With spring comes fresh optimism, fresh blooms, new inspiration and longer days to work on those home improvements you’ve been thinking since winter. If you’re taking on a few new home projects this spring, here are five tips to prepare your home for the summer.

  1. Siding & Roofing Upgrade

First impressions count, a coat of paint is a fabulous way to keep your home looking healthy, but if it has been too long and it’s time for a full on upgrade, fresh siding or new architectural shingles are a great way to renovate and give your house the ultimate makeover, curb appeal and new look you have been dreaming of.

If you are struggling to keep up with the maintenance on your existing wood siding, fiber cement siding is a great alternative to update your home exterior. This material can provide the warmth and look of wood without the flammability, maintenance and upkeep issues. Fiber cement products are mass-produced using sustainable methods, are more durable and produce less waste than processing traditional wood sidings. They are insect-resistant, can withstand harsh weather conditions, cracking and warping – making them a far superior product in the long run.

Many fiber cement products are cast in molds made from real timbers to mimic the grain, irregularities and rustic texture of wood. Faux cedar products can also be stained to match existing woods or neighboring timbers such as redwood or deep walnut hues. Combing stained faux timber and painted siding can add different depths and contrast to your facade, adding visual interest and a contemporary look. Find a reputable and qualified fiber cement siding contractor if you choose to go this route.

A seemingly endless variety of architectural shingles are also available in a huge variety of colors and roofing profiles. Companies are also bringing out modern slate products in shingle profiles, as great dark and durable alternatives to high maintenance wood shingles.

  1. Fresh Colors

Let’s talk colors; a great way to lift your home’s look and value this spring is to update the tone and shade of your walls inside and out. If you like the color of your existing home, and simply need a freshen up, try the same hue two or three shades lighter for an automatic face-lift. However, if you are looking for a new color palette, it’s important to decide where you sit in the spectrum from natural colors and muted greens, to the sharp contemporary white and monochrome trend.

Unless you are super attached to it, the purple and mustard color trends of the early 2000s are definitely over. Interior ‘feature walls’ also seem to have lost traction of late, with most families choosing light paint colors throughout and opting for color accents in key furniture pieces, throw pillows and bright textiles. It’s important to work with your natural surrounds and other homes on your block, take a drive around your area and a few snaps of the most striking homes around to gage what works well in the area.

  1. Deck Upgrade

A great deck design is key to a great summer entertaining guests, grilling BBQs and just casually relaxing from daytime into the night. Wood deck design is extremely versatile, contemporary styles focus on rectangular and square ‘floating’ platforms for different entertaining zones. Check out the latest in sustainable wood if it’s time to upgrade your decking boards. Modified wood products are available, that are more durable and require a lot less maintenance than traditional woods. New timbers come with the properties of hardwood but are forested on sustainable plantations. These woods only need annual cleaning, and gracefully silver with age.

  1. Gutter Upgrade & Leaf Clearing

Spring is also a great time to clean up your yard and gutters from all the fallen leaves and debris of winter. It’s also a wise time to clear dead branches before the warmer months and potential hot summer fires. Check your gutters, if they need replacing it’s best to follow their existing profile (half-round, K-shaped etc.) and size, to ensure adequate drainage.

  1. Air-conditioning Inspection

Summer is on its way, and dormant air-conditioners are almost ready to spring back into action. Spring is the perfect time to do a quick inspection and clean all the filters, so they’re ready to run at maximum efficiency in the warmer months. A few tips to make sure the air-conditioner is good to go; firstly check all the controls are working, reprogram your thermostat for your updated program, vacations and hours at home, make sure you understand the settings so you can use your air conditioner more efficiently and only when necessary. Oil and lubricate the moving parts and inspect the condensation pipes for mold, leaks or cracks to make sure everything is ready for the warmer weather ahead.

Spring has sprung; with the longer days, it’s time to invest in a few home improvements before the heat of summer hits. From intense large-scale facade replacements to simpler backyard deck upgrades, and a bright new color scheme, there is an appropriate home improvement project for all scales, budgets, and timelines.