Easy End-of-Summer Home Decor & Maintenance Checklist

Easy End-of-Summer Home Decor & Maintenance Checklist

Autumn is around the corner, and you know what that means – rainy days with lower temperatures are ahead of us. While the sun is still out and you can leave your home with a minimal amount of clothes on you, make sure you take care of all those little things that need to be done around the house. Getting them done in the autumn can be tricky after all, while putting them off until winter can take its toll on your house and your pocket. With that said, here is a list of all those tasks you should take care of before the leaves start to change colour and fall.

Get rid of all that lint

Maybe cleaning your dryer vent isn’t the first chore that comes to mind when you think about end-of-summer cleaning, and you are definitely not the only one. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect this task, which can result in a dryer fire. Since the last time you took your dryer vent hose apart a lot of items have probably been collected in there, such as paper and even coins. To ensure everything is in order, take an hour of your time to cross this task off your checklist.

Clean the gutters

Before the autumn leaves fall, clean your gutters
Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

Before the leaves start to fall and collect in your gutters, make sure you clean them thoroughly. Starting the wetter months with clean gutters is a great practice since it can save you a lot of trouble. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to soak the ground around your house, which can seriously harm your foundation and cause unnecessary expenses. Dirt, debris, and nests collected in the gutters can all present a hazard, so remove them from these drains before the fall arrives.

Inspect your roof

To clean your gutters, you will need to climb the ladder. When you are already up there, give your roof a good look. Fixing the roof during the winter months is much more expensive, so if some work needs to be done, do not put it off. Speaking of your roof, if you haven’t insulated it by now, consider doing it before autumn. Whether you decide to use foil roll insulation, fiberglass, or insulated panels, you will prevent heat loss, save energy and reduce your bills. Spending a fortune to warm up your home during the winter only to have a quarter of that heat leave your house through the roof seems like a huge waste, so insulating your house on time can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Take care of your yard

Fruits and vegetables can be grown in garden planters
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

You have surely used your patio or deck during the summer, and now it is time to clean them. Get a power washer and remove dirt from your driveway and your home’s exterior, as well. When you are done, see which items in your yard need weatherproofing. A fresh coat of wax or paint is much cheaper than replacing your fence or deck in the spring, so do not postpone this type of work.

Get your HVAC system serviced

When was the last time your HVAC system was thoroughly inspected by a professional and properly serviced? If years are in question, call a professional to see what is lurking in those vents and change the filters. This is especially important if you have asthma because old filters do not remove allergens and particulate matter from the air.

Add natural elements to your home

These cute pumpkin lights are perfect for an autumn themed tablescape
Credit: Lights4Fun

When you have ensured everything is in order, you can give your home a seasonal makeover. Decorating your home for the fall is all about adding natural elements to your place, such as apples, branches, acorns, and pumpkins. These autumnal items can easily be found (maybe even in your backyard) and cost next to nothing.

Preparing your home for the approaching season is not that difficult if you start on time. Therefore, roll up your sleeves and see what you can take off your maintenance list first.

Featured image credit:Spacejoy on Unsplash

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All You Need To Know About Jet Washing

All You Need To Know About Jet Washing

Jet washing is one of the most efficient ways to perfectly clean the solid surfaces and outdoor furniture in your garden. Water pressure washing has numerous appearance and health-related benefits for your property, and the machinery is relatively easy to use even for beginner gardeners. 

With that in mind, check out this extensive list of advantages and learn every important aspect of the process of cleaning with a jet washer.

What is jet washing?

Landscaped back garden in Dublin, Ireland with dining and relaxation areas
Photo by Tile Merchant Ireland on Unsplash

Jet washing is a vital gardening maintenance task that allows people to keep up the great neat looks of their outdoor spaces and keep their garden areas clean. 

The procedure is basically blasting water with high pressure to remove bacteria and build-ups from stiff surfaces like driveways, paths, patios, fences, walls, vehicles, and garden furniture. You can use the jet washer on concrete, bricks, wood, and other hard material that needs cleaning.

