Summer is just around the corner so it’s the perfect time to start planning some fun projects for your backyard. Whether you are looking for new ways to entertain and host friends or you want to surprise your spouse or family with an improved aesthetic, here are some DIY projects that can help make your backyard even more spectacular.
- Fire Pit – If you buy the stones and materials yourself, you can make a firepit in less than a day and for under $100. Get ready for some s’mores and scary stories around the campfire right from your backyard.
- Tree Swing – Making a tire swing is another cheap project that can be completed in less than a day. You will need a chain, rope, drill, wood for the seat, and a healthy tree to hang it from. Buy a pre-made tree swing seat to make this process even easier.
- Garden Bed – This is a great project for DIY lovers with a green thumb. Get ready to eat your own home-grown herbs and vegetables when you create a garden bed in your yard. Make sure to use cedar for the boundary because it is rot-resistant.
- Outdoor Lighting – Brighten up your backyard with some easy lighting ideas, such as hanging lanterns, lining wired lights on your trees, or adding some fixtures along your walkway. Make your backyard a soothing retreat with some ambient lighting.
- Bird Feeder – Show some love to your neighborhood birds by creating a bird feeder for your backyard. Make sure to place your feeder away from any windows and in a high area so no other animals can reach it. Get ready for some lovely bird songs.
Everyone loves a shiny hardwood floor, but there are a variety of daily activities that can cause wear and tear, such as moisture imbalances, pet claws, and common foot traffic. To keep that attractive sheen you love, it’s incredibly important to keep up regular, proper maintenance.
- Wood has a tendency to expand and shrink depending on the moisture level, so if there are high levels of humidity in your home or your hardwood floors are consistently getting wet, they could be at risk for cupping which makes the sides of your flooring higher than the center. In order to prevent moisture imbalances, make sure to clean any spills immediately and keep your home’s temperature set between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The color of your hardwood floors can also be compromised by pets or shoes. Dust and dirt can settle in the gaps or grain of your hardwood floor, which makes timely cleaning a necessity. It is recommended to dust or sweep daily and vacuum weekly to mitigate grime’s effect on your floors. It is also a good idea to refinish your hardwood floors every three to five years to counter gradual dirt build-up.
- Most hardwood floors have a protective coating to prevent scratches, but you can take some of the pressure off your floor by using furniture pads for your chairs, tables, and couches. If you have any pets, you should also make a habit of trimming their nails to protect your floor’s integrity. Finally, make sure your hardwood floors will last by using hardwood floor cleaner once a month.
One of the joys of homeownership is getting to host your friends and family on various occasions. Here are a few hosting tips for your next party!
Pick a theme. Once you select a theme, planning the rest of the party is simplified. The menu options are pared down, finding decor inspiration is as easy as a Google search, and guests will have attire direction. Some common themes are fiesta, backyard BBQ, wine and cheese night, and garden party.
Plan your menu. Whether you are serving small appetizers or a formal dinner, it’s important to survey your guests for food allergies or preferences (ie. vegan, vegetarian) to ensure you offer options for everyone.
Stock up on refreshments. When it comes to drinks, it’s better to overstock than understock. Make sure to have alcohol staples on hand, such as beer, wine, vodka, and bourbon. Equally important is ice, fruit garnishes, and a good supply of juices and soda that can be used for mixing as well as drinks for children and those who don’t partake in alcohol.
Don’t forget the kids. Hosting a party with children in attendance? To ensure their parents get to enjoy the party, plan a few child-friendly activities. Purchase coloring books and crayons, pick up children’s board games, or have a couple age-appropriate movies queued up.
Make sure you have fun too. By having a flexible timeline for the party and setting aside time to prep ahead of people arriving, you can minimize the stress of hosting. Make sure you take time to talk to all your guests, enjoy the food you’ve prepared, and have some drinks (alcoholic or not) too!