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Simple Summer Renovations


Published: 07/30/2012

by Mark Noonan

Many of the magazine articles that we have been reading the past few months start with the author saying, "As I write this, I'm looking out my studio window at three feet of snow nestled over the font lawn." Well, I'm happy to report that as write this piece, I'm sitting on the deck at the cottage enjoying the strong current of spring and I'm inspired to think ahead to summer, the full splendour of which is just around the corner.

In no time at all the kids will be out of school, the garden will be planted and blooming, and steaks and shrimps will be grilling on the barbecue. We Canadians seem to come fully alive during the few precious months of summer.

This is a time of year when we don't want to waste so much as a moment of enjoyment because in no time at all fall will be making its presence felt once again. So we cherish summer, we completely embrace it and we cram as much living into the season as we possibly can.

Yet with home improvement so much on people's minds, even during precious summer months homeowners are still looking for practical renovation ideas. I get many questions this time of year about what renovation suggestions I have that are simple to undertake and that will make hectic family life easier to manage.

With the kids finishing another year of school, sleepovers, pool parties and play days are popular activities and often leave mom and dad with a trail of dirt and detritus that quickly piles up. Organizing all of this activity to a single functional room can be achieved by some simple renovations to either your laundry room or main floor powder room.

Consider changing your vanity to one with a pull-out step stool on the bottom panel. This provides a wonderful aide to the smaller kids and makes them feel a few years bigger, but more importantly provides them the extra height needed to reach the sink and faucet without getting water all over the room. The stool slips back out of view when not required.

One of the best new products on the market that can be installed easily during a partial renovation is an electronic lavatory faucet. While many of us are familiar with commercial versions, companies like Delta Faucet have brought these products into mainstream acceptance with design and functionality second to none.

It's a great way to keep fingerprints and water splashes off the countertop and in the sink where they belong. With no handles to touch and no water temperature to adjust, cleanup is a simple and efficient task. With kids being kids, you'll find they want to spend more time with their new faucet and this translates into cleaner hands. Talk about win, win -- you'll be the envy of every kid in the neighbourhood, and of a few moms too.

For mom and dad, what about adding an entertainment island to the existing kitchen? This is an easy, non-intrusive renovation. The addition of a second preparation sink or perhaps one of the new trough-style sinks can create a place to keep food on ice while the party is in full swing in the kitchen. Besides, having an extra faucet available is a big advantage and it's sure to get guests involved in enjoying the prep work

So as your summer plans unfold, consider a few of these smaller renovation projects and benefit from the wonderful advantages that they are sure to bring to your families enjoyment of the season.

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