Tag Archives: exterior renovations

3 Exterior Home Renovations to Tackle in Spring

3 exterior home renovations to tackle in spring

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3 exterior home renovations to tackle in spring

With spring just around the corner, it’s only natural to start taking a look at the exterior of your home, investigating how everything held up over the winter months so you can formulate a plan for any renovations you may want to do come spring. Whether your renovations are to improve curb appeal, to modernise the look of your home, or as part of a repair, before you know it the “to do” list can spiral out of control. So, before you start feeling too overwhelmed, here are three exterior home renovations that could be well worth tackling this spring.

Replace the eavestroughs

One item that homeowners don’t often pay much mind to is their eavestroughs. They tend to blend in with the home and get forgotten about, that is until there is an issue with them. Blockages, clogs, and damage can occur over time which then affects water drainage from your roof and away from your foundation. The last thing you want to do is be dealing with water damage inside the home, so ensuring drainage is performing as intended is always top of the list.

Replacing or repairing your eavestroughs means that you can be guaranteed you have no leaks, it will look modern and fresh, and you can even opt for the seam-free models for a sleeker look. Eavestroughing @ Big 5 Exteriors has taken this no-seam approach, which is something that many homeowners seem to be showing an interest in.

If you’re unsure of whether or not your eavestroughs needs repairs or replacing, it’s always best to call a professional and have them climb up to take a look.

Give your garden some TLC

Another renovation worth tackling in the spring is your current garden design. Whether you would consider yours to be sparse or it’s a more mature garden, there is always work to be done. That’s the thing about gardens, there is no such thing as a complete garden. Each year things will grow and change, which means tweaking on your end.

A great place to start is with some basic grooming, which can include trimming back overgrown hedges, bushes, and trees; topping off gardens with fresh soil and mulch so they will be healthy; pruning perennials so they grow to the shape and size you desire; splitting up perennials that have become overgrown for their space (you can then plant that split off segment elsewhere); creating an all-new garden; and of course, adding to your current garden with new annuals and perennials.

Just be sure when shopping for items to plant you are conscious of your soil and light conditions.

Give your front door a pop of interest

For those people who don’t want to take on a massive project but are still looking for impact, a quick and relatively simple plan is to give your front door a fresh coat of paint. This is your chance to change up the colour and give it that pop it had been missing. Your front door colour is actually a great way to set your home apart from the others.

No matter which of these projects you add to your “to-do” list, you can expect some fabulous results.


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Reno Expert: Take It Outside

Reno Expert: Take It Outside

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Reno Expert: Take It Outside

by Jim Caruk

Photography: Bigstock.com

Elder aids that facilitate outdoor living

When planning or renovating a home to make it senior-friendly, most people tend to focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. But there are a few exterior projects that need to be considered as well.

First and foremost is to have a sturdy railing along the front stairs. The building code requires a railing, but if you walk through any neighbourhood you’ll see a number of homes that don’t have one.

If someone in the house is using a wheelchair or walker, you may need to install a ramp so they can enter and exit. There are very specific requirements in the building code regarding the width, slope, and dimensions of a ramp. If the pitch is too steep, you’ll have to build in switchbacks, including landings big enough for a chair to spin around on. Unfortunately, many homes just don’t have enough space at the front to accommodate the size of the footprint required. In that case, you might have to consider an exterior elevator, or a platform lift as they’re formally called (see Jim’s pick).

As I’m writing this, the snow is still on the ground. If you (or your elderly parents) aren’t able to clear the sidewalk and walkway safely, you really should consider hiring someone to do it for you. The expense of paying for snow removal is definitely worth avoiding breaking your hip—or your neck! Of course, if you have a limitless budget, I’ve worked on high-end homes where the owners have installed heating cables below the driveway that automatically melt all the snow.

In summer, in-ground irrigation systems to water the lawn and gardens eliminate the chore —and potential trip hazard—of hauling around a hose.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

As on the inside, lighting is one of the most important considerations for senior-friendly design. I recommend exterior lights with motion-sensors on the building. I also recommend lining walkways with guide lights.

It’s a good idea to have a roof or some sort of canopy over the entranceway so people don’t have fiddle for their keys while standing in the rain or snow.

That said, even turning the key to lock or unlock the door may prove difficult for some people. A number of companies now have programmable keypads to unlock the door. There are even so-called “smart” locks that link to your cellphone. Your phone communicates with the lock so all you have to do is touch it to open or close it.

For safety and peace of mind, you should also consider having a video-monitoring system. I particularly like the Ring doorbell (Ring.com) that has a motion-activated camera that streams a live video to your smartphone so you can see who’s there before you even get to the door. It’s also a handy way to avoid missing deliveries even if you’re not home: “I can’t come to the door right now, please leave it on the porch.”

Finally, install an automatic garage door opener so elderly drivers don’t need to risk slipping on snow and ice to open it.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


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