‘Tis the season: Handy tips for hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

‘Tis the season: Handy tips for hanging outdoor Christmas lights

It’s that time of year. The holiday spirit, the carols, the gifts, the food…and let’s not forget, the Christmas Lights!

But before your mind races off with visions of your home being lit up with a million little colorful LED bulbs, here are some easy tricks to get your house looking merry and bright.

PLAN YOUR DESIGN

The holiday decorating itch may strike suddenly and without warning. Before you start, it’s best to step back and develop an overall game plan. Resist the urge to simply “wing it.”

Pick a Focal Point
 – For example, if you have columns that frame your entryway, this may be where you want to start. Without a focal point your house will just look like someone blasted lights out of a cannon all over your lawn.

Consider the surface
 – Check your gutter thickness and shingle flexibility to determine how to best hang lights along the roofline.

Some popular spots for outdoor Christmas lights include:

  • Along your rooflines or eaves
  • Atop bushes, hedges and trees
  • Around pillars, posts or deck railings
  • Around windows, door frames and other architectural features
  • Near driveways and pathways
  • Inside window boxes and planters

Measure – Measure any straight line you want to adorn with lights. This will help you decide how many strands you need. Also, measure the distance to your power source. No one wants a beautiful light display and no way to turn it on.

Lights Galore 
– The number of lights you’ll need to decorate trees and shrubs is a matter of personal preference. A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every 1-1/2-ft of tree or shrub you want to cover. So a 6-ft evergreen needs at least 400 lights for a basic level of lighting.

Of course, if your goal is for your house to be seen from space, stagger two sets of lights side-by-side, or look for lights that are spaced closer together. Denser lights equal brighter lights.

colored lights lit

PREPARE YOUR LIGHTS

Safety First – Use extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use. Check the Christmas lights package for this, the lighted length and how many strands to connect.

Check your Lights – Frayed or damaged cords are a big NO. One faulty strand isn’t only a safety hazard, but could ruin your entire design.

Light Color
 – Believe it or not, white lights are not all the same color. LEDs typically have a bluish tint, whereas incandescent bulbs are slighly orange. Hang them side-by-side and they will look mismatched. Lights can even vary based on manufacturer and how old they are. Make it easy on yourself and buy new lights.

Light Clips
 – Forget staples, clothespins or any other contraption you’ve used in the past for mounting lights to your house. Light clips are your new best friend. We have something for every surface, simply read the package to find the one that fits your application.

Light Types
 – There are tons of different light types and colors – so have fun with them! Just make sure you group the same light-type together. For example, try using white lights on your bushes, but colored lights on your trees and entryway. Top it off with white icicle lights along your roofline.

LEDs will save you money on energy costs and you don’t have to worry about them overheating.

Icicle lights look great on the eaves of your roof – just make sure to cluster them together. If stretched too far apart the look is completely lost.
For your bushes, try net lights. These are like a blanket of lights. Simply lay them on your bushes, and boom, you’re done.

CAUTION: ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER’S GUIDELINES IN REGARD TO SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS, CARE AND MAINTENANCE, AND USE TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE

GETTING STARTED:

Before you hang outdoor Christmas lights, decide what you’re going to work on first and gather everything together. This is where having a helper comes in handy. Start with bushes, then trees, any windows, the doors and finally the roofline.

Step 1: Test your lights:

Just because lights are new, they still need to be tested – on the ground. The last place you want to find out your lights are busted is on top of a ladder in the cold. Go ahead and attach your light clips at this point and make sure they’re all in the same direction.

icicle lights hanging from a gutter

Step 2: Attach lights to Shutters or Shingles

To attach lights to your gutters, use an all-purpose light clip. It works with any type of light. Hang the lights pointing up or down, just make sure they’re all clipped in the same direction. If you don’t have gutters, you can use the same clip to attach lights to your shingles instead. Simply flip the clip around.

Step 3: Attach lights to Trees

If you’re hanging lights in a tree, try using a light-hanging pole. Hanging poles are also great if you don’t want to get on a ladder.

Step 4: Attach lights to Railings

If you want to attach lights to the railings of your front porch or deck, check out deck clips.

Step 5: Set a Timer

Who wants to wake up at 3 a.m. to find the Christmas lights have been on all night? Now that the lights are up, plug them into an outdoor timer. Some timers even have light sensors that automatically turn on at dusk – technology at it’s finest.

