Friday, June 22, 2018
Home and Garden

When summer arrives, so does DIY season

Reinvigorated by warm weather, we do-it-yourselfers want to get outdoors and tackle all those to-do lists we've been avoiding. Or maybe it's something indoors (and air-conditioned) that's moved to the top of our agenda.

"One of the major trends we're seeing (for 2013) is the rebirth of DIY," said Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware's national DIY expert and home-improvement contributor on NBC's Today.

As a part of DIY, painting season is in full swing. Paint is the easiest and fastest way to update a room; a new spot of color can make the house look fresh.

In fabrics, bright and stripes are hot. Neon pinks, greens and blues scream summer — especially outdoors.

Indoors, summery whites and beachy-blue hues bring in coolness.

New products also opened up new DIY categories. "Lighting is a huge trend now," Manfredini said. "The phase-out of the incandescent bulb has forced manufacturers to double up efforts to make more acceptable alternatives." That includes LED fixtures that can be installed by DIYers.

Among the hot sellers this summer is do-it-yourself automated home technology such as Wi-Fi-enabled programmable thermostats and security cameras and systems that hook up to Wi-Fi and allow long-distance monitoring via the Internet.

Safety tips

Manfredini offers this advice to keep do-it-yourselfers safe this summer:

Lawn safety: Before you mow your lawn, take time to walk the yard quickly to inspect for items that may be lying on the ground. "Sticks and stones can break your bones — particularly if the blade of the mower picks it up and throws it at high speed from under the mower's deck," Manfredini said.

Protect your eyes: The blades of a power mower and strings of a weed trimmer can hurl objects such as rocks and twigs at high speeds, turning them into dangerous projectiles. Use safety eyewear.

Help your hands: There is nothing better than digging in the dirt, but for most of us, it's a great way to tear up our hands, Manfredini said. A good pair of gloves that fit well will give you added protection and help keep you working longer in the garden.

Remember your ears: Lawn and garden power tools make your outdoor chores go much more quickly. But the noise they make can harm your hearing even if you are only exposed for a short time, Manfredini said. Make sure you wear ear protection.

Breathe easier: Some projects can be harmful to your respiratory system — particularly if they involve chemicals, dust or mold. Use breathing protection such as a mask or respirator.