If you’ve ever tried to paint your outside windows in a howling gale or had to lay tiles on a patio deck on a freezing cold day, you’ll know the pain of trying to do renovations in the winter. It’s not fun.
Far better to wait for the warmer weather and be able to enjoy yourself in the sunshine in a t-shirt rather than three layers – and gloves.
We’re going to run a few ideas past you to help you get, not just your summer holiday house, but also your main house, ready for a fantastic summer of barbies, visitors and fun in the sun.
To start with, go stand out in the street and take a long hard look at the house.
Did the roof tiles need a clean? Do the gutters need attention? Is the paintwork up to scratch? Do the patio and the driveway look like they’ve seen better days? When was the last time you cleaned those hard to get to windows? Are the plants, flowers and bushes looking a bit sad and needing attention?
Let’s run through a list:
Get the tough jobs out of the way first. This way, anything afterwards gets easier. The messy, annoying, and plain horrible jobs are the ones to kick off with.
If you’ve any woodwork that needs rubbing down and repainting or varnishing – this might be a great place to start. Stain and varnish can be messy and difficult to clean, so it’s better to do any work in an outside area first – before you clean the static areas like driveways and paths.
This applies to all the messy jobs. If you’ve no storage and have to leave your garden furniture out throughout the winter, it may need washing down and cleaning properly. There are all kinds of products available for this, but again, it’s a messy job and will need hosing down afterwards, so it’s better to do it before you’ve power washed the patio than after.
Summer storms, especially in coastal areas, can be pretty severe, so it’s worth checking, cleaning and repairing any guttering and drains that might need attention before they overflow and cause you problems.
A quick way of clearing the gutter of leaves is to cut up a plastic water bottle and use this as a kind of dustpan along the length of the gutter. The leaves will just go into the bottle and you can empty easily into your compost or organic waste.
This time of year is the ideal time to clear out your shed, garage and other storage areas too. During the winter, many of us just sling something into the garage to get it out of the way and the boxes and bags build-up to the point where you really have to do something about it. A trip or two down to the refuse site will see to this.
Check your external lighting and power points. These can get damaged over the winter with rain and cold temperatures, and the last thing you need to be doing is finding out just before loads of your mates come over for a barbecue one evening, and none of the lights you use in the garden are working.
If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool, check out the pump and the filtration system and make sure everything works properly. Check the pH and the other water chemical levels and get them balanced so that you can easily just top up anything that needs attention. Do this in plenty of time in case you discover a major problem where you need to order parts or get an engineer in for something more complicated than you’d expected.
Once you’ve done all the basics, you can then power wash and clean up the patio, decking area or wherever you’re going to sit and mingle.
Take a good objective look at your furniture. Does it still look the part and do the job? You’ll have lots of visitors over the summer and you’ll be using it all the time. Your guests will notice because they’ll be sitting on the chairs and eating and drinking at the table.
If you think it’s time for a change, there’s an enormous range of coastal beach furniture out there to suit every taste and budget. For coastal living furniture Australia boasts some of the best beach style dining tables and chairs in the world – you can even get a beach themed desk and chairs for your office.
Once you’ve sorted the outside, it’s time to look at the inside.
The first thing to look at is the kitchen. Is it looking tired, and does it still do the job you need, are the two key questions to ask? If your budget doesn’t run to an interior stylist, you can get plenty of ideas from magazines, the internet and by visiting kitchen showrooms locally.
Coastal home interiors are fun to do as you can be creative and try different decorating ideas out. You may not be brave enough to experiment in your main house – so it’s time to let your creative hair down. There are so many coastal style decor ideas around that coming up with house interiors becomes an exciting modern design project rather than a chore.
The kitchen interior design ideas usually revolve around preparing, cooking and serving food and drink outside, so you need to pay attention to the space available for the prep and make sure that you have enough light – both natural and artificial.
Storage space is a primary consideration too – you can never have enough kitchen storage space – especially, cupboards and drawers. These days there are some very clever built-in space-saving solutions within kitchen units and appliances. Check them out – someone may have come up with an ingenious solution to your problem.
Finally, check through all of your game activities for missing parts and damage. Make sure the pool inflatables stay up and that you have enough beers and wine in the fridge!
Have a great summer and enjoy your time at your newly spruced up beach house.