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Turn your outdoors into an ideal place for family gatherings.

Does your place looks like an inviting oasis? Or something that's been left out in the rain? If the elements have taken their toll on yours or if it just needs a bit of a lift - you've come to the right place.

Barbecuing, relaxing and socializing with family and friends are all perfect excuses to hit the outdoors on sunny days and pleasant evenings. But you need more than a grill, table and chairs to make yours homey and inviting.

Don’t waste time! Whether it be in your garden, deck, or backyard, follow these simple steps to help you transform it from an eyesore to an eyeful. From hanging flower boxes to re-staining the surface, visit your local True Value store for everything you need.

Article 1

Step 1: GO GREEN!

Cheer up your outdoors with fresh greenery and flowers. It's an easy and economical way to make it go from plain to pow! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hanging baskets and flower boxes. Clusters of vibrant natural blooms are a great way to brighten up a wooden area. Just plant some of your favorites or buy flowers already in bloom for an instant splash of color. Flower boxes are a cinch to hang over the railing and customized brackets make attaching them a snap.
  • Plant a tree. You hardly need a green thumb to grow a fichus or other small, hardy tree in a decorative basket or container. Place it in the corner of your garden for years of growing enjoyment.
  • Garden fresh. Start a fragrant herb garden and hang it by the door. You'll enjoy the aroma - and fresh, homegrown herbs and spices always taste better than store-bought.

 

Step 2: LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

Any porch or backyard takes on a whole new ambiance when the sun goes down. Use artificial light, like floodlights, or natural light, like napali torches, to create the perfect mood.

 

Step 3: VANQUISH VERMIN

Unfortunately, an appealing backyard doesn't just attract two-legged creatures. Pesky critters, like insects and rodents are often drawn to people, light and food. Luckily, there are several things you can do to keep unwanted guests from spoiling your fun:

  • Yellow bug lights and citronella lamp oil or candles help repel bugs and insects.
  • You'll find plenty of special sprays and traps designed to kill ants, hornets and wasps.
  • Bug zappers make short work of mosquitoes and flies (and kids love the flash and noise they make).

 

 

 

 

Article 2:

Clean is cool!

Rain, mud, wear and tear - it all adds up to a dirty place. Regular cleanings will give your outdoors a fresh look and save you money in the long run.

 

Step 1. Prepare Surface

Before you start this home improvement, remove everything in the area and lightly cover any delicate or fragile ground plants with plastic wrap to protect them. Sweep off loose debris with a broom and clean between the cracks using a slender stick or tool.

Step 2. Spray it Down

Use a garden hose or a pressure washer to spray the surface of your porch or backyard, forcing away dirt, dust, oil and grease. Begin at one end and continue until you have rinsed the entire surface area. Set it to spray a fan of water to push dirt and debris away faster. Spray between the decking boards to eliminate any remaining debris.

 

Step 3. Apply Cleaners & Brighteners

Multi-purpose cleaners are available in a variety of types and strengths. Some offer a special chlorine bleach formula for eliminating mold, mildew and algae.

Multi-purpose cleaners are available in a variety of types and strengths. Some offer a special chlorine bleach formula for eliminating mold, mildew and algae.

Scrub tough areas with a stiff brush or a broom, but avoid using wire brushes which can break off into the wood and cause rust spots. Let the cleaner soak into the wood for about 10-15 minutes according to product instructions, then rinse thoroughly with a hose.

Safety Alert!

  • Cleaners contain bleaching agents, so wear protective clothing, safety goggles and rubber gloves when applying.

 

 

Step 4. Let dry

Allow cleaner to dry completely before replacing furniture and potted plants.

 

 

 

 

Article 3:

 

Enhancing Your Entryway

Updating your entryway is an easy improvement that will give character to your home. Consult the experts at your local True Value for advice and products you need and follow these easy do-it-yourself steps.

 

Step 1. Change Address Numbers

Make sure to install address numbers in a well-lit, visible area for guests and delivery vehicles to easily find your home. Look for a kit that includes adhesive (or nails) and address numbers for simple installation. You will just need a hammer, screwdriver and cloth to wipe down the area before and after installation.

Step 2. Add a Doormat

Replace a worn or nondescript doormat with a new one to warmly greet guests. Make sure it's made of weather-resistant material, such as heavy rubber, straw or wood. Choose something dark in color to hide dirt and wear. Consider replacing the doormat once a year to keep your entryway fresh and tidy.

 

Step 3. Add Flowers or Plants

Add flowerpots, shrubs, topiaries or other plants to add life to your entryway. Incorporating unique containers and plants of varying heights will add visual interest to your front door. You will need planting pots, soil, diluted plant food and a variety of flowers or plants.

 

Step 4. Add Door Accessories

Make your guest’s first impression a lasting one. Install a door knocker and kick plate for visual appeal and practicality. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions- all you need is a tape measure, screwdriver and drill.

 

Step 5. Install Lighting

Add decorative exterior lighting to illuminate the entryway and add style to your home. There are a variety of easy-to-install light fixtures available in many designs, from contemporary to traditional. To light the pathway to your front porch, consider adding solar outdoor lighting. They are safe and simple to install.

 

Safety Tip:

  • For extra security, consider getting motion-detecting exterior lighting or those that automatically turn on at dusk.

 

 

 
 
 
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