It’s that time of year. Time to decorate your home in festive lights and decorations.
If you’re behind this year, or feel like your house isn’t living up to the standard your neighbors have set, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time.
Here are some tips for outside holiday home decor to help you make your house the envy of the neighborhood.
We’ve all seen the homes that have lights, decorations, and lawn ornaments on every square inch of the house and yard. Not only can this lead to a costly utility bill or even a fire hazard, putting them up can be dangerous.
The last thing you want to do just before the holidays is visit the emergency room. If you have to put decorations on higher than one story, it’s best to hire a professional. It’s just not worth the risk of a fall.
If you are doing things yourself, make sure you are using a sturdy ladder and try enlisting the help of your spouse or a friend to keep the ladder steady. They can also help make sure the decorations look good.
Don’t Overload Circuits
Avoid taking a page out of the Clark Griswold holiday decor book and be responsible with your holiday lighting. There are several ways to avoid shorting your breakers or causing a fire hazard, and they’re easy to implement.
Newer homes have 20-amp circuits while older homes have 15-amp circuits. The rule of thumb is not to overload each individual circuit more than 80%. This means a 20-amp circuit can hold 16-amps comfortably.
Check your light packages or the tag on the string of lights to find the amperage. If that isn’t available, check for the wattage. To find the amperage, divide the wattage by 120. (Wattage/120=amperage)
If you have old lights that have been in the family since the 80s, it might be time to invest in new LED lights. These lights use far less power, and you don’t have to worry about bulbs burning out.
Hanging Holiday Lights
First of all, protecting yourself is of paramount importance, so be sure to only hang lights during daylight and in good weather.
Preparing the home first by running extension cords and installing hooks will help you hang lights with ease. Amazon offers a 200 pack of plastic hangers for less than $30 here.
Using a long tape measure to plan how many working lights you’ll need is next up. Be sure to take in account the shrubbery, eaves, and any other area that is nonlinear. You can map out where your lights will go before you hang them haphazardly, ensuring you won’t have excess lights or worse, not enough.
Inspect Your Home
Few things offer the opportunity to closely inspect your home like hanging holiday lights and decorations. While you’re decorating, take a look at your siding, roof, and windows, and check for signs of wear or damage.
Make a note of any repair or improvements that need to be made, and take a few pictures while you’re at it. That way, when you contact a contractor later next year, you’ll have the information you need.
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