Six Home Projects you can do before the 4th of July

Summer is a time of year when many homeowners tackle long-delayed home improvement projects. Summer is also a time when you can enjoy your home's outdoor spaces whether you are referring your kids in sprinkler races or just enjoying swinging lazily in an outdoor hammock.

When the 4th of July rolls around, your mind likely turns to thoughts of festivities and celebrating with your family. With this in mind, here are six excellent home improvement projects that you may want to get a head start with before the 4th arrives.

powerwasherProject #1: Clean and re-stain your deck

If your home has a deck in the backyard, you have a perfect place to host an outdoor 4th of July party! But if your deck is beginning to look a bit tired and worn, you might want to give it some TLC before the 4th arrives.

You can do this in just three steps:

- First, do a thorough inspection and make a list of repairs. Work from this list to tighten up fasteners, replace worn boards, re-sand rough areas and replace any rusted pieces.
- Next, give your deck a full cleaning. The type of cleaner you choose should be selected for the issues you see - for example, mildew and mold versus dirt and rust.
- Now you can re-stain the deck using a sprayer/brush applicator.

Project #2: Tidy up your lawn

In summer, there are two outdoor chores on every homeowner's mind: watering the lawn and mowing the lawn. But where issues often arise is when you don't realize that leaving your grass slightly longer will reduce your monthly water bill costs. Even if you want to be sure your lawn is nice and trim for the 4th of July holiday, you can leave it longer up until then, so it is healthy and hydrated as possible.

Project #3: Check your outside faucets for leaks

Water usage in the summer months can spike outdoor water use tremendously. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in summer, the average homeowner uses up to 70 percent of water outdoors each month.

Water consumption comes from these outdoor activities:

- Refilling water features or pools and spas.
- Watering the lawn and garden
- Use of automatic timed sprinkler systems.garden hose
- Hosing down or pressure washing homes and driveways.

Unfortunately, an estimated 10 percent of homes will waste 90 gallons of water every day due to undetected leaks. There is a simple test you can do at home to see if your plumbing system has developed any significant leaks.

Here is what to do:

- Read your water meter.
- Shut off your home's main water valve.
- Don't use any water for 2 hours.
- Read your water meter again.
- Look for differences between the first and second reading - if there is a difference in the numbers, this is your indication that you may have leaks present. The bigger the difference, the bigger the leak typically is.

Project #4: Have your a/c unit inspected and maintained

The one thing no one ever forgets about summertime is that one day the a/c unit went out when the temperatures were at their hottest ever! In fact, for nearly everyone, this is at the top of the list of "things to avoid this summer."

Happily, it is easy to avoid an a/c outage in hot weather - all that is needed is regular HVAC inspection and maintenance. During an inspection, the technician will give the a/c unit a good general cleaning and take an inventory of any parts that need repair or fluids/lubricants that need replacing.

During the maintenance, the technician will make any necessary repairs or replacements and run system tests to be sure the system cycles on and off properly and that the temperature is accurate.

You should also replace your filter at least once per month to ensure your a/c unit doesn't get clogged by dust and debris.

Project #5: Add outdoor safety lighting

Today's lighting projects often take a dual focus approach: energy efficiency plus visibility is the perfect couple. The best way to get the most energy efficient outdoor lighting is to opt for solar-powered, motion-sensitive lighting. This way, the lights come on when motion is detected, and the power is sun-driven, so there is no impact to your wallet.

A lovely way to achieve this is what many designers like to term a "moonlight effect." Here, you are going for aesthetic appeal (rather than football stadium floodlights) along with your safety lighting.

Placing lighting near trees and bushes, making the front entry way and door area the focal point of light, using warmer bulbs and syncing the lighting with timers and motion detectors can all keep the lighting natural but still very safe for guests and family.

lawnProject #6: Give your front door a facelift

Nothing says "welcome" like a freshly sanded, stained or painted the front door. This project will provide your whole home - not just the door itself - a fresh, rejuvenated look.

With some sanding, sealant, and shine-restoring finish, you can bring an old, worn wood front door back to life to welcome family and friends. Similarly, with a fresh coat or two of primer and paint, you can have a lovely and colorful front door again where your faded door used to be.

For a quote on HVAC inspections, maintenance, repairs or replacements in Staton, CA, contact us at (714) 252-7460.

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