Summer is over. The holidays are around the corner. Your spouse’s family is making plans to stay with you, and you haven’t finished any of the exterior work on the house. Take a deep breath! Let’s run through a few easy tips to get your home holiday-ready, so you're confident your home is in order no matter who’s in town.
Pressure wash, pressure wash, pressure wash
Pressure washing your house is a low-cost way to try and make your home look 20 years younger. Focus on the front steps or entryway to the front door. If necessary, have the whole house cleaned, but at a minimum, tackle the areas where your guests will enter and exit.
Pro tip: If you don't have a pressure washer and green algae is growing in the entry area, mix a cup of outdoor bleach with water and fill a 1.5- to 2-gallon pump up sprayer. Then, carefully spray the mixture on the concrete, brick or other entryway surface to kill the algae and leave the concrete looking a few shades brighter.
Touch-ups make a big difference
As one of your house's common focal points, make sure the front door and the trim immediately around it are looking good. "It's time to revamp your exterior walls with a fresh coat of paint,” said Tyron Otieno, chief editor for PopularPainter.com. “Use exterior paints for walls for the best results." Use an old sheet, drop cloth or tarp on the front porch or steps in the area you're working to try and prevent messes and touch up or add a coat of the color to your front door.
Pro tip: This small step can increase the home sale price, and updating your exterior paint is an affordable change to make.
Freshen up the mulch or pine straw in any flower beds or landscape beds. A little color goes a long way. This can be a quick and easy afternoon task. Make sure your edges are clean. Nothing is worse than a new ground cover that looks like it was just thrown out.
Clean and organize your tools, current unfinished projects (we all have a couple of those), lawn and outdoor living spaces. Something as simple as picking up a few broken twigs in the flower bed by the front door and making sure the cushions on the outdoor chairs are in place go a long way toward making the house stand out.
Christmas decor, pillows and wreaths
Holiday decorations can change the exterior of your house. Whether it’s a simple wreath on the door or you decide to go all out, steer clear of the National Lampoon's Christmas look and go for something simple. Not only will it be a nice touch, but you also won't spend the entire month of January putting your home back in order or rack up an expensive electricity bill.
Overall, holidays are for spending time with loved ones and giving thanks. These few tips can help get your home in order for this busy season, so you can focus on what's important. If you simply don’t have the time to make the updates yourself, try hiring a local professional to make the holidays even easier. Remember, we all want what's outside to impress, but it's the people inside who make it all count.
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