SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

National Association of Realtors

July 09, 2010 10:20 ET

Make Your Home a Vacation Destination With Tips From HouseLogic

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - July 9, 2010) -  Whether it's because of the economy or by choice, millions of Americans will be staying closer to home this summer; and with warmer weather already upon us, many families will be spending their time outdoors. And even though summer has officially started, it's not too late to get your outdoor space ready for a summer of fun at home.

With a little hard work and advice from the experts at HouseLogic -- a comprehensive consumer website about all aspects of homeownership -- homeowners can quickly and easily get their home and outdoor space summer-ready.

"HouseLogic has everything a homeowner needs to maintain, protect and increase the value of their home," said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. "Summer is all about enjoying the weather and your home's outdoor space, and with a few improvements your backyard will be a safe and enjoyable place for everyone."

For homeowners who want to expand their living space, this may finally be the year to add a new deck. The experts at HouseLogic say that choosing the right material is the most important decision you'll make about decking. While synthetic decking materials, such as composite and PVC decking, and tropical hardwoods like mahogany are initially pricier, they are easier to maintain and can last years longer. Although traditional wood decks initially cost less, the annual cleaning and resealing maintenance can make them more expensive over the long term.

If your home already has a deck, it may simply need some care and maintenance. HouseLogic recommends a few simple steps to keep your deck safe, sound, and looking great. First, give your deck's structure a close inspection for rotting or cracked boards. Pound in any protruding nails and cut back nearby trees or bushes to prevent mold and rotting. Then thoroughly sweep and wash the deck; after it's completely dry follow up with a sealer or stain.

Pavers may be a good alternative to a deck and are available in many different colors and finishes. The experts at HouseLogic say that choosing patio paving materials begins with a solid foundation -- the base that supports the pavers must be firm, strong, and designed to stand up to years of foot traffic and weather. When it comes to pavers, there are many options, including brick pavers, which offer warmth and the possibility of intricate patterns; concrete pavers, which come in countless shapes and sizes and can be fashioned to look like real stone; a variety of stone, slate and marble; and even recycled hardscape materials, such as concrete sections from a neighbor's old driveway or sidewalk.

If you have a pool, you may want to consider alternatives to chlorine. Chlorine is popular because it's inexpensive and keeps swimming pools clean by sanitizing, oxidizing and deterring algae; however it also has a strong odor, reddens eyes, and causes allergic reactions in some swimmers. Chlorine alternatives include bromine, ionizers, ozonators or PHMB; but all four have drawbacks, including higher costs.

With your pool and outdoor space in top shape, gather your family and friends for a barbeque to celebrate all your hard work. HouseLogic's gas and charcoal grill guides offer advice on purchasing a new grill from a wide variety of models and prices -- ranging from $29 to $5,000 and up. HouseLogic recommends that homeowners first ask themselves a series of questions, including what type of cooking they'll be doing, how often they plan to use the grill, for how many people they will be grilling and how much they want to spend. The answers to those questions can help homeowners quickly narrow down their choices to one that fits their family and budget.

For more great tips on getting your home ready for the summer, and many other homeownership topics, visit HouseLogic at

HouseLogic is a free source of information and tools for homeowners from the National Association of Realtors® that helps homeowners make smart decisions and take responsible actions to maintain, protect and increase the value of their home. HouseLogic helps homeowners plan and organize their home projects and provides timely articles and news; home improvement advice and how-to's; and information about taxes, home finances and insurance.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at News releases are posted in the Web site's "News Media" section in the NAR Media Center.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

Contact Information

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    Sara Wiskerchen
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