Everything a person would need for the cleaning process is a jet washer and a reliable water source in the garden. For ultimate squeaky-clean results and best execution, we advise trusting professional gardeners with jet-washing experience.

Advantages of jet washing

Improve the value of many surfaces 

The first advantage of jet washing is it improves the value and appearance of surfaces. It makes a huge difference in the condition of your landscape features before and after the treatment. Here are some of the surfaces that could use a deep cleaning with a jet washer to vastly improve their state and make them look brand new:

  • Walls
  • Fences
  • Patios and decks
  • Walkways and driveways
  • Empty pools and water features
  • Sheds and structures
  • Outdoor Furniture

Avoid repairs

Jet washing can help keep patio paving slabs in good condition
Photo by Jana Heinemann on Unsplash

Jet washing is also a viable way to maintain your garden structures and avoid any potentially costly repairs. It is no secret that dirt build-up, algae and mould growth wear away garden surfaces. Some materials can deteriorate and break down with time if you are not preserving them. 

At the same time, constant natural exposure to factors like direct sunlight, heavy rain, and temperature variations can lead to rot, water damage, paint peeling, and more types of surface damage. Jet washing helps reduces the risks of serious structural damage and saves money from extra repairs in the long term.

Clean spaces

The best thing about jet washing is the after-cleaning results. Thanks to the high-pressure treatment all germs, mould, stains, paint, mildew, dust, and other build-ups are removed from the surface and cracks of the furniture, features, and hard exteriors in your garden. Your garden space would be clean and polished to perfection.

Time saved

Another great advantage of jet washing is it saves a lot of time! Like, a lot. If you try to manually deep clean all the surfaces in your backyard, it would not be a joyful experience and it certainly would take at least one whole day. So why go through that hassle when pressure washing can do the job better and in a matter of minutes?

Bye, bye, bacteria

Invest in comfortable garden seating for your outdoor space in 2021
Image: Shutterstock

Outdoor features and furniture are constantly exposed to bacteria, and so are you by spending time in the garden. That could lead to some health risks, especially if you have kids on the property that are constantly touching the dirty surfaces. By jet washing these surfaces, you can ensure your family can enjoy their free time in the garden without worrying about germs and excessive dirt.

Sounds like maintenance your garden might benefit from? The experts from Professional Gardening Services UK are ready to respond to your needs and come transform your London backyard with the power of jet washing.

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Why Prefab Outdoor Kitchens Are More Popular Now

Why Prefab Outdoor Kitchens Are More Popular Now

The global pandemic changed the way people view their homes. They want outdoor features that allow them to enjoy life fully even when they must stay home. Outdoor kitchens serve as a good example of an upgrade people are looking to make. 

In fact, 82 percent of homeowners surveyed stated that wanted to update their outdoor space. For those looking to incorporate a backyard kitchen into this space, prefab kitchens are an option. So, how do you know if prefab outdoor kitchens are for you?

Research is Key  

Rustic prefab outdoor kitchen
Photo by Jubéo Hernandez on Unsplash

People looking to purchase a prefab kitchen must first do some research. It’s easy to see a photo of a prefab kitchen and fall in love. However, the kitchen won’t look the same when it arrives. Manufacturers often Photoshop pictures into a luxurious background to entice people to buy their products. Realistically, the kitchen will look completely different in each setting. Keep this in mind when buying a prefab kit and envision how it will look in the selected space. If possible, use a computer program to see how the kit will work in your backyard.   

Consider the Quality  

When researching these kitchens, look at the materials used in the kit. Will they hold up in the local climate? A low price often means low-quality materials. Keep this in mind, and research the materials along with the kits. If possible, speak to an outdoor kitchen manufacturer to see if they can offer recommendations suited for the local climate.   

For example, someone who lives in a coastal area needs to consider 304 stainless steel for their grill. Many materials degrade when exposed to salt. This grade of stainless steel resists corrosion, making it perfect for homes by the ocean and other areas where salt exposure is a concern. 

