Spring for a facelift

The arrival of warmer weather signals the time for outdoor projects and upgrades to ready your home for summer outdoor living. Now that all that snow has melted, it’s time to get your property in shape for summer entertaining and enjoyment by landscaping and updating the outside of your house, or selecting some fun backyard additions to enjoy in the warmer months.

It is easy to find reasons to stay home with family and friends with fun additions like a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, or an outdoor kitchen or bar. Your outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill, food prep and serving area, or, with the addition of electricity and water, it can include a sink, outlets and mini refrigerator, making it your go-to kitchen for the warmer months.

Larger but still manageable projects can dramatically improve your home’s façade and curb appeal. Consider building a stone wall, installing a new walkway or upgrading your driveway with pavers. Seeing the end state of improvements is often the most difficult part of landscaping. By hiring a landscaper who also provides design services, you can take advantage of this expertise to have the landscaper create a plan and execute all or part of it. For example, installing pavers and stone walls are multi-step, back-breaking jobs. For many of us, they are best left to the professionals.

According to Douglas Connell, President of Island Associates, “Installation of paving stones on an improper foundation or a poorly-graded base can lead to settling and cracking stones, drainage issues and also effervescence (discoloration of pavers).” Having a professional landscaper lay pavers and build walls to create planting beds will build the bones of a beautiful landscape and provide a great start for the do-it-yourself gardener to enjoy years of plant and tree cultivation.

One aspect of outdoor design that should not be underestimated is lighting. Lighting can make a dramatic difference in beauty and safety of an outdoor space. Up-lighting a small selection of trees, and using spotlights to pick out details of your home can create a beautiful nighttime impression. Adding lighting to walkways, patios and decks will enhance your property and keep family and guests safe. Take advantage of the pleasant spring weather and get outside with a clipboard or a contractor to start creating the perfect environment for summer.