Enhance Your Outdoor Space

Summer is here in Bermuda. People are in the water, the barbecues have started, and it’s time for outdoor living.

Either as a homeowner or a renter, your outdoor space makes a huge difference in your daily life. Research suggests spending time outdoors is incredibly beneficial, helping to improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure. Hear that?! A sweet tan and lower blood pressure, all from the enjoyment of your home!

As a tropical island we are lucky that we’re able to utilize the outdoors all year round. However, the size, type of space and aesthetic you want to create truly make a huge factor on what you’re putting in your space, how you use it and how often. Some people could be under-utilizing their space simply because they don’t necessarily like being in it. Maybe it doesn’t look overly appealing to be in? or maybe your space is too crowded with storage or furniture to be enjoyable? Or maybe there’s an outdoor space you’re not even using because it’s run down? Or even it’s a space you haven’t even considered using before!

Embrace your outdoor space! From a balcony garden to full outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas, these days no matter the size or space, there’s a way to make it your own and enjoy it fully.

Keeping Your Outdoor Spaces on Point!

They say you judge a book by it’s cover. It’s no different when it comes to a home. Curb appeal matters, not just to potential buyers but also to anyone coming into your home.

Does it look inviting or run-down? Clean and organized or dingy? What should they expect when they walk into the house?

The attractiveness of a home’s exterior can make or break a deal with potential buyers, and homes with great curb appeal usually command higher prices and spend less time on the market.

We talked to Terrence Rance, from T.Rance Painting & Maintenance, the winners of our 2018 Contractors Awards for Exterior Painting. If anyone is an expert on maintaining people’s outdoor spaces it’s this guy and his team.

One of the first tips you’ll always hear when you want to add curb appeal is adding a coat of paint. Terrence gave us his top tips on painting your outdoor spaces and the low-down on cleaning and maintaining them from top to bottom!

Tip #1: When is it time to paint?

There are some telltale signs for homeowners to look out for to know when it’s time for them to pick up the paint brush again. Fading, flaking and cracking paint is a definite sign that your space needs some TLC. Mold as well, either on the exterior or interior walls, is a telltale sign that the paint needs updating. Unless there’s a burst pipe, moisture on the inside walls is usually an indicator that the exterior needs work. You’ll see this with blistering and bubbling under the paint and hairline cracks. Keep an eye out and get on them as soon as you can once you see it happening to prevent more damage to the wall.

Depending on the area, outdoor spaces usually need to be updated every 3-5 years:

  • Roof every 3 yrs
  • SKB roof every 5-8 yrs
  • Walls every 3-5 yrs
  • Tanks cleaned every 5 yrs

Tip #2: How to Maintain Your Exterior?

The best way to maintain your home’s exterior is to periodically go over your space with a critical eye and clean or repair whatever needs to be done. You can clean your exteriors either by scrubbing or using a power washer on everything from the walls to your porches to furniture. Choosing to use eggshell wash when you initially paint your walls will make cleaning easier in the long run.

Don’t forget to maintain your shutters and windows at least once or twice a year, if not more depending on your use. Caulk your windows to prevent leaks and oil blinds and locks with WD40 to prevent rust, especially around hurricane season.

Finally block your gutters during hurricane season. This will guard against salt and debris getting in your tank. Terrence and his team provide this service routinely over the hurricane season if they are given 1-2 days notice by clients.

Tip #3: What Materials to Use?

The quality of paint depends on your budget however at the end of the day it’s not going to make a huge difference.  Going for a more costly paint may mean it last a bit longer but that’s about it. Instead focus on what you want out of the paint. Latex paint is the standard for more exterior jobs, however consider also using an eggshell wash to prevent staining and allow for easier cleaning.

Tip #4: Don’t Forget!

There are some areas that routinely get forgotten about over the years when it comes to maintenance. Roofs and tanks are definitely two areas that tend to get left for far longer than they should. People let them go for so long that usually there is more work that needs to be done to get them up to par again. Rafters, as well often get forgotten and they tend to rot out without maintenance. Finally your walls could look good but over time dust from the road, trees and construction can stick to the walls and build up without you noticing.

Tip #5: Handling your Landscaping?

The landscaping around a home’s exterior can make a big difference to the paint and maintenance of your wall. Bushes or trees up against a wall might create moisture or if there is a garden, mud will stain the walls as well, making it harder to clean. As well if you are using a powder based paint trees, road dust, construction, bushes etc will stick when you’re painting or when it’s drying. Again try to use an eggshell wash if you are planning a garden near your exterior walls or have larger foliage around.

Tip #6: What’s the Best Season to do Maintenance?

There is no particular season for painting or maintaining your outdoor spaces, however the summer seasons can be hard to work in. Most people wait until the warmer weather but that can work against you. For instance if you are working on your roof using powder based paint the heat in the summer is too dry and the paint will crack.

Hurricane season is always when people start thinking about their windows and shutters, however Terrence suggests people be more preventative and maintain them once or twice a year, rather just over hurricane season, so you never have to worry if or when a storm comes.

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