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RISMEDIA, July 12, 2010—Whether it’s because of the economy or by choice, millions of Americans will be staying closer to home this summer; and with warm 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. “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 these questions can help homeowners quickly narrow down their choices to one that fits their family and budget.

For more information, visit www.houselogic.com.

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