• Hardscape

    Outdoor Decorating Tips for Christmas

    There’s a nip in the air, the sound of carols floats along in the breeze, the children are on their best behavior; it must be Christmas time.  You’ve noticed that many of your neighbors have begun their holiday decorating.  You don’t want your house to look like Scrooge lives there.  Here are some tips for your outdoor holiday decorating.

    • Start small– If this is your first time doing the holiday decorating, don’t think that you have to win the neighborhood light fight.  Try starting with just two or three things as focal points.  You can always expand your displays as the years go on.
    • Be safe– Your Christmas lights should have a UL label and any lights you plan on using outside should be made specifically for that purpose.
    • Use a stable ladder– Being safe doesn’t just apply to the lights that you use.  You also need to make sure that you stay safe while hanging them.  That means using a safe and stable ladder and a helper to steady it.  This is especially true for higher jobs and you can use tree clips or twist ties to attach lights to branches.
    • Check your bulbs– There’s nothing more frustrating than hanging all your lights and plugging them in for the big reveal only to discover you have a large section that’s dark.  It’s much easier to test your bulbs before you hang them.
    • You’ve got to start from the bottom up– At least where deciduous trees are concerned.  Begin at the base of the trunk and wrap a string of lights around moving higher with each revolution.  If you are decorating an evergreen, however, you should begin at the top and work your way down, snaking the lights back and forth from the trunk to the edges.
    • Location, location, location– You can save yourself time and money if you decorate only the side of the tree that is visible to passersby.
    • Don’t forget background lighting– Your holiday decorating doesn’t have to consist only of strings of lights woven through the branches of your trees and shrubs.  You could also use multicolored ground or stake lighting to outline your walk or driveway.
    • Don’t overload– Your circuits are meant to handle no more than 1,400 watts/circuit.  If you notice other lights dim when you switch on your holiday lights, then your circuits are overloaded.
    • Use your imagination– You can come up with creative additions to your Christmas landscape.  Porch columns look great wrapped in holiday sparkle.  A wreath on your front door can be lit using battery-operated mini lights.
    • Hire a professional– Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, consider giving yourself a break and hire a professional to hang your lights in a snap. (They will also take them down when the time comes.)

    Remember, holiday decorating can be a fun and an enjoyable time for the whole family.  Whether you decide to do the job yourself or hire a professional, your home will be festive for the holidays.

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