From television shows that teach people how to do various projects to the proliferation of home improvement stores with their endless aisles of products beckoning us to give them a try, the do-it-yourself lifestyle has really taken off. While it is possible to tackle some home improvement projects on your own — like painting, wallpapering and more — in many cases it’s best to call in a professional. The following tips will help DIY’ers avoid home renovation disasters, and finish their projects safely and without spending a ton of extra money.
The holiday season is upon us. I’m sure that by now garland, bows and lights adorn half the houses on your block. Don’t be the Grinch of your street! Follow these tips on putting Christmas lights on your house safely, efficiently and beautifully.
Create a Plan
Before you go out and just drop a bunch of money on a slew of lights, decide where you want them. This way, you’ll buy just enough lights – you don’t want to get three quarters of the way across your roofline and run out of lights, or have a boatload left over. Measure all of the places you want to put Christmas lights, and be sure to account for the distance to a power outlet. If you’re planning to cover bushes or trees, a good rule of thumb is 100 lights per every foot of the tree or bush that you want to cover. Once you have your plan, you’re ready to hit the stores.
Choose Your Lights
In case you didn’t know, there are dozens of different kinds Christmas lights to choose from. The mini incandescent lights are the classic style generations of house decorators have used. They’re pretty inexpensive and come in almost every color. LED is a newer option – it’s a bright light that doesn’t get hot after hours of use. The pro of LED lights is that they last much longer than the traditional lights. Keep in mind that your lights should be rated for outdoor use – it should say on the box.
Hang the Lights
In my opinion, this is the most dreaded step. Hang the lights in the daytime so you can actually see what you’re doing. Before you hang up a dozen strands of lights, test each strand out separately, especially if you are using last year’s bulbs. Often if one bulb goes out, the entire strand goes out, and it can be quite a hassle to pinpoint the problem once everything is hung.
To make the process easier, there are these things called light clips. They’re plastic clips that hold the light strands in place and can go pretty much anywhere. If you’re interested in a more permanent option, there are metal cup hooks that can be screwed into parts of your house.
We’ve all seen the Christmas movies where dad falls off the ladder while decorating the house. Don’t let that be you! Get a quality ladder and a reliable partner. If you’re hanging lights high up on your house, use an extension ladder and try not to stand too high up on the ladder. Keep your partner at the base of the ladder holding it in place. Make sure to wear gloves; it’s wintertime after all, and warm hands will ensure you can use your tools with ease.
With these tips your home is sure to sparkle and shine among the other houses! Let us know if you have any additional tips for hanging Christmas lights.