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4 Spring Renovation Projects You Should Do Now

May 21, 2015
3 mins
An older couple laugh as they garden together

They say there are two seasons in much of Canada: winter and construction. The latter typically refers to traffic congestion resulting from road repairs. But it could also describe home renovations, with dumpsters popping up on driveways as soon as the buds start to pop on trees. Here are some projects that are best done in the warmer months, along with some tips on home maintenance projects you should also take care of.

Plan Ahead For Yard Work

Obviously, you’re not going to do much landscaping work while your yard is still covered in snow. Unfortunately, with only three-quarters of the year to work, the most highly recommended landscapers quickly book up. Read: It may already be too late to get your dream yard set up in time for an early summer barbeque. If you’re not quite prepared to commit to

design yet, use this summer to scout around for ideas, then set up meetings in late fall or early winter to get quotes from contractors to start work as soon as the snow melts next spring.

Home maintenance tip: Aerate (poke holes) in your lawn and liberally sow with grass seed to help kick-start healthy growth in the spring.

Roofing and Attic Insulation

Barring emergency repairs, you’re generally not going to have roof work done in winter. But, no matter what they tell you, no contractor enjoys working on a roof in the dog days of summer. So spring and fall are the best times to get roof work done. If you experienced “ice damming” along your roofline – ice starting to build up at the eaves and working it’s way up towards the peak – now is also the time to repair that problem. Often, it’s a case of insufficient insulation and/or inadequate ventilation in the attic that allows the warm air to escape from your living areas and condense on the roof. Adding extra insulation in your attic – making sure to not block the soffit vents – will not only help keep your home warmer in winter, but it’ll also help block the heat from the attic seeping into your house in summer.

Home maintenance tip: Clean your eavestroughs in spring (or hire someone to do it for you) so the rain has a clear path to flow. And make sure the bottom of your downspout channels the water away from your foundation.

Get Cooking With Kitchen Upgrades

The warmer months are also a great time to get your kitchen renovated. Why? Your barbeque can replace the oven as your primary cooking device, meaning fewer takeout meals while the appliances are offline.

Home maintenance tip: To avoid frequent flare-ups that scorch your food, you should regularly clean your barbeque grills and the drip pan below it.

Get Yourself Winter-Ready

Did you find yourself getting a chill from drafty spots in the house this winter? If so, it only takes a couple of hours and a few dollars for a reasonably handy person to winterize their windows and doors. Buy some caulking to seal any gaps around your windows, and if the weatherstripping around your doors is worn out, you can buy DIY replacement kits at any hardware store.

Home maintenance tip: Can’t remember where the drafty spots were? On a windy day, light an incense stick and go from room to room holding it close to window frames and baseboards. Any time the smoke billows, take note of the draft to be sealed.

Allan Britnell

Toronto-based freelancer Allan Britnell is an award-winning writer with nearly 20 years’ experience. He covers a diverse range of topics, including DIY and professional home renovation projects, nature and the environment, small business, personal finance, and family and health issues. He is also the managing editor of Renovation Contractor, the publication written for small- and medium-sized contracting and custom home building companies. He lives in Toronto with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Oscar.

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