3 Easy Outdoor Home Improvements For Fall

house surrounded by fall foliage

Fall, the season for outdoor home improvements, has officially arrived. Soon the humidity will have gone and heat will somehow feel cooler. While our northern neighbors watch the leaves turn from green to gold, we in the Tampa Bay Area will sip our iced pumpkin lattes under a flaxen sun. Fair to say that fall’s gentle warmth is Florida’s gold.

Since fall is the perfect time for outdoor home restoration and beautification, we at Professor Green Thumb started stashing our Honey-Do lists to use as blog inspirations. Though created with our Tampa Bay Area clients in mind, any property owner looking to spruce up their residence will find tips from this article on hardscape maintenance helpful. Remember: repair, replace, renew.

REPAIR AND REPLACE

Golden Rules of Outdoor Home Improvements

Now is the time to inspect your privacy fence, pool deck, or paved entryway, for damage from the summer rains. You may find rotted boards, mildew and algae build-up, or uneven pavers. If so, now is the time to protect your investment and repair, or possibly replace your hardscape.

FENCING

Repairing and cleaning your wooden fence

Besides its classic beauty, one of the benefits of a wooden fence is the ease of repair. To replace a damaged picket, if you have a pry bar, hammer, and screwdriver, you’ve got everything you need. 

Nailed Pickets

Just slip that pry bar edge beneath the damaged picket, and gently rock the bar back and forth loosening the nail fastener, being careful not to exert too much force and crack the rail. (That would be a bummer!)  Lift the damaged picket from the rail and slap a new one on being careful not to reuse the old nail hole to ensure a tight fit.

Screwed Picket

Slip your screwdriver into the screw and cross your fingers the head isn’t rusted. If you can unscrew it from the wood, do the happy dance! If the head strips, you may need to dig out the wood around the head so you can grab the head with a pair of pliers. Then twist until the screw is removed. Then remove the old picket and attach a new one. 

Posts and Rail

If you need to repair a damaged post or rail, it can be a bit more complicated. But don’t worry, we have faith in you!  Click the link for in-depth instructions.

wooden fence cleaned for outdoor home improvements

Cleaning

If your fence has lost its golden glow, a good cleaning can bring it back. You can clean your fence by hand or use a pressure washer. Either way, removing built-up grime, mildew, and algae will not only enhance your fence’s looks but extend its life.

Repairing and cleaning your vinyl fence

Cleaning

Isn’t this why you invested in a vinyl fence in the first place? No need to paint it and easy cleaning! Just mix dish soap with water and scrub that baby with a soft rag or brush. Squirt with the hose, and watch the dirt fall away. (If needed, add some bleach to your cleaning solution for white fences.)  Voila! You’re done.

Repairing a hole

Admit it. You cried when you saw that hole in your beautiful fence. Do not despair! You can fix it! Fill the hole with foam, cut off the excess, sand a dimple into the foam, fill that dimple with plastic filler, sand, and paint it. Wasn’t that easy? Yes, it was! (And aren’t you feeling proud of yourself right about now?  We’re proud of you, too.)

Repairing something bigger than a hole

Let’s say, like a friend who shall remain nameless, you accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake and drove into your lovely vinyl fence. No amount of filler can fix that! No, you need to replace that mangled section–and fast! You can try it on your own,  or you can contact us.

We’ll replace that section pronto so every time you go out for your mail, you won’t have to relive that moment when you rammed your new F-150 into your fence. We’ll help put this ugly memory behind you.

Replacing your fence

Whether you are looking to replace an existing fence or install a new one, we can guide you through selecting and installing wood, metal, vinyl, or PVC fences.

DECKING

Repairing and cleaning your pool deck

Your pool has been your refuge all sweltering summer. Now that the gentle breezes of fall are upon us, it’s time to show your pool some love by tending to its deck.  We often get caught up with indoor house chores during the hotter month, so it’s good to remember that cleaning is also a golden rule of outdoor home improvements, too.

Repairing cracks in a concrete deck: If cracks have appeared in your concrete, don’t let them hold water and expand. Clean the crack of any debris. Then patch with new concrete and seal. You’re done! 

Repairing wooden decking: Now is the time to give your deck a close look. Are the handrails rough? Sand them. Are any screws or nails loose? Tighten or replace them. Stained wood? Clean and reseal the boards. Check out this advice on how to care for a pressure-treated deck.

WALKWAYS

blue and white walkway pavers cleaned for outdoor home improvement

Maintaining your paved walkways

Your walkways are critical features of your property. They create a tone–classic or modern, rustic or chic–and provide the first impression for your property. But in addition to their aesthetic, they must function as safe passageways for you and your guests. Look carefully at your walkways. Are the pavers even? Are weeds growing between them?  Are any chipped or loose? Do your pavers need cleaning? Is the path well lit? 

Whether your walkway needs new pavers or whether your existing pavers need to be cleaned and relaid, we can help ensure your walkways are safe and beautiful. And we can install custom lighting along your paths for safety and beauty or design a lighting system for your entire landscape.

In closing, we think these three outdoor tasks will keep you plenty busy during the fall months. You don’t want to work too hard and miss the glorious fall weather that seems so fleeting here in the Tampa Bay Area. Don’t get us wrong, we wouldn’t live anywhere else.

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