New Year’s Tips for Home and Garden

For many of us, the new year is a time for making resolutions. Rather than focus on what we should do (exercise more, read more), let’s focus on what we can do to make our home environment and outdoor living spaces welcoming and ready for upcoming springtime weather. Tackle some of these to-do’s now, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the imminent sunshine and the outdoor lifestyle that’s a hallmark of East Bay living.


  • Check exterior drainage. Look for loose connections and gutter-clogging debris. (Please have a spotter if you climb a ladder.) Consider a gutter netting system.
  • Inspect your roof for damage and leaks. Check metal flashing around your chimney and vents and check shingles for moss and mildew growth.
  • Inspect your HVAC system. Make sure your heating system can take you through the next couple months, and have your cooling system checked at the same time. Change out your filters as necessary.
  • Change smoke/carbon dioxide detector batteries. This should be done annually. And if your detectors are more than ten years old, replace them altogether.
  • Pest and termite inspection: Make sure every entry point and crevice is sealed, and get an expert under your home to make sure it’s pest and termite free.
  • Paint Check: If you notice cracking, peeling, or fading paint, it’s time for new coat.


  • Clear dead plants and shrubs from your house. Clear away dead shrubbery, not only for aesthetic reasons but to allow room for new growth so tendrils don’t work their way into cracks and holes in your home’s exterior.
  • Landscape and hardscape maintenance: Fix concrete cracks or install a new walkway. Plant some flowering bulbs to help welcome Spring’s upcoming arrival.
  • Conserve water: Cut down water usage by installing a proper irrigation system. Drip is best. Consider removing grass lawn, and replace it with hardscape and native species that require little water.
  • Get organized: Just as our homes’ interiors are best when organized, our outdoor living spaces are most enjoyable and functional when they too are organized and uncluttered. Look at maximizing your side yard space for storage options, and move unused items out of sight.
  • Spruce up the patio: Your patio is where you likely entertain friends, enjoy your morning coffee, and where kids play. Make it comfortable and welcoming. Replace furniture cushions or add lighting. Replace concrete with pavers, or consider adding a fire pit.

Need a professional to help with some of these tips? We regularly work with a number of vendors that we highly recommend. Please see my comprehensive vendor list under the ‘What Dana Offers’ tab on my website for reference.



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