Make sure your garden is up to scratch for those long summer evenings and lazy weekend BBQs. Decking and patios are a great extension of indoor space and can provide a seating and dining area; try shading with an awning and install lighting and outdoor heaters to make the most of the space. If you want outdoor areas for storage and growing fruit or veg, now is the perfect time to install that shed or greenhouse.
Maintain your garden
General garden maintenance like mowing, weeding and repairing fencing is important too, as Heidi Cornish from Island Landscapes Ltd in Essex points out: “Gardens can look untidy very quickly.” Make sure that your lawn is well cared for, grass can suffer in extreme heat so you may need to install a sprinkler system and fertilise regularly.
Warm, dry weather means you can carry out all those other exterior home improvements you’ve been putting off such as plastering, painting and cleaning outside walls, windows and doors. Don’t forget to check the condition of your roof and clean your gutters too as Julian Taylor, from Taylor Roofing Contractors Ltd in Wiltshire says: “Your roof is the most important part of your home; it has to be in good shape.”
Pools are great for relaxing in summer, amusing the kids and exercising without having to head to the gym. It’s not too late to install one now – choose from an easy to install above ground pool or an outdoor or inside submerged pool in a range of materials. “Outdoor, built-in pools are the most popular type in the UK, most are heated,” explains Lee Giles, from J Lunnon Pools and Spas in East Sussex. To increase the pools usage throughout the year, you can install a pool enclosure and heat using a traditional pump or solar panels or heat pumps.
Longer, drier summer days are ideal for large scale home extension and conversion projects. An extension means lots to organise, so consider hiring an architect, quantity surveyor or project manager to keep everything on track. On the other hand, if you already have an unused loft or basement, why not convert that instead? Andrew Shepherd, from Shepherd and Dixon Ltd in Croydon points out: “Conversions are cheaper than extensions and eight times out of ten, they don’t need planning permission.” Conservatories are also a low budget way to resize your home; “The most popular types of conservatory vary from year to year, at the moment Edwardian styles are in fashion – where possible you should match the design to your home,” suggests Steve Carpenter, from Dobsons in Hertfordshire.
An air conditioning system can be heaven in the summer months and there’s plenty of options to choose from; standalone models, split air conditioners or centralised systems. Viki Beaney from ACS Air Conditioning Services in Surrey explains that: “The most common air con in domestic environments is the split system, all air conditioning should be inverter controlled for efficiency.” Renewable cooling options can save you money, keep your home cool and protect the environment. Consider installing an air or ground source heat pump which can provide air con in the summer and heat in the winter.
Solar panels are a good summer investment and can provide heating and hot water all year round: “Solar thermal and PV are really popular at the moment,” points out Tim Bartlett, Managing Director of Eco Hometec Ltd in Doncaster. With the government Feed-in Tariffs and upcoming Renewable Heat Incentive you can even make money and receive a grant for installing solar panels.
If you are looking for a simple way to revamp the exterior of your property, then laying a new driveway could be the answer. There are a variety of driveway materials to choose from; tarmac, gravel or cement are low-cost options, whereas stone or clay paving slabs are a more attractive but expensive driveway material.