Staying Active and Productive with Home Projects

As we move into spring, it’s time to think about what we can do to make ourselves feel more productive. Quarantine has been difficult for everyone. But we can alleviate some of the fatigue and boredom of inactivity of the last several months with a home improvement project checklist.

Add a Garden Shed to Your Backyard

Do you find that you never have enough storage space in your garage for your tools and small machinery? Build a shed to hold these items. Garden sheds come in three different materials.

1. Wooden sheds are by far the most popular and traditional.

2. Plastic sheds are the right choice for you if you want something easy to set up and lightweight.

3. Metal sheds.

Small garden sheds range in sizes from 4×6 feet. This would be great for a lawnmower and small hand tools. If you require enough room to store the barbeque and small patio furniture, a medium-size shed would be more suited to your needs. A large garden shed is ideal for those needing storage for multiple items, such as a riding lawn mower, patio furniture, tools, barbeque, etc.

The cost to build a new shed in your backyard can range from $17 to $24 per square foot. The completed project would cost between $1,500 to $15,000 for new shed construction.

But if you are a handy-person, why not assemble your own shed. An entirely DIY shed comes complete with all the necessary hardware and instructions. Also, it will be cheaper to build as you only need to pay for materials and tools. There would be no labor costs, as you will provide the labor. Another advantage is that you can build it according to your schedule. That is not always the case if you need to hire a professional to build it for you.

Create Privacy For Your Backyard

Gather some friends and family to build a wood privacy fence around your backyard. Wood fences provide privacy but also offer safety for your children and pets.

Different types of wood can be used for fencing.

1. Pine is easy to work with and costs less than other types of wood.

2. Cedar fencing is very durable, comes in various styles, and is very popular.

3. Cypress is much like cedar, though less expensive and is insect-resistant.

4. Redwood provides a vibrant fence and is pleasing to look at.

There are other types of materials that are used for fencing. Vinyl, aluminum, and wrought iron are popular types of materials that can be used.

The cost will vary significantly between the different materials, with wood being the least expensive and aluminum being the most expensive.

Paint Your Swimming Pool

If you have a pool in your backyard, consider having a swimming pool painting party.

Paint is a standard pool surface material. It comes in a range of colors and is a less costly option to the more elaborate surface choices. With a little time and effort and the proper materials, you can have a new swimming pool without hurting the budget.

Here are some tips to ensure that you are happy with the finished product.

1. Use the same type of paint previously used on the pool surface; either chlorinated rubber, epoxy, or acrylic. Remove a paint chip and have it tested by the paint dealer to determine its type.

2. Drain all the water from the pool, removing any leaves, debris, or dirt.

3. Patch or caulk any existing holes and cracks with hydraulic cement following the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Clean the surface of the concrete.

a. Remove old paint by using a power washer or a scraper and wire brush. Make sure that all loose paint is removed. Sweep the area clean.

b. Using a mixture of 50% muriatic acid and 50% water, clean the surface of the pool. Completely scrub the floor and walls with a brush, then rinse the entire surface with clean water.

c. Using a mixture of 50% muriatic acid and 50% water, clean the surface of the pool. Completely scrub the floor and walls with a brush, then rinse the entire surface with clean water.

d. Re-clean the surface with TSP, tri-sodium phosphate to neutralize the acid, removing areas of grease and oil. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.

e. Re-rinse the pool entirely, including stairs, drains, lights, etc. Pump the standing water out and allow the pool surface to dry for three-five days. Acrylic paint only can be applied to a damp surface.

1. Apply the paint with an extension roller, starting in the pool’s deep end and working toward the low end. Use a brush to paint around the tight areas such as lights, valves, and drains.

2. Allow the paint to dry following the manufacturer’s instructions. This is particularly important when using epoxy paint as timing is vital for proper adhesion. You must wait three to five days for the paint to dry before refilling the pool.

3. Refill the pool with water, adjust the filter and chemical settings.

4. Take a swim!

Here are a few additional tips to ensure a finished product you will be proud of.

1. Do not paint in extreme temperature conditions or excessive humidity. It could result in poor adhesion.

2. Apply the paint thinly to a surface that has been properly prepared to prevent blistering.

3. Mix the paint completely before application.

Add a Hot Tub To Your Backyard

If you don’t have a swimming pool, how about adding a hot tub to your patio or deck. Getting a hot tub installed is much easier than you might think. You need to make sure there is access to the backyard, a stable, level place to set it up, an electrical outlet, and a garden hose nearby.

A hot tub does not require plumbing. It is an entirely self-contained unit designed to provide you with incredible hydrotherapy benefits. Once your tub is installed, just fill it from a garden hose. The water will circulate through the filtration system within the tub. Depending on how often your use your tub and the water care system you choose, it will need to be drained and refilled a few times a year.