Lack of Customization  

Modern grey prefab outdoor kitchen
Photo by Vincent Wachowiak on Unsplash

People who choose to buy a prefab kitchen are limited in terms of customizing the kitchen to meet their needs. For this reason, many people opt to work with a builder to have their outdoor kitchen created to fulfil their specific requirements. This ensures each owner gets exactly what they need. However, it is best to work with a contractor who specializes in this type of outdoor living feature. A general contractor is typically not the best option in this situation.   

Installation of the Kitchen  

One thing many homeowners fail to factor into the cost of the outdoor kitchen is the installation fees. Who will install the kitchen? In many cases, an electrician must connect the different appliances. A plumber may be needed if the prefab kit comes with a sink or other features that require water. By working with a contractor who constructs outdoor kitchens, the homeowner turns these tasks over to the contractor. They then handle hiring professionals who can complete these and other tasks.   

Set a Budget  

Stylish outdoor dining area with barbecue cooking area
Photo by Arcwind on Unsplash

Setting a budget ensures you’ll get the features you want most within your price range. As you discover the price of each feature, you can can weigh up how important it is to you. 

Prefab outdoor kitchens serve as one option for those who want to add this feature to their outdoor living space. However, people should consider all options before deciding this is the way to expand their living space. Working with a contractor to find out if a kit is the right choice and whether the kit can be customized increases the likelihood of being satisfied when the project is complete.         

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97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Houzz

Everybody knows that first impressions are everything, and that’s true for our homes too. If the front of your house doesn’t look great, people will assume the inside doesn’t either. To get you inspired to spruce up your home’s curb appeal, here’s an epic roundup of gorgeous exteriors organized by style.   

Craftsman Style

1. Contemporary Craftsman

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Magnolia Market

2. Turquoise and Brick Beauty

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Home Bunch

3. Gray With Gardens

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: This Old House

4. Craftsman Tudor Bungalow

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: HGTV

5. Shingled Siding Craftsman

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Motanu Home Decor Ideas

6. Color Blocked Facade 

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Zac Pasmanick

7. Grey and White With Brick

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Home Bunch

8. Stone Accents

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Hooked On Houses

Tudor Style

9. Classic Brick

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Old House Online

10. Light and Airy

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Houzz

11. Painted Brick

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Studio McGee

12. Tudor(ish) Style

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Houzz

13. Curvalicious

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Southern Living

14. Gardens Galore

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Coastal Living

15. Manicured Perfection

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Houzz

16. English Style

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Traditional Home

17. Landscaped Beauty

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

Colonial Style

18. Cozy Stone

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Tone On Tone Antiques

19. Black and White

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Starter Home To Dream Home

20. Shrub Lined Pathway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Interiors By Studio M

21. Paver Pathway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Southern Living

22. Pretty Porch

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Georgiana Design

23. Federal Style

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Enchanted Home

24. Addition-Flanked

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Instagram

25. Southern Charm

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Old House Web

26. Quaintly Gated

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: This Old House

28. Classic With A Twist

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Magnolia Market

Ranch Style

29. Crisp and Clean

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

30. Bold Blue Door

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: The Painted House

31. Major Makeover

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Mobile Bay

32. Shady Gardens

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

33. Inviting Porch

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Houzz

Victorian Style

34. Gardens, Gardens, Gardens

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: One Shabby Old House

35. Pretty In The Snow

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: BP Gross Photography

36. Fenced In Style

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Victorian Houses

37. Brick Beauty

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Belderbos Landscapes

38. Square Gardens

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Belderbos Landscapes

French Country Style

39. French Country Flair

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: HGTV

40. Mature Landscaping

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: D Magazine

41. Flowers Everywhere

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

42. Shrubs Galore

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Southern Living Custom Builder

