Doing any kind of renovation on a house on a freezing cold day is a nightmare. Not only are you constrained by the weather, but the light at either end of the day makes it difficult to do a full-on session of work.
It’s a constant battle against the elements. Wood is too wet to paint or sand in driving rain. Cement and plaster won’t set properly in chilly temperatures. Above all, it’s just plain miserable.
It doesn’t get properly light until late morning – and it gets dark early. Going down into an ice well of a cellar to check the air compressor fittings or, heaven forbid, a burst water pipe, isn’t really anyone’s idea of fun.
Much better to leave it until a warm sunny day. Sanding and painting those door frames and windows is a pleasure in the sunshine, and as a bonus, the paint dries far quicker between coats, so you can get the job done more quickly.
The improved light and weather conditions make it much easier to assess all those minor problems with the house that need attention.
One neglected aspect of maintenance during the summer is checking around the house for ways that mice, rats and small mammals can get into the buildings. After the experiences in Australia this year with the exploding rodent population, rodent control and blocking entry points are near the top of most households’ lists of things to do.
Rat pest control is vital to avoid a pest problem and control treatment can take many forms. You can achieve rat eradication in a number of ways, from using the best rat poison to setting dedicated rat traps.
Mice pest control is equally important and also relies on poison or different types of traps.
Another much-neglected job to sort out in the summer is checking the heating system for the house. These days this will often be part of an HVAC system, and although basic maintenance is easy enough, it is worth getting a professional in to check things like screw compressor joints and pump bearings, which may need special tools and equipment to test and maintain.
As we mentioned, painting and varnishing is a job that is best done in summer. Paint and varnish are more viscous and difficult to work with when cold. During the summer, they have a better consistency and are much easier to apply – especially to wood. The bright sunshine also helps with seeing imperfections and allows wood filler and undercoat to dry properly.
Re-varnishing that old timber feature wall would take twice as long in winter and make for a tedious job.
The warmer weather of summer also makes it the perfect time for home improvement projects – from a complete renovation to minor home improvements.
Of course, there are drawbacks. The kids are off from school for the holidays and, in Australia, Christmas and the New Year comes round all too quickly when you’re trying to organise a remodelling.
The other thing that many people do is go travelling. Obviously, if there is an enormous project to sort out, this might affect those plans. It is impossible to supervise anything major if you’re away for more than just a few days unless you have complete trust in your tradies.
A warm summer evening, sitting outside with a drink is a great time to think of new ideas and plan work around the house.
Planning is essential because you won’t be the only ones wanting to book builders, plumbers, electricians and other professionals. Not only this but, they too, have families and need holidays and time off. With summer being the perfect time for this, you may find it difficult to get tradesmen during this period unless you reserve their services well in advance, or wait until autumn.
On the other hand, if you time it perfectly, you can organise being away while your builders create all the mess and dust – and you don’t have to be around for any of it!
One of the most popular remodelling projects this year is going to be organising home offices.
Now that most people have experienced having to work from home, they are aware of the shortcomings of their own home setups – especially if they’ve been working from a spare bedroom, the kitchen table, or the garage.
Companies in Victoria and New South Wales have been reporting record sales of furniture like ergonomic desk chairs and sustainably produced desks.
When it comes to home office chairs Melbourne leads the charge with the highest number of deliveries. After all of the lockdowns they experienced, Victorians are realising that with the Omicron variant of Covid now on the rise, home working may not be going away anytime soon, after all.
One major advantage of doing work like this during the summer is that it’s fairly safe to move furniture and household equipment outside whilst painting, decorating or re-tiling floors or rewiring electrical circuits.
One of the biggest problems that people have found during lockdowns is that their spare bedrooms don’t have enough power sockets or proper lighting. They have inundated electricians with requests to upgrade circuits and chase in new sockets, power points and USB hubs for monitors, printers and all the other paraphernalia that goes with working on the Internet.
Upgrading home entertainment systems and creating leisure areas in homes has been another feature of post-lockdown renovation. As Covid has thrown together families for weeks at a time, they have become aware their living conditions weren’t necessarily conducive to everyone’s needs, hobbies, and space.
Kitchens, too, have seen a huge uptick in renovation. Again, with people cooped up in their houses, cooking has become more popular as people have found that it can be great for relaxing, releasing tension, learning something new, and forcing you to eat well.
This summer has all the hallmarks of being a bumper year for home renovation in Australia. With sale prices still on the up, any improvements to a house can only increase its value still further.
In so many ways, these crazy times we are living through are probably the perfect opportunity to get stuck into some serious remodelling.