Step 6: ENJOY 🙂

That’s it. Stand back and admire your work. Go grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa and a cookie – you’ve earned it!

beauty shot of home lit with Christmas lights at night

Cheers!

Exteriors by Leroy & Darcy

 

Original Content:
http://www.lowes.com/projects/decorate-and-entertain/tips-for-hanging-outdoor-christmas-lights/project

Let it snow, let it snow!

Well there it is, Southern Albertans – the first ‘real’ snow for this season. It’s something we’ve come to expect – after all, it is a little late this year, isn’t it?

However, once the snow falls, it is a good idea to ask yourself: “Is my house ready for winter?”

Many homeowners find themselves asking this important question too late, and often find that the stress and added weight of all that snow & water sitting on their roof has caused bigger problems down the road.

Exteriors by Leroy and Darcy can inspect your home – including your roof lines, and make vital repairs to damaged roofing shingles, insuring that your home is safe – before the snow really kicks in.

Please call us on 4033279113 and speak to one of our friendly staff today.

 

Stay warm!

Exteriors by Leroy & Darcy

 

 

 

 

 

When the Storm Hits

Extreme weather, like hail, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, and fire, have potential to wreak havoc on your home. In 2013 alone, overall storm damage exceeded $1 billion, according to the National Climate Data Center. If a storm were to hit where you live, you’d likely turn to your home insurance plan to help you pay for the repairs. It’s important to know what steps to take in order to file a claim with your insurance provider and get your home taken care of.

Here are five steps to follow to help ensure a smooth and successful claims process after a detrimental storm.

 

Check your Policy

Find out if you are eligible to file a storm damage claim. Ideally, you know this information before a storm hits you so you can be prepared with the proper coverage. For example, most standard home insurance policies provide coverage for winter-related storm damage, but many of these policies do not cover flood damage, so you would have to purchase that insurance separately. Once you have the information regarding your home policy and your eligibility for storm damage coverage, proceed with filing your claim.

 

Don’t Hesitate to File a Claim

If you need to file a claim with your home insurance company following a major storm, call right away to start the process as soon as possible. This is not only important for repairing your home and helping you return to normalcy, but most insurance policies limit the amount of time you have to file a claim. Don’t wait until you see the detrimental signs of damage, such as mould or dripping water.

 

Assess the Storm Damage

Before calling the insurance company, thoroughly assess the extent of the damage to your home. Check each room, the attic, and garage for signs of damage, including that to windows, doors, ceilings and flooring. Check your roof and siding for problems, particularly wind damage that may have blown off part of your home’s exterior. Check AC units, pool equipment, and any other outdoor appliances that may have been damaged.

In addition to your personal assessment, you should have a professional inspection by someone who is experienced with this type of report. Record information, both in writing and photos, about the damage as well as the storm itself, in case your insurance company asks for proof of the storm.

 

Get Quotes for Repairs

After your inspection, contact Exteriors by Leroy & Darcy for a FREE QUOTE for repairing different aspects of the storm damage. The National Storm Damage Center recommends contacting several reputable storm repair contractors and obtaining three written proposals. Prepare to present these estimates and the recorded information you collected to the home insurance company when you make the claim. When you file your claim, an insurance adjuster inspection is required. Ask your contractor to be present during this inspection to ensure a fair assessment.

 

Move forward with Your Claim

Once your claim is approved, your home insurance company sends you the first of two payments, which covers the materials cost for the home repairs. The National Storm Damage Center recommends your contractor orders materials in your name and uses your cheque to pay for them.

Once the materials arrive at your home, your contractor can begin the repairs. You receive your second payment when the repairs are complete and the project passes a city inspection.

Storms can be a frightening experience, and having to deal with storm damage and the claims policy is something you may have to face when the storm passes. Make sure you have the right home insurance policy and storm damage coverage for the types of severe weather typical in your area.

If you have any questions about storm damage or want to know more about Exteriors by Leroy & Darcy, please give us a call today.

 

 

EXTERIORS BY LEROY & DARCY

Your exteriors solutions specialist!

Siding. Roofing. Soffit & Fascia. Windows & Doors.

Phone: 403 327 9113

www.exteriorsld.com