ARTICLE Donna Blaber First published in Renovate magazine
Summer is here and there’s no better time to spruce up your outdoor living spaces, in order to make the most of the warmer weather.
· Roll out the barbie, check it’s working, scrub it down from top to toe, and replenish the gas bottle. If it fails to spark, book it in for a professional service (www.bbqdoctor.co.nz). Alternatively consider purchasing a new unit (www.rinnai.co.nz; www.bbqfactory.co.nz; www.bbqsandmore.co.nz).
· Check your deck or patio, bbq and all high usage outdoor living areas for deterioration and possible safety hazards such as loose boards and protruding nails. Sweep and hose down.
· Inspect insect screens and call in the professionals to make repairs if required. Screens are life-changing addition to your home; if they’re not already installed, get a free quote to do so (www.rollaway.co.nz; www.magicseal.com).
· Give your laundry appliances a looking over. Clean out the exhaust duct of your dryer, and remove all lint and dust from under and around the back of the machine. Inspect washing machine hoses, and replace any that show signs of wear.
· Summer is the best time to make any roof repairs or alterations. Check your roof now if you haven’t already done so and consider having it inspected every four years by a professional roofer to identify any areas of potential leakage. To locate a professional roofing specialist, visit the Roofing Association of New Zealand online at www.roofingassn.org.nz.
· Service ceiling fans. Dust and balance any unsteady blades by tightening loose screws. Consider installing ceiling fans; you can choose from a variety of colours and finishes (www.lightingplus.co.nz; www.ceilingfan.co.nz; www.electricaldirectltd.co.nz).
· If your home requires exterior cladding renovations, now is the best time to tackle the task. It’s also a great time to add a fresh lick of exterior paint (www.resene.co.nz; www.dulux.co.nz), put in new aluminium window frames or ranchsliders (www.altuswindows.co.nz; www.nulook.co.nz; www.fisherwindows.co.nz), or install a solar water heater (www.rinnai.co.nz; www.nzsolar.co.nz).
· Mow regularly to encourage lush, healthy grass growth, but keep the mower blades on a high setting (a longer cut) to prevent grass roots drying out.
· Deadhead summer annuals to produce more blooms.
· Consider creating outdoor living ambience by adding low voltage outdoor lighting. Cast a smooth glow in courtyards using downlighting, or highlight a tropical plant or wall with uplighting. Light up walkways effectively by using staggered lighting.