Home Improvement Tasks for Late Summer

home improvement tasks

Home Improvement Tasks: Quick Tips

Summer is by no means over, but with the most brutal part of the heatwave over you’re probably feeling a bit more energy to tackle those long-neglected home improvement tasks. Warmer weather always signals the compilation of summer ‘to-do’ lists, and it’s tough to deny that comfortable air makes completing a few projects around the house much more enjoyable.

This is the perfect time to give your house a thorough examination to assess any damage or wear your property might have sustained during the winter.

A/C Check

If your home is equipped with cooling and heating systems, you’ll benefit from having it thoroughly inspected to ensure that your home is receiving the protection it needs.

Because of the financial consequences, this is one of the most important home improvement tasks discussed here. Neglecting an initial inspection might cause you to use your A/C system at less-than-optimal efficiency and can also lead to larger maintenance issues down the road – especially in the months to come, as the days  get colder!

You should take the time to switch the filter on your air conditioner before you commence regular use, and it is a good general rule to replace it on a monthly basis for the duration of the cooling season. Allowing a dirty filter to remain in place can restrict airflow and make the system work harder and run longer, which will ultimately increase your energy use. If you’d like a more-detailed examination of how you can care for your air conditioning system, and how you can drastically reduce your energy bill, check out our article Stay Cool and Slash Your A/C Bill

Screens Need to Be Seen

One of the home improvement tasks worth elaborating on is care for your screens. It’s the time of year when your windows should be open to outside air.

Opening more windows to allow for greater airflow, however, can also invite many unwanted winged creatures into your home. This is why you should take time to make sure all windows are outfitted with screens that fit correctly and do not have any holes, rips or tears.

You should think hard about replacing screens that have holes any larger than half an inch in diameter. Fortunately, most home improvement stores sell replacement screening at a reasonable price, and installing new screens around your home is an easy summer’s afternoon project. Once your new screens are installed, it won’t hurt to regularly wipe them down to remove dust and cobwebs that are likely to accumulate.

Protect your Patio

Outdoor Wooden Deck Treatment Range

Those spending their time outside are no longer sweltering, but enjoying warm air and cool evenings. You’ll more than likely want to take advantage of these conditions, and your patio should be ready to sustain the extra use without accumulating too much unwanted wear and tear. You might start by thoroughly washing your deck to remove dirt, mold, mildew, and other debris that has accumulated during the winter.

Depending on the type of deck you’re working with, different deck cleaning solutions will be most appropriate, so be sure not to use a cleaner that’s actually meant for a different surface. Applying a fresh coat of rain-resistant paint after thoroughly cleaning your deck will also go a long way towards keeping up your patio’s appearance throughout the summer. For a much more-detailed examination of how you can clean your deck, see our article Refinishing Your Deck With Odd Job! Be sure to check out our special section on deck cleaning and maintenance too!

Inspect Recreation Equipment

Recreation equipment that has been compromised during the winter will be unsafe for children and any other visitors. Take some time to check recreational equipment for sturdiness and mend any gaps in fences before you turn your children loose to play in your yard. You can also give us a call, and we’ll take care of any and all outdoor home repair projects you have for us!  Just take a look at what we did for this backyard playhouse.

As you begin to spend more time outside, keeping your property safe becomes ever more essential. Performing a thorough check on your air conditioning system, making sure all window screens are secure and free of tears, protecting your patio against unwanted wear and tear, and inspecting your recreational equipment are just a few important home improvement tasks to keep on your “to-do” list. as we come out of this city’s latest heatwave! If you need some help, just make a call to (416)-520-1161 or just book our team online!

Hanging Art With Odd Job!

Hanging Art With the Odd Job Team

Hanging Art in a Sixteen-Picture Grid

Odd Job’s family of clients – homeowners and corporations alike – know that we live up to our name.

Everyone has chores that they avoid getting around to and would prefer to hand off to someone else. Some of them are difficult and even dangerous. A perfect example of this is hanging pictures, artwork and other valuables, a specialty of the Odd Job Team.

There are many, however, who are understandably horrified at the thought of paying for a service that might seem well within their ability.

The fact of the matter, is that hanging art safely, properly and in a way that brings the most out of it is a skill much like any other. Improper execution will very likely result in your art eventually falling, causing damage to it and the wall as well.

