There’s nothing like a hurricane to remind us that we haven’t properly prepped the patio and deck to inclement weather. For those of you lucky enough to have evaded Sandy’s course, take this opportunity to get your outdoor spaces ready for the upcoming cold months. Since the last of the leaves drop, it is time to ensure that your outdoor furniture is preserved as well as secure. A few of those tasks really can be fun jobs that will keep you active on winter weekends.
SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.
Take down the patio umbrellas. Give them a great wash. (Your dry cleaners may take them, or you can attack mildew with vinegar, warm water and a brush.) Be sure they are dry, then store in a dry spot for winter.
Take care of awnings. Take down and wash any removable awnings, then store them in a dry location, also.
Assess, fix, replace and store outside furniture.
Check for any repairs you are able to take care of over the summer months. Should you require a winter project, you might want to re-stain or repaint in your own leisure. I love to give my bits a fresh coat during that first fluky warm weekend pre-spring. In this manner, my wonky piling for storage does not ruin my work.Determine if any bits are beyond repair; you might just get lucky and find a replacement in a deep discount that season. Clean and store furniture you are saving for next year.
Take off outside furniture slipcovers, wash and store.
You do not have to keep the washer moving all weekend; you can spread this washing around your household’s laundry needs.Check the status of the covers and determine if any need replacing. A fun winter project can be finding a replacement fabric and/or sewing fresh covers yourself. After the covers that you are keeping are cleaned, fold and store them in a dry location.
Bring ceramic and terracotta pots and birdbath vessels. If you are storing them somewhere cold like a garage or shed, empty them first so they do not crack during a freeze.
Weber® Vinyl Performer Grill Cover – $39.99
Cover or store your grill. Believe it or not, a lot of rugged New Englanders, Minnesotans and other cold-weather forms really like to grill a big steak out from the snow, so my advice to the grill will vary. It’s up to personal taste.
In minimum, invest in a fantastic protective cover.If you are not a cold-weather griller, you might store your barbecue in a garage or shed ; be sure there have not been any hot coals inside for months. You cannot be too careful about hot ashes. Check your original instructions/warranty for advice to your grill from snowy weather.If your grill is powered by propane, don’t leave that tank on the floor or store it indoors.
Make sure your favorite little figurines or garden rocks with tags on them are out of harm’s way. This means where a snowplow or snowblower may run them ditch massive piles of snow. You might wish to have some fun with them indoors as unique centerpieces or as parts of vacation displays.
Show us your gnomes!
Prepare the flame pit.
Split some logs, stack them and store them in a nearby dry spot. In case you’ve got a portable fire pit, then give it a cleaning and be sure the cover is in great shape. (They have a tendency to rust if left out in bad conditions.) Stock up on graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars. Among the great parts of winter patio prep would be an impromptu s’mores nighttime!
Astro Bird Feeder – $48
Feed the birds.
Buy your annual source of birdseed.Fill those bird feeders. Buy a guide to birds to enjoy the children, and let the bird viewing ensue!
Sunken Pool Garden Hose – $58
Drain and store your own hoses.
Permit all of the water run out of it, hold it up while giving it a shake, then roll it up and store it. Shut off the pipes that cause the outside faucets. (Incidentally, my family calls this matter we shut off “the silcox,” but I could just find one online reference that uses “silcox” — what do you call it?)
Prep your terrace door.
Switch out display doors for storm doors. Make sure weather stripping is tight and averts drafts.Bring from the summery welcome mat and put out something stronger. Insert a different mat in the door for bare feet.
Find out more about the artist that made this display door
Mary Prince Photography
Decorate. Do not let all this clearing out and storing depress you.
Dress up your freeze-proof pots, urns and window boxes for autumn with mums, pansies, kale and gourds, then switch them out to winter greens. Have fun with chilly statues, wreaths and evergreen trees.Plan out the means by which you’ll spotlight them during winter long, dark evenings.