At this time of year, you may want to freshen up your home and get ready for some exciting summer entertaining.
However, renovations can be expensive and ‘cheap’ is not always ‘smart’. The dollars you save on cheaper options up front may well cost you dearly in a few years’ time when you find yourself up for the costs of repairs or replacements already, not to mention the amount of precious spare time you have to sacrifice in the process.
So, here are some quick tips to help make your money go further and your renovations last longer.
Boost Street Appeal
Be discerning – how does your house look from the street? Stand on the footpath and view your house objectively.
Some things you see daily become invisible but suddenly stand out when you view your house from another angle. Would your house look better rendered? What if you remove some bushes or replace that outdated verandah balustrade? How different might your house look then?
Spruce Up Your Trims
That peeling or cracked fascia might have become invisible to you, but any state of neglect will be obvious to others and reflect on the overall appearance of your home.
You probably don’t have to replace your fascia. Sometimes, timber putty and a lick of paint can work wonders. However, if you are tired of replacing worn, peeling or damaged fascias or house trims and you want a long-term solution that requires no maintenance, consider a composite product.
For example, NewTechWood has cladding and other decorative façade boards that are a recycled timber/plastic composite, completely protected from the elements and termites and never need any maintenance, sanding, sealing or painting – ever.
Is your guttering damaged, sagging, or is the paint peeling? Damaged guttering not only looks awful and affects the appearance of your property, but it can also lead to roof leaks which creates a whole new set of time and money consuming problems for you. When painting the trim of your house, don’t neglect your gutters!
Repair or Replace Fences
A dilapidated fence can make the entire property look rundown and neglected. Repair or replace your old damaged front fence and if you don’t really need to have one, just remove it. Problem solved. Replace the fence line with plants. If you want low-maintenance, low-cost, go for Australian natives.
If you have faded concrete pathways, a fresh coat of paint will give your whole garden a face lift. Replace damaged pavers – which are also a trip hazard. Or replace them with a timber composite pathway that you won’t have to maintain.
Refresh Verandahs and Patios
If your verandah or patio is cement, its paint may be peeling and it may be suffering years of scuffing from toys and outdoor furniture.
As with the pathway, a fresh coat of paint will rejuvenate this area and brighten the ‘face’ of your home. Alternatively, consider an outdoor floor rug for your outdoor dining area which will hide the scuff and scratch marks and prevent new ones.
If your verandah is timber, is it long overdue for resanding and oiling or resealing? Are the nails popping out? A sad truth about timber is it does require ongoing and regular maintenance to keep it looking good and to keep it from warping, rotting, fading or being eaten by termites.
There is a solution to this problem, and it’s called composite. Composite timbers, like NewTechWood, are popular due to being maintenance free and environmentally friendly because they’re made from recycled material.
NewTechWood is valued because of its patented Ultrashield technology, giving it 360 degrees protection from UV, fading, warping, splitting, rotting and termites. Its 25-year warranty is just the cherry on the cake.
As with all composites compared to natural, it may cost slightly more up front, but in comparison with natural timber, you’ll never have to work on it or spend more money on its upkeep, and with its choice of modern colours, you’ll find something that matches your house perfectly.
Fix Faded Paint
Regardless of whether your house is brick, fibro or clad, if the paint is old, faded and peeling, your house is going to look rundown and decrepit. Painting is something that does need re-doing eventually.
Termite-ridden and weather-worn, warped cladding will also need replacing. Unless you have an unpainted brick home, this ongoing cost and maintenance is unavoidable. You can, however, consider having feature walls of cladding that do not require painting and that adds a modern touch to your home. Again, if you really want to just put something up and forget about it and avoid painting and maintenance issues, consider a composite product, like NewTechWood.
Hide the Ugly Stuff
Whether it be ground-level air-conditioning units, pool equipment or just an ugly part of the yard where nothing but weeds will grow, you can use decorative screening to shield it from view.
There are many modern timber and metal laser cut and embossed screens you can choose from that are suitable for decorative use on house walls and fences as well as stand-alone in your garden. NewTechWood also offers a composite screen board that can be used to screen off your patio or parts of your garden that you want to shield or hide away and is also used for stylish front fencing.
Get Creative in the Garden
Last, but not least, the garden itself. Mowing lawns can become tedious and time-consuming. You don’t have to have a lawn. You can replace your garden with a native theme involving mulch and pebbled surfaces, or more decking to provide extra entertainment areas or special focal points in your garden.
Visit a nursery and ask about plants and trees that require little water and maintenance. Unless you are after an old-fashioned English country garden effect, you don’t need to invest a lot of time and money on garden plants in order to enjoy flourishing greenery.
On the other hand, if you do like lawn, accept that you will have to water, fertilize and mow it regularly because nothing screams UGLY louder than long unkempt, weed-ridden, dying grass!
Save Time and Money
Remember, if you want to save time and money for the long term, and not just one or two seasons, what you save today on cheap options may be a false economy.
Do it right. Do it once. Then you can spend many, many summers relaxing and enjoying your house instead of working on it, plus we’re sure you’ll find better ways to spend your hard-earned money than on property upkeep.