Spring may be the season of renewal and new life. But a lot of the time when we’re transforming spaces, it’s the summer that we’re really gearing up for. So, with that understood, here’s DIYer, writer, and eco-friendly interior design enthusiast Nicholas Haywood on three projects, or really three areas where you can win easily in the transforming of spaces stakes …
With great weather comes great responsibility, and for homeowners this summer, it’s time to seize the sunny days. Sprucing up the family home may not be as relaxing as sprawling out on the beach, but a couple hours here and there can make a difference.
Your backyard may not be your favorite place when it comes to upkeep, but some new additions can turn any patio into a paradise.
- Adding a deck: it may sound like an arduous experience, but with some extra help installing a deck can be easy. Not only will this provide a place to kick up your feet, but also increase your property value!
- Fire pits: An open flame in the backyard may not be the safest around small children, but for those of age, a fire pit proves most useful. There are a million different ways to build a fire pit, many of which are cost-effective, so get creative with it.
- Patio furniture: It may seem like a no-brainer, but a few chairs, or even a DIY outdoor couch, can make the dullest of backyards fun for everyone. Hammocks and day beds are also a nice touch for those in need of a more intimate setting.
New paint job
All it takes are a few paintbrushes and a free afternoon to give your house a fresh look. It may seem a tad daunting for one person, but painting the house with the family or a group of friends can be as fun as it is productive.
When shopping for paint it’s important to keep the environment in mind, as eco-friendly options are available. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a common ingredient in paint and have been known to cause cancer, respiratory disease and an increase in air pollution. These kinds of harmful emissions are second only to automobiles, releasing almost 11 billion pounds of pollution into the air every year.
Low-VOC and no-VOC paints can even be made in the safety of your own home, all it takes is some flour, milk and natural oils! The recipes are pretty straight forward and ingredients can be found all around the house.
- Have a painting party! Don’t be afraid to invite some people over to lend a helping hand.
- Purchase Low or no-VOC paint if available.
- If all fails, make your own paint! [ed: here’s a cool article for that]
Being environmentally conscious is good for not only Mother Earth, but your bank account as well. A few minor adjustments here and there and you will see a dramatic decrease in your gas and electric bill this summer.
- Window film: Rather than spending the money on brand new windows, a fifteen minute window film installation can reduce energy costs from 5 to 15%, equivalent to a 33% return on investment!
- Assess drafts: By holding a stick of incense up to the windows in your home, you can locate and neutralize drafts. Some light caulking or weather-stripping in these areas can mean a 5 to 30% reduction in energy costs, and an overall warmer home.
- Leaky Faucets: Water consumption during the warmer months is a necessity. A quick tighten on the faucets in your home can save you close to three gallons of water a day, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Nicholas Haywood is an eco-friendly home improvement specialist and DIY enthusiast with an eye for interior design. He is slightly prone to OCD behavior as he often gets lost in thought over ways to maximize efficiency in living spaces both at home and the workplace. He wrote this post on behalf of Vista Window Film.