Home Improvement

Must-Know Home Improvement Calendar

Struggling to fit your home’s needs into your diary? Our calendar highlights the ideal time for restorations, decorations, decluttering – and everything in-between!

January is the ideal time to…

Buy large appliances and furniture plus. Most retail outlets have irresistible sales and buying furniture online over Christmas may sound like a pretty good idea. But wise buyers know that the real sales usually start after the festivities. So if you’re wanting a  new bed, double door fridge or that sleek gas stove, modern restaurant table, or super stylish restaurant chairs, spare some of that bonus for savvy buys, and don’t forget to tell your friends what’s time is best for shopping for furniture pieces.

Start a home renovation 

The building industry’s annual holiday usually ends mid-January. ‘For the smoothest results with no hiccups regarding inclement weather, it ’s best to start a building project at the beginning of the year,’ says Henry  Watney of Affordable Building and  Plumbing. With numerous specials for building materials, tools, and related items over the festive season, Henry advises that if you’re on a tight budget and have storage space for these items, it’s a good idea to buy them then and there for later use.  

The beginning of the year is the best time to find your ideal rental property as many people receive a bonus in December that can be used as a deposit. Also: ‘Many parents don’t want to uproot children from school mid-year and therefore move during the Summer holidays,  making December and January two of the most successful rental months,’ says Cheryl Marigny of Just Property Group. A surplus of rentals at this time means that tenants can negotiate better rates and landlords can be more selective.

February is the ideal time to…

Create a romantic bedroom, celebrate the month of love by giving your bed special treatment. ‘One doesn’t have to spend thousands of rands to experience the sensory wonders of beautiful bedlinen,’ notes Joy Rea of Loads of Living, adding that thread count is one of the most important things to consider for super luxurious bedding.

Add window treatments to block out the sun. During the hottest month, shutters or louvre blinds will help you control the amount of light you allow in – plus they’re great decor solutions to most interiors. 

March is the ideal time to …

Paint your home Numerous specials on paint and painting tools over the festive season do not mean you should paint your house then. ‘By all means, buy the paint when it’s going for a good price; you can keep sealed paint for up to six months,’ advises Henry  Watney. December, January, and February are really hot months so if you’re going to be tackling a DIY paint job on your house, do it in March when it’s cooler but still warm enough for the paint to dry quickly inside or out.

April is the ideal time to…

Secure your home It’s a long weekend (Easter) after a long weekend  (Worker’s Day) with many people opting to take extra days off in-between, allowing them to go away for a break. In order to go on holiday with peace of mind, you should ensure your home is secure. If you don’t have a security system, consider installing one, or be sure to check the reliability of your home’s burglar bars, fencing, electric fencing, and security gates. 

Attend to your pool with trees shedding leaves, keep garden debris out of the water with an EnergyGuard solid safety or leaf net cover. This will save you hours of scooping debris from the water in order to maintain a healthy pH and good water hygiene – it will also lessen your pool pump’s load.

May is the ideal time to…

Prepare for Winter With the days getting shorter and nights slightly nippy, it’s time to batten the hatches. In-Home Time, author Jocasta Innes notes that Autumn is the perfect time to check for any weak spots in your roof, such as loose tiles or crumbling mortar, as this can lead to structural damage that will be costly to fix. Also, make sure gutters and downpipes are cleared so that rainwater can flow away freely. Ensure all exterior wooden door and window frames are correctly sealed with a protective coating as rain will cause the wood to swell, making it hard – if not impossible – to open and close windows and doors.

Sweep the chimney 

A clean chimney is a safe chimney and, as this is a specialized job, it’s best to get it done professionally.  Remember rates for a chimney sweep will depend on your location and the size of your fireplace.

June is the ideal time to…

Upgrade your toolbox DIYers will find unbelievable deals in the run-up to Father’s Day on 19 June. ‘Apart from the essentials, a basic toolbox should have an impact drill, jigsaw, sander, and grinder,’ says Claudia Williamson of Bosch  DIY Power Tools, who also recommends the lithium-ion powered, cordless versions which are lighter and smaller.  Tip  Every toolbox should have a home detector, which detects electrical cables and water pipes, ultimately saving you from making costly mistakes.

