  • Wipe off furniture after it rains.
  • Remove any tree or bird deposits as soon as possible.
  • Remove any residue from suntan lotions and body oils that can stain or accelerate the breakdown of materials. Have towels available to provide an easily cleanable barrier between chairs and their occupants.
  • Store or cover furniture that doesn’t stand up well to constant exposure, such as bamboo.
  • Check all bolts and screws and tighten any that may be loose.
  • Replace broken, rusted or missing pieces.
  • Use a silicone lubricant on all wheels and hinges.
  • Bring the furniture inside during harsh winter weather or store under a breathable cover.
  • Look underneath chaises for damage to the glides from dragging. Replace if they are worn out or missing.
  • Aluminum is one of those great recyclable items. Strip this furniture to the aluminum only, removing webbing, hardware (if not aluminum) and glides. Recycled aluminum is made into cans, pie pans, small appliances and lawn furniture.
  • If the furniture is still serviceable but your design ideas have changed, donate the item to a local charity that sells used goods.
  • If the lawn furniture is made from No. 2 plastic, it also can be recycled into other durable products.