Fresh ideas for home upgrades
(Family Features) Spring means it’s time to start sprucing up your home and garden with a little TLC inside and out. If you’re unsure where to begin, consider these tips:
Make function a priority. While aesthetic changes may boost value and please the eye, be sure to consider upgrades that make living easier, like organization units that give you more space or upgrades that create additional living space.
Keep budget in mind. Make a list of the projects you’d like to complete and estimate how much each will cost. Use the list to determine what you can afford to complete now.
Do your research. If you’ll be making a significant purchase such as a new vacuum or grill, be sure to explore your options, read reviews and shop around for the best prices for greater confidence in what you choose.
Set yourself up for a more enjoyable spring with more home and garden tips at eLivingtoday.com.
Hands Free Spring Cleaning
For busy households, an all in one vacuum and mop robot like the Deebot N8+ is a perfect daily companion to help automate spring cleaning. It features high suction power (but low noise), TrueMapping technology to create an efficient cleaning path and the OZMO Mopping System to remove 99.26% of bacteria with dual vacuuming and mopping. Controllable with a smartphone app, it includes an Auto Empty Station for months of hands- and maintenance-free cleaning. Learn more at ecovacs.com/us .
Enhance the Space Under Your Deck
Optimize the space beneath an elevated deck by adding a drainage system such as Trex RainEscape. Designed to capture and divert water, this system protects a deck’s substructure from moisture damage while creating dry space usable for storage or an additional living area. Homeowners can safely add gas lines and wiring to accommodate grills, appliances, ceiling fans, lights and entertainment components to create an outdoor oasis. For more information, visit TrexRainEscape.com .
Perfect Your Pantry
Cleaning out your pantry is an important step during spring cleaning as it allows you to discard expired items and rethink the space. Start by reorganizing and simplifying the area with ClosetMaid ventilated shelving like this Pantry Organizer. Built with the ShelfTrack system for a fully adjustable space along with close mesh to help prevent items from tipping over, it includes four 4-foot-by-16-inch shelves, a hang track and all necessary hardware. Find more information at closetmaid.com .
Get Ready to Grill
A grill’s lifespan depends on many factors, including where and how it is stored and your climate. When it’s time to upgrade, you’ll have some decisions to make. The biggest is which heating style you prefer: gas, electric or charcoal. Other considerations include the overall size, number of burners and grate quality. Also be sure to compare available features, such as side burners and igniters, which are fairly common, and upgrades like lighting and fuel gauges.
When to Update Home and Garden Goods
Investing in quality products, properly maintaining and storing them all have an impact on how long they’ll stay in good working condition. As you tackle spring cleaning this year, take stock of your common home and garden equipment to determine what may need updating.
Lawn Mower: If your mower needs a repair that exceeds its value, it’s time for a replacement. However, there may be other signs that an upgrade is warranted. Rough operation, frequent breakdowns or other indications of faulty performance deserve a second look. Before you buy new, remember to check your warranty to determine whether repairs might be covered.
Vacuum: Many homeowners discard their used vacuum when it stops picking up dirt and debris as efficiently as it did originally. Before you move on, be sure to check that performance issues aren’t the result of clogged hoses or a filter than needs cleaning or replacing. A belt may also be worn or need adjusting. Other signs it may be time to replace the vacuum include damaged or frayed cords, motor issues like overheating or making strange noises.
Grill: A grill may last anywhere from 5-15 years, depending on the quality of the materials and how it is maintained. However, it’s common to have to replace parts along the way. Signs you may need a new grill include a firebox (the main enclosure) with cracks, rust or holes and burners that distribute heat unevenly. Damaged grates can affect even grilling if they’re warped or if they’re flaky or rusted, they can contaminate food. If you’re not able to replace the grates, or any other essential part, including hoses and connectors for a gas grill, you’ll be better off replacing the unit.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (house and grill)