43. Stone Wall Accent

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Houzz

44. Manicured Hedges

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Georgiana Design

45. More Beautiful Hedges

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Danaz Home

46. Climbing Ivy For The Win 

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Jack Arnold

47. Stone Entryway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Donald Lococo Architects

48. Greenery Everywhere

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Sortra

49. Colorful Hydrangeas 

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Jack Arnold

Cottage Style

50. Cottage Charm

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: BHG

51. Stripes Overhead

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: House Beautiful

52. Weathered and Wonderful

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Darryle Pollack

53. Quaint and Inviting

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Saluda River Club

54. Urn Planters

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

55. Mixed Materials

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Jeff Baron Homes

56. Secret Garden

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

57. Privacy Shrubs

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Lonny

58. Old Stone

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: House and Garden

59. Perfect Patio

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Decoist

60. Round Stone Walls

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Southern Living

Cape Cod Style

61. Traditional Fence

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Country Living

62. Festive Seasonal Decor

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Country Polish

63. Unique Hedges

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Simply Seleta

64. Pretty Patio

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Whimsical Home and Garden

65. Pointed Stone Wall

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Architectural Digest

Mediterranean Style

66. Curved Driveway Garden

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Architecture Art Designs

67. Palm Tree Entranceway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Architecture Art Designs

68. Lighting Matters

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Dream Home Design USA

69. Welcoming Fountain 

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Architecture Art Designs

70. Topiary Trees

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Cool Chic Style Fashion

71. Grand Stairway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

72. Lighted Gardens

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Houzz

73. Pretty In Pink

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Florida Homes & Lifestyles

74. Unique Foliage

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Craig Barron

75. European Charm

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

Mid Century Modern Style

76. Inviting Walkway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Architecture Art Designs

77. Angular Entryway

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Architecture Art Designs

78. Cactus Chic

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Palm Springs Style

79. Simple Elegance

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Desire To Inspire

80. Brick and Cement

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Greico

81. That Pink Door!

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Studio DIY

82. Potted Plants

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Dwell

83. Statement Colors

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Chimay Bleue

84. Good Grid

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Residence Style

85. Stairway To Heaven

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Sunset

Modern Style

86. Horizontal Lines

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo:  Houzz

87. Curvy Pavers

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: The Wow Decor

88. Cement Accents

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: The Wow Decor

89. Stone Lawn

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Home Bunch

90. Less Is More

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: The Wow Decor

91. Rectangles Everywhere

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Real Estate

92. Levels

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: The Wow Decor

93. Multi-Material

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: The Wow Decor

94. Angular Architecture

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Freshome

95. Sculpture 

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: One Kindesign

96. Pristine Gardens

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Real Estate

97. Clustered Shrubs 

97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
Photo: Houzz
97 Homes With Major Curb Appeal
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What Should You Do This Month? Throw a Backyard Solstice Party to Celebrate the Start of Summer

What Should You Do This Month? Throw a Backyard Solstice Party to Celebrate the Start of Summer

Backyard Solstice Party

While many Americans think that summer starts on Memorial Day, it officially begins on summer solstice, usually June 21 in the Northern hemisphere. The longest day of the year seems like the ideal excuse for a party, so here are some ideas for a backyard celebration of midsummer. And if you don’t get around to throwing a summer solstice party, there’s no expiration date on these outdoor party ideas!

For these summer solstice party ideas, I wanted to spotlight some of the things that are better in summer than any other part of the year. So I’m sticking with a theme of seasonal produce and flowers, accented with white lights and candles. You can keep it simple, or you can go all out with DIY projects if you’ve got the urge.

The Food

Grilled pizzas are a great way to showcase summer produce, and it would be fun to let people pick their own toppings.

This beautiful heirloom tomato and grilled vegetable salad is perfect for those tricky party guests who don’t eat meat, dairy, or gluten (and if you plate it this nicely, it might entice everyone else into eating more veggies.)

A summer solstice party wouldn’t be complete without berries. This summer berry cake is a showstopper.

Another option is this Swedish midsummer cake. Or you can always keep it simple with a classic strawberry shortcake. Adding edible flowers makes almost any dessert look midsummer-worthy. (Here’s a long list of edible flowers.)