Any number of books and ‘do-it-yourself’ sites have attempted to provide ambitious homeowners with information as to the nuts and bolts (or nails and hooks) of hanging art on your wall. What you can do with this information largely depends on your own ‘handiness.’

In this article, we will share some of the methods we employ to maximize the beauty of your home gallery so that what you hang receives the admiration it deserves.

The Basics

Odd Job Style: Art that stares you right in the face!

First and foremost among the tricks of this seemingly simple trade should be ensuring that it is easily visible – in other words, not too high and not too low.

The center of the picture should generally be 57-60 inches above the ground, placing it at eye level for the average person. We use the word ‘generally’ because there are other factors that would obviously have an effect on this, such as the height of the ceiling, the home’s occupants and the purpose of the room. It wouldn’t make sense, for example, to hang art too high in a room intended for lounging around!

The key here is to visualize how your art will appear to those in the home, not simply the quality of each piece. This brings us to an issue of even greater importance: setting.

Once again, we must stress that it is vitally important to consider the nature and purposes of the room before hanging art there. Art is all about expression, and that by definition means something different to everyone. This is why many artistically-minded individuals frown on the concept of rigidly matching artwork to decor.

Whether your perspective is practical or abstract, however, it cannot be denied that what you hang will have a symbiotic relationship with its surroundings. The more pragmatically-minded are less interested in art as a vehicle for making statements as they are in using it to evoke emotions – positive or otherwise, depending on their mindset. Nonetheless, the wrong setting will send both of those vehicles down a dead-end street.

Science of Setting

So how can the homeowner be assured that their art jives the right way with their room’s decor? Some of the factors that should be rather obvious: colour, for example.

Neutral colours (such as beige, khaki and gray) create a more calm atmosphere, whereas the opposite effect is achieved with more vibrant shades. A few weeks ago we published a more-detailed article about the psychology of colour, and how the hues you use have a powerful effect on the vibe your room sends to its occupants. All of this should be taken into account when trying to decide which piece of art is right for which room.

Since it is ‘wall art’ we are discussing, the walls themselves are highly significant – not just in terms of colour, but size as well. As a general rule, match the smaller pictures to narrow walls and save the larger works for those big empty spaces.

Large artwork looks bulky and out-of-place on narrow walls, and small pictures – unless they’re hung in a grid or salon-style – look just as awkward when hanging alone in a vast open space. Just take a look at the picture on the right:

Perfectly aligned with the bed - Odd Job Style!

Perfectly aligned with the bed – Odd Job Style!

small-art-above-big-bed

Can you see why we WEREN’T here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another crucially important part of the relationship between wall art and its setting is furniture. Many people like hanging art directly above couches, tables and other fixtures of the average living space. This works very well when performed correctly.The most important thing to remember is that the piece should not be wider than the furniture it hangs above, as this results in an awkward and uneven aesthetic.

And it can’t be too narrow either – just look at the disaster on the right again! It’s often said that the art should be around 75% of the width of the furniture below it, but a perfect match (as seen on the left – a picture from one of our many successful art hanging projects) also works very well.

The more ambitious homeowner may want to ensure their artwork is given the appreciation it deserves by installing  lighting and remember, we can do that for you too! 

Don’t Let it Shine

Be very careful not to overexpose your artwork to light. This can cause the colours to fade, and also does damage to both the paper and the textiles. This is why art galleries ensure that while the works they display are properly lit, the light levels are highly controlled. Light is measured in lux. Museums generally allow paintings to be subjected to 150 lux, while art on paper is allowed no more than 50 lux.

Art that hangs in the path of direct sunlight is being to around 20,000 lux. If your artwork must be positioned directly across from windows, use blinds, drapes or other window treatments to reduce exposure.

In addition to controlling light levels, avoid using any ultraviolet lights. Ultraviolet light is not only damaging to human skin, but to art as well. In fact, it is more damaging to it than any other form of light on the spectrum. Use incandescent light (which has no ultraviolet portion), ideally shined from low-wattage bulbs and at a minimum level of brightness.

In the home improvement field, making things work is only half of the toolkit. Odd Job is passionate about creating the right aesthetic and with it the ‘feeling’ that the homeowner desires. In this respect, our team views home improvement itself as a form of art, and we observe a home from an artistic perspective as well as a technical one. This is why you can not only trust us to hang art safely and properly, but with respect. Call us today at (416) 520-1161 or book our team online.