By Anna Lempereur
Visit your local paint supply store to find out which color combination is best for your home. In most cases, you will be using a palette of at least three different color combinations for siding, accents, and trim. The paint scheme should be based on colors that already exist in the space you are giving a fresh coat to. Adding a pop of color can instantly brighten the look of your home and make it look fresh and inviting. Try painting the front door red, green, blue, purple, or yellow for a simple and refreshing makeover for spring.
Another difference-maker in home renovation—a green lawn with vibrant-colored floral arrangements creates a well-kept environment. Landscaping is a great DIY activity that can achieve terrific results for a low price. Plan ahead and decide what types of plants will suit your home next season. Water installations (ponds and small waterfalls) are popular for spring because they create a soothing atmosphere.
Check the roof to make sure there are no leaks. Avoid walking on very hot or old, dried out roofs, as this can cause further damage. Leaking faucets should be fixed by replacing cartridges and washers. Make sure there are no cracked or loose bricks on brick walls and chimneys. Check gutters frequently and be sure to clean and flush when clogging occurs.
Those looking to green their home can also take a few simple steps to save a significant amount of energy and even cut down costs. Sal Ferro, president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements, Inc. in East Meadow, recommends home owners install programmable thermostats and inspect heating and cooling systems on a regular basis.
“The heating and cooling of building accounts for approximately 40 percent of all energy use,” he says. “Insulate heating ducts in unheated areas such as attics and crawlspaces and keep them in good repair to prevent heat loss of up to 60 percent at the registers.”
Ferro also suggests installing awnings on south- and west-facing windows. All curtains and shades should be closed at night and open during the day. Clear, heavy-duty plastic sheets or film can be fitted to the inside of window frames to reduce leaking air until it gets warm.
Quick & Easy Tips
• Transition to spring by adding floral and brightly colored accessories, such as china, picture frames, figurines, etc.
• Throw light, floral slipcovers on sofas and chairs to make the room appear brighter.
• Purchase green plants and flowers and place them where they will be seen—on a table as centerpieces or next to a TV.
• Switch to fluorescent light bulbs (they use only one-third of the energy ordinary light bulbs use).
• Invest in a power strip so all devices can be turned off by switching a single button, rather than leaving all electronics in standby mode.