By Michele E. Buttelman
With the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions residents of the Santa Clarita Valley could find themselves, and their homes, as popular tourist destinations this summer from friends and relatives.
Is your home ready for an onslaught of summer visitors, as well as grandkids, children home from school and others?
The first order of business is to get your guest room ready for visitors. If you converted your guest room to a home office, or home gym during the pandemic, now might be a great time to envision the space in a multifunctional way.
If you’ve removed the bed, can you add a futon or pull-out couch or Murphy bed to the space?
If you haven’t updated your guest room for a while it might be time to give your guest room an updated, modern look.
Clear out the clutter and refresh your linens, pillows and blankets. Be sure you have enough pillows; some guests might require extra pillows if they have breathing issues or acid reflux. Deep clean all the nooks and crannies and shampoo the carpet.
Make sure your room is outfitted with easily accessible outlets for guests to plug in phone chargers and other electronics.
Take stock and supply your guest bathroom with all the essentials including soap, shampoo and conditioner, air freshener, new towels, hair dryer and a supply of travel size toothpaste and deodorant for forgetful guests. Keep a few spare toothbrushes on hand as well.
A minifridge is a nice addition for your guests’ refreshments and a great space for your own soda or water when you aren’t hosting out-of-town guests.
Before your guests arrive be sure to find out their likes and dislikes of beverages and snacks, then fill a small basket with some “welcome” goodies.
Get an itinerary from your guests, when they plan to arrive and when they will leave. Find out what tourist attractions they plan to visit.
It is helpful to create a little “visitor” binder that includes printed information on all the attractions that are now open… and the ones that remain closed, as is the Hart Mansion and Museum. Heritage Junction grounds are now open, but the historic buildings remain closed for renovation.
While most guests will most likely have planned their visits to the “grand” vacation destinations, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, and the like, with the precision of a military operation, your guests may enjoy some “insider” information from a “local.”
Include information on a few “out of the way,” or little known, tourist attractions such as the Getty Villa in Malibu or the El Capitan movie theater in Hollywood. Your guests might appreciate this information on destinations they hadn’t considered.
Your binder can also include menus and hours of your favorite local restaurants.
If you haven’t had your HVAC system tuned this year, now is the time, before the “real” summer heatwaves descend.
Professionals recommend HVAC systems be inspected, cleaned and serviced at least once a year to be sure there are no leaks and filters are appropriately clean and installed correctly.
Items that should be checked and serviced during the inspection include:
Voltage testing and checking electrical components for failures.
Lubricate moving parts.
Inspect condensate drain for blockages.
Check thermostat settings and test calibration.
Check electrical connections.
Inspect the condition of your HVAC appliances.
Test safety controls.
Test for problematic airflow through the home.
Inspect components of blower.
Check refrigerant pressure.
Test gas piping and pressure
Test heat pump heating mode and defrost cycle
Inspect the condensate drain for clogs and blockages.
Before summer hits and you are lounging around the pool with cocktail in hand it is important to give your pool a “once over” to make sure it is still in tip-top shape.
Check the equipment to make sure everything is secure and properly working.
Look for any leaks or cracks to the foundation or liner.
Make sure all safety features are secure.
Check the decking to make sure it drains properly and there are no loose or “rough” surfaces.
General Home Maintenance
It is easy to walk around your home, coming and going on a daily basis and not see peeling paint, cracks in the stucco or weeds in the garden.
While some issues are minor and require just a little elbow grease, some issues can lead to major problems (like termites) if not addressed in a timely fashion.
Take a stroll around the outside of your home and note the condition of the roof, walls and eaves.
Check your property for weeds, dead plants and anything that could become a danger in a brushfire. I have often found palm trees will suddenly sprout in my yard. One palm tree I ignored for so long it became a 20-foot liability that had to be removed at considerable expense.
Check your driveway for cracks or weeds growing in paved areas.
Inside your home:
–Vacuum your refrigerator coils and clean out dryer vents (among the top –culprit in home fires).
–Test smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
–Tighten door handles and cabinet latches.
–Remove showerheads and faucet heads and clean sediment. This is a must because of the notoriously hard water in most SCV homes.
–That fire extinguisher you’ve had in the garage since you moved into your home? It might be time to consider replacing it, as well as your kitchen fire extinguisher.
–Drain some water from your water heater to remove sediment buildup.
–Repair/replace damaged window screens.
Now you can grab that Bahama Mama, wine cooler or mai tai and relax poolside for the rest of the summer.