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Summertime on a beautiful backyard deck is one of life’s simple pleasures.

And if your deck is large enough to host friends and family around the barbecue, getting it ready for summer is an important part of your seasonal celebrations – and it could be an ideal, affordable way to improve your home’s value.

Refinancing your home to undertake renovations that enhance the appearance of your home can be a smart investment in future capital growth potential and with the warm weather already luring us outside, creating an outdoor entertaining area – or at least looking after the one you’ve already got – is a wonderful way to make the most of those long, summer days (and nights).

Unfortunately, after cold, wet weather, your deck may not be looking its best. But the good news is that there are some easy steps to take to get your deck looking fantastic for summer entertaining:

1. Cleaning

It seems obvious – but it’s surprising how many people invest in more expensive forms of restoration before tending to basic cleaning.

First, remove any furniture to give you access to the clear, bare deck. Depending on the state of your deck, there are different levels of cleaning techniques that may help.

A light scattering of leaf litter from nearby plants and trees can leave sticky, unsightly residue. Sweeping with a stuff, outdoor broom is a good start and if you have your own compost bin, put those sweepings straight in.

Giving your deck a blast with the hose will help wash away more stubborn organic debris and if the run-off finds its way to your garden beds, or lawn, you’re not wasting water.

For more ingrained grime, some good-old-fashioned scrubbing on your hands and knees can wash away more dirt and stains.

Just be sure to use mild cleaners that won’t strip the sealant on your deck. Using a high-pressure cleaner with water can also make a big difference.

Re-sealing and re-staining is the next step but because it can be a big – and fiddly job – it’s only worth tackling if you really need it. Take a photo of your timber to show your local hardware store specialist and make sure you choose the right sealant for the job (and the timber).

2. Clean Your Barbecue

Cooking on your deck is a lovely way to spend balmy summer evenings but if your barbecue has been sitting around for 9 months, it will need a thorough clean to get rid of garden debris, dust and, no doubt, the odd insect or spider which might have enjoyed the shelter it provided.

To get your barbecue ready for summer entertaining, try these tips:

  1. Inspect gas fittings
  2. Clean all cooking surfaces
  3. Remove old carbon residue
  4. Remove and clean old drippings of oil and fat

3. Light Up Your Life (or at least your deck)

During the day, your deck is bathed in natural light but, when the sun sets, and you still want to relax with your friends and family, the addition of outdoor lighting can transform your deck area.

For a fancier touch, consider sconced lighting on the side of your house, or, for something more playful (and less costly), simply hang strings of fairy lights around your deck. Choose lights powered by solar-charged batteries and you won’t have to worry about electrical cords creating tripping hazards. Supporting poles in pergolas can also be wrapped in fairy lights for a sweet night-time glow.

4. Refresh Your Furniture

Why spend another summer in uncomfortable seating when you can rejuvenate or replace your outdoor furniture?

For a budget-friendly refurbishment, replacing cushions on outdoor furniture with new covers in fresh summer colours, while metal furniture can be revamped with a paint make-over using spray cans of paint designed for that very purpose.

Timber furniture can look brand new with thorough cleaning and re-staining and by adding extras to your outdoor table – such as candles, or pot-plants – you can give your outdoor furniture the designer touch that doesn’t need to cost a fortune.

5. Plant Life

Lush, healthy plants add a fresh feeling – and sometimes fragrance – to your outdoor deck area. As well as enjoying a prime position on your outdoor dining table, potted plants can help other areas of your deck look amazing too. If you have pets, it’s important to do your research and avoid plants that can be toxic if swallowed.

Depending on the look of your house, and your lifestyle vibe, you can choose anything from herbs, planter boxes of vegetables, or large pots with fruit trees.

Just make sure you choose plants that suit the orientation and exposure their place on your deck will give them and put some effort into looking after them well. Straggly, dying plants don’t do much to create a happy outdoor entertaining but, with some loving care (and regular water and nutrients), well-placed plants can make your outdoor space stunning.

To access the extra money you need to renovate your outdoor space in time for stylish outdoor entertaining, talk to our home loan and mortgage refinancing experts at Lending Specialists.

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