Get a Facial

A facial is a massage of the face that leaves your skin softer, cleaner, and younger. A facial will help clear clogged pores, quench parched, dry skin, and remove dead skin cells. A professional facial will involve massage and help with lymphatic drainage and blood circulation.

A facial is essentially a multi-step skin treatment and one of the best ways to take care of your skin. Facials not only cleanse, exfoliate, and nourish the skin, but they promote a clear, well-hydrated complexion while making your skin look younger.

It is a good idea to schedule monthly facials to keep the skin healthy, as they are an essential part of your wellness regimen. Here are some additional reasons for getting a regular facial.

1. Combat skin issues

a. Discoloration

b. Acne

c. Redness

d. Scarring

e. Inflammation

2. Prevent and minimize the effects of aging

3. Promotes relaxation

4. Increases confidence

Install An Air Conditioner

As we approach summer, the temperatures begin to rise. Most of the country will experience temperatures too high to live without the benefit and comfort of air conditioning.

If you are considering central air conditioning for your home, it will require professional experience in air conditioning installations.

If you would prefer to have the comfort and coolness without the expense of a central air conditioning system, consider a window or wall air conditioner. The difference between the two is their location. Window units are placed on a windowsill, and wall units are placed in an exterior wall.

There are also portable room air conditioning units. An advantage of a portable air conditioner is that you can use it in rooms with or without windows and can be moved from room to room with ease.

Repair Your Roof

While this may not be as much fun as anticipating lying in a hot tub, roof repairs, if needed, will save you money in the long run. A routine roofing repair is a part of your home’s regular maintenance and necessary to preserve its value and protect your personal property.

If you are unable to climb a ladder to check on your roof’s condition, consider hiring a professional to ensure that your roof is in good condition. With hot weather fast approaching, it is necessary to ensure there are no missing shingles, holes in the roof, or any other maintenance condition requiring attention.

Add Shutters to the Exterior of Your Home

Choose shutters that stand out against the exterior color of your home. For example, black shutters against a white Colonial-style home or any color that would complement the home. If you are a gardener and have many colorful flowers in the front yard of your property, choose a bright, vivid color that would give your home a cheerful and welcoming façade.

The proper shutter and siding color combination can have an impact on the way your home is viewed. Colors that work well together can provide your home with a cohesive appearance, enhancing its style. And will add value if you decide to sell your property.

Add a Home Theater

What could be more enjoyable during the hot summer months than watching a favorite action movie or sports team playing your favorite game? Spend some time now to make an extra room in your home, your attic, or basement into a home theater.

Here are some pointers to assist you along the way.

1. Consider your budget

a. Most budgets for a home theater will be on the high end of the scale. It is still advisable to put one into place. It is recommended that you divide your budget into three sections, décor, A/V equipment, and chairs. Decide on what is most important to you: comfort or aesthetics. For some, the look of the room will be more important than sitting in a comfortable chair. Establish priorities.

b. Determine dimensions and number of chairs required

c. If possible, try to choose a rectangular room in your home with four walls that can be closed off. Avoid a square room, as it can hamper the sound quality.

d. A major factor for deciding the overall dimensions is the number of chairs required. The chairs should not be up against a wall but should occupy most of the room, far enough away from the screen.

e. Select a screen size corresponding to the length of the room.

f. A good rule of thumb is that the viewing distance from the screen to the seating area should be 1.5 times the screen’s width. If your room isn’t very long, be sure that the screen isn’t too wide.

2. Choose colors, swatches, and themes

a. Accessories, upholstery, paint, artwork, and any other design element will impact the room’s sound quality.

3. Prewire the room for equipment and lighting

a. You will need professional help at this stage, as the wiring for a home theater is complicated. Certain components of the system will require separate outlets to avoid overheating. A qualified expert will need to ensure an adequate and safe power supply in the room.

4. Install the audio/visual equipment

a. Again, a professional A/V installer with relevant experience and knowledge is needed at this point. Home theaters need someone familiar with screens, projectors, speakers, and smart home controls.

5. Finish the interior of the room.

a. Carpet or flooring should go down first.

b. Paint, artwork, etc., should be completed.

c. Seating will be the last to be put in place.

When all design elements, chairs, and A/V equipment is in place, call back the A/V pros to ensure that the equipment will provide the sound quality desired after everything is in place. The quality of the sound will be affected by what is in the room. They can tweak the settings if needed.
Invite family, friends, and neighbors over to enjoy the big game and enjoy!

Hopefully, one of these ideas will help you stay productive during this time of inactivity for so many. If you put one or more of these ideas into action now, you will be grateful for all the enjoyment it will bring to you, your loved ones, and your friends.

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