Update your interior lighting Lighting is vital in warming space so make sure every room in your home has the required task lighting to make Winter a bit cozier. And consider the affordable décor addition of a few bedside lamps and standing lamps…

Honour World Environment 

Day on 5 June by doing your bit for the planet and recycling your waste at home. Make a contemporary recycling bin and start an awareness campaign with your family.

July is the ideal time to…

Stock up on alternative energy If you cook with gas or have oil heaters, make sure that you have enough at hand so you won’t be caught off guard in the middle of a storm! Also make sure to stock up on candles, matches, torches, and batteries in case of a power failure.  TIP  Store supplies in the same place so you know exactly where to find them when needed.

‘Winterise’ your pool Consider swapping your thermal cover for a safety cover and before closing your pool for Winter, first ensure that the water level and pH is optimal. ‘After covering the pool, reduce your filtration times and chemical input and enjoy a  hassle-free, low-cost pool during  Winter,’ advises Stephen Doyle from  PowerPlastics Pool Covers.

August is the ideal time to…

Consider redecorating With Winter slowly easing up, most of us can’t wait to refresh our homes in readiness for  Summer – which is also when we entertain most. ‘At this time of year the décor industry globally launches new ranges and products and you can access the newest fabrics, shop for the latest accessories and interpret the trends in your home,’ says Biggie Best owner  Pru Pfuhl. Décor retailers tend to increase their stock and a greater variety of attractive products becomes available. So spoil your home to a fresh new look.

September is the ideal time to…

Spring clean The dust that settles on furniture, curtains, and carpets has a greater tendency to turn to grime with an increase in the relative humidity immediately before and during a  rainy period. So in a summer rainfall area,  Spring is the best time for a spring-clean;  in a Winter rainfall area, Autumn is best.  And don’t forget bulging cupboards. ‘Use the change of season as a trigger to dig into your cupboards and declutter!’ advises  Tracey Foulkes of getting Organised.

Plant a tree The first week in September is Arbour Week so plant a tree in your backyard or donate a few to the local school.

Follow Tracey Foulkes’ handy tips for the perfect pantry:

• First, run a sink of soapy warm water to clean off sticky jars and dusty shelves as you go along;

• Start from one side to weed out what you no longer need, use or love; check expiry dates • Group like items together and place smaller items in a container for easy access

• Label the shelves and containers to make it easy to retrieve and replace your items in the future

• Hang a clipboard with pre-printed generic shopping lists to the inside of your pantry door. When you take the last item out, mark the list for an easy grab-and-go solution.

October is the ideal time to…

Refurbish your deck Gets your deck in tip-top shape for regular  Summer use. Maintenance will depend on how long you’ve had your deck, when it was last treated and whether it’s exposed to the elements. ‘If the deck is in direct sunlight all day, it will need to be treated more often than a deck that is in the shade,’ notes Helen Marshall of Floors  Direct. As a guideline, decking requires at least one coat of oil six weeks after installation and once annually thereafter,  depending on the overall condition.

Add outdoor lighting Summer evenings are perfect for outside entertaining, to ensure these spaces are correctly lit for safety and atmosphere. ‘Wait until dark, then switch on all your existing lighting to get a feel for what needs to be changed, removed or added,’ suggests Eben Kruger of Eurolux. Switch to energy-saving light bulbs and consider a daylight sensor CFL – a lamp able to detect changing light conditions.

November is the ideal time to…

Put your house on the market From November to February there is traditionally a great deal of movement from one area to another generated by job moves, preparation for retirement, and a need to be closer to certain schools, amongst other things. And gardens look good, which is also great for sales. So if you’re thinking of selling, now’s the best time to do so.

Tackle the kitchen 

We all hate cleaning the oven and the fridge, defrosting the freezer and clearing the pantry but with the holidays approaching, you’ll be spending more time in your kitchen cooking up fabulous festive treats and you’ll want your equipment to be in tip-top shape.

December is the ideal time to…

Enjoy your home, It’s time to entertain! If you’re expecting visitors, make sure the guest room is sparkling clean, change the bedding, check that all the lightbulbs work, and stock up on towels. Change the curtains and give the room a fresh coat of paint for a new look. Also, keep the paths and driveways clear to ensure an even warmer welcome. If you’ve followed our handy hints for each month, you can then sit back, assured that your house is in order!