by Peter Dettore, Sales & Marketing Manager of J. Thomas Homes

Looking back at the past few months, it seems that winter skipped the entire Rocky Mountain region. Coming out of one of the mildest winters on record some experts are predicting a long, hot and dry summer. Here are some unique home projects that will have you ready for the warm weather.

Two lawn chairs

Inside Projects

Stay Cool: Ceiling Fans can help keep your home cool during the hot summer. They can work with air conditioning units to help move cool air around in your living spaces or bedrooms. Two nice things about ceiling fans are they are inexpensive to purchase and will not cost much to operate.

Dust and Allergies: If your family has a history of spring allergies taking a few steps to clean your air ducts and furnace is wise. Follow these simple steps before spring allergies pop up.

1. Remove heat/cooling vent covers. Clean with hot water.
2. Remove cold air returns and clean with hot water.
3. Vacuum the inside of the cold air return and all the air ducts that you removed vent covers.
4. Turn your furnace off and open up the front cover. Use a can of air dust spray to clean any obvious dust from your unit. Wipe down the outside of the furnace with a clean rag and warm water. Replace your air filter, return the cover and turn your unit back on.

Restore: Beautiful natural stones like granite and marble can make any home look fantastic. Tile flooring, showers, surrounds and decorative backsplashes also provide a unique modern look in many homes today. Taking a little time this spring to restore the natural beauty back into your granite, marble or tile might be easier than you think. Most local home improvement stores sell a single product that can clean, enhance and seal granite, tile or marble surfaces. Applying the product to your floors or surrounds in the early evening hours will usually have it ready to walk on or use in the morning.

Outside Projects

Use Less Water: Aerating your lawn can help you save on your water bill while improving the overall condition of your grass. Most lawn service companies will aerate for about $35-$45 dollars, based on the size of your yard. Be sure to mark your sprinkler head locations prior to them coming to avoid unnecessary damage to your system.

Sun Protection: Exterior trim and door casings that are exposed year round to outdoor elements can easily be returned to like-new condition with just a few hours work. One mistake most homeowners will make when painting exterior trim is buying an expensive paint and a cheap primer. It is a better idea to spend a little more on a quality primer and a little less on paint, if you have to choose. The primer needs to completely cover and soak into the piece being painted. A quality primer will allow the paint to last longer resulting in the trim or casing being protected from the weather for an extended period of time.

Protect the House: Take a walk around the outside of your home and take note of any shrubs, bushes, trees or large plants that have grown large enough to make contact with the homes structure. When vegetation has direct contact with your home it can create a place for insects to nest while staying out of direct sunlight. This can become a bigger problem if those insects choose to move from the nest on the outside of your siding to a little gap inside the siding. A little pruning can assure plants are at least six inches away from your home so if those creepy critters choose to nest, it will be in the bushes and not on the side of your home.

These are just a few different projects you  can easily complete on a Saturday morning before heading for a family hike to the Wind Caves. If you enjoyed learning about these projects, websites like Pinterest and YouTube offer many different home improvement ideas.