Fix It Renovations

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Top 5 summer projects (and how to get them done most cost effectively) better, faster, cheaper


Fix It Renovations Top 5 summer projects 1. Painting

Come the first sunny day of spring, the chiefs at Dulux, Resene, Watyl and the other paint companies must start rubbing their hands together in anticipation of legions of Kiwis getting feverishly to work on their homes with rollers and paint brushes. Would it be uncharitable of us to suggest that some of those chiefs may also be smiling at the knowledge that such will be the haste of many homeowners in slapping on as much paint as possible while the sun's shining that many of them will be repeat paint customers sooner than they should be? Why? Because the golden rule of good painting is that big 'p' word - preparation. Repairing or replacing cracked, broken and rotten weatherboards or cladding. Filling holes. Scraping off the old paint. Most of us simply don't do enough of it, mostly because we know it can take longer than the painting itself. But the result is that within a year or two all that paint we lathered on with such zeal will start to crack and peel, and we'll soon have to go through the whole repainting thing again, while the neighbours who painted their house properly are enjoying the sunshine. We have the ideal solution - let us take care of the preparation, so you can do the painting. (In which case, you'll want to check out our article on painting here.) Or just let us manage the whole lot for you, and enjoy the sunshine with your neighbours.

Fix It Renovations Top 5 summer projects 2. Re-roofing

We have no idea what roofers do during the winter. Perhaps they go into hibernation or spend a lot of time on the beach in Fiji, but whatever they do, they need to fully recharge their batteries in time for spring, when homes all over New Zealand go temporarily topless as their old roofs are stripped off and replaced by gleaming new ones. Our neighbours' home was one of these, and re-roofing is always an incredible thing to watch. The part of the job that took the longest was putting up the scaffolding. Once that was in place, we waited. And waited. Then the rain stopped and the sun looked as though it might be ready to come out, and an army of young workers swarmed all over the house. Unfortunately they were a bit premature. As soon as the first section of old roof was removed, the rain came back with a vengeance, heavier than before. We reckon it was karma for the time the neighbours erected one of those shiny tin garden sheds right in the middle of our view. Anyway, the tarps flew out like giant bats and stayed there for three days until the rain finally went away again. When the army arrived again, armed with a long conveyor contraption for running the new tiles up to the roof, the old roof was off and the new one on in two days flat. But was it all necessary? we wondered, inspecting some of the old tiles which had found their way into our garden. We reckon the neighbours could have saved themselves a packet by simply having the old roof professionally cleaned, repaired and recoated, a thought we have shared with them a few times since their new roof was installed. After all, isn't that what neighbours are for? We would be happy to give you our professional opinion on the state of your roof, and an estimate. Contact us here.

Fix It Renovations Top 5 summer projects 3. Indoor outdoor flow

This term can be confusing because many people think of it as a physical flow - that is, the way people go in and out, which requires doors - sliders, bifolds and the like. But it can be a visual flow, too, meaning windows and other sources of light. A home with good indoor outdoor flow gives a sense of being part of its surroundings, not shut off from them. So a good start if you're wanting to improve your home's flow but don't want to spend too much is to start with what you've got. If your windows are still half-covered by heavy curtains even when the curtains are open, consider getting lighter curtains or blinds that roll up out of the way. Consider replacing solid exterior doors with glass ones. Or go the whole hog, as we've just done, and open your home to the outside world with glass bifold doors that will open right back on those hot summer days, creating a seamless link to the outdoors, but can be closed off in various configurations when the wind gets up or the temperature drops, creating the ideal indoor living environment. Arrange your free consultation on improving your indoor outdoor flow here.

Fix It Renovations Top 5 summer projects 4. Decks and conservatories

Let's face it, in many parts of New Zealand, decks are cosmetic features only. In rainy, cold or high wind areas, such as where we live, they may only be usable for a few weeks a year unless you screen them off or install patio heaters with the power of an F16 jet's afterburners. One solution is to install a spa or hot tub like our friends Bruce and Jane, who I must say have become better friends of ours since they got their hot tub. Another solution is to build a conservatory rather than a deck, or turn your existing deck into a conservatory. A conservatory has the major advantage that, being enclosed by glass or perspex, it is usable year-round, but if it's planned right, you'll still be able to open it up during the summer so it doesn't become a hothouse. Coincidentally, we just happen to be in the business of designing and building conservatories, and would be pleased to give you the benefit of our free advice.    

Fix It Renovations Top 5 summer projects 5. Going mad

Fresh paint, indoor outdoor flow and a conservatory just isn't enough for some people. Some people just have to go mad and recreate Disneyland in their backyard, as these photos show. And why not, when for not much more than three or four trips to the real Disneyland, you can enjoy a similar experience every day? 






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