The Drinks

If you want to go the cocktail route, making up batches of drinks saves you the trouble of bartending during the party. Strawberry rhubarb sangria, made with sparkling wine, sounds light and refreshing.

For a more savory cocktail, try cucumber-lime-infused gin and tonics.

Don’t forget the non-drinkers in the crowd. Sparkling lavender lemonade or thyme lemonade sound like lovely options.


The Decor

These herb napkin rings are simple and organic, and probably smell wonderful, too.

Solar-powered Mason jar lights are a charming option, and practical if you don’t have easy access to outdoor outlets.

DIY floral ice buckets are a gorgeous way to keep your wine cool, and double as decor. Make as many as your freezer can handle, and scatter them throughout your yard, or use them as table centerpieces. For a much simpler variation, freeze fresh herbs and edible flowers into ice cubes for drinks.

Strings of white cafe lights are perfect for that evening fairy-light ambiance.

String lights

Go all out with a handmade floral chandelier. Bonus points if you grow your own flowers. If you’re not feeling quite so ambitious, just pile your tables with vases overflowing with flowers from the store.


The Entertainment

Whether you turn it into a drinking game or not, giant Jenga is nearly always a hit at outdoor parties, and is the only entertainment you’ll need at your summer solstice party. With some 2×4’s, a saw, and some sandpaper, you can easily make your own giant Jenga set. You can always buy a set if you’re not inclined to make one.


Summer solstice party ideas
Share these summertime ideas on Pinterest!
Outdoor Home Improvements To Make

Outdoor Home Improvements To Make

Every day, people make modifications to their homes whether they are expensive or on a budget. But sometimes the outside is forgotten or overlooked, as you’re so preoccupied with the inside. Gardens can become unkempt, overgrown, and weather-damaged garden furniture is a possibility.

Many of us neglect the exterior of our homes throughout the winter months and only begin to think about maintaining them once the sun begins to shine again. By waiting so long, we end up giving ourselves a more difficult task to get it in good shape and also forcing ourselves to spend more money on repairs or replacements. Here are some various items you could consider for your garden to improve its appearance all year round. To increase your curb appeal, you should pay specific attention to the front of your home. 

Purchase Quality Garden Storage 

Painting your shed - inside and out - can transform it from a scruffy wooden building to a stylish outdoor pad
Credit: Shutterstock

Having the appropriate storage is one of the things that can significantly improve the appearance of your yard. You’ll need a place to keep all of your gardening tools and accessories, such as a spade, fork, lawnmower, and hose. Such items can all be kept in a shed or an outside garage. If you don’t have enough room, you can purchase little garden cabinets that will keep the contents protected from the elements. Your bins are another item for which storage is recommended. You can purchase covers and storage boxes to place your trash cans. This puts them out of sight, and out of mind and eliminates any unpleasant scents that may have emanated from it. 

Be Ready For Any Weather And Protect Yourself 

There won’t always be sun, no matter where you are. Even the hottest locations occasionally endure rain and severe weather. If you have more expensive furnishings and entertainment areas for when you host parties and get-togethers, you really want to be able to preserve your outdoor locations. Getting some slide track outdoor blinds is one of the investments you can make to make your yard look amazing and provide shelter from inclement weather. You can get aluminium bifold doors which can help protect against weather. The weather can cause a lot of damage, especially in some areas so it is important to look at any patterns you have and how you can protect your home from it 

Lighting Can Create a Mood 

Image: Shutterstock

When it gets dark and you are having a party or gathering outside, you frequently have to go inside. Get some great lighting for your upcoming party to avoid this. String lights are the most calming and give off the most of a garden vibe of all the many forms of lighting you can choose for the garden. They can be draped anywhere and improve the tranquilly of the entire garden. Additionally, they are much better for the environment and can be purchased as solar-powered lights to assist save electricity bills.

Your outdoor space will change as a result of these various factors and more. It will increase its welcoming quality, improve its year-round appearance, and provide protection from the incoming severe weather.

Featured image credit: Photo by Tile Merchant Ireland on Unsplash

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