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Don your work gloves, dust off garden furniture, and clean those paint brushes. ‘Tis the season to make those home and garden improvements you haven’t been able to get to all winter-whether it’s adding a fresh coat of paint, planting the window boxes, or layinvg a new brick terrace. Northshore asked local builders and landscape designers what they suggest to spruce up our homes this spring. Here’s what the experts say:

“One great way to spruce up your home is to replace any rotting trim pieces-railings, porch newel posts, balusters-and add a fresh coat of paint,” says Chris Monaco, owner of Monaco Johnson Group. “Painting the front door in an accent color can make your house pop.” Chris also suggests other small fixes that can make a big impact, such as replacing your old storm door, updating your mailbox and house numbers, replacing old door hardware, installing a new entry light, and adding planters to the front porch.

“Pressure wash your walkways and steps,” says Tony Hurley of Artistic Landscapes. “Oftentimes, bluestone and concrete will discolor or become slippery from algae-pressure washing will bring back their natural look and make them safer to use.” Tony also suggests going through magazines and cutting out garden and plant photos you like. Then, you or your landscape designer can introduce them into your garden. He also says to incorporate elements that will help you enjoy the laid-back summer months once the spring planting is done, such as a new patio or fire pit.

Steve Howell, owner of Howell Custom Building Group, believes adding simple architectural elements, such as a wall-mounted trellis or window flower boxes painted to match your house trim color are great spruce-up moves. He is also an advocate for pressure washing brick and stone patios to bring back their original color and give them a fresh, clean look for the season. “Incorporating a pergola over an existing deck to grow climbing vines, such as wisteria, will provide partial shading and give structure to the outdoor space,” Steve notes.

“In anticipation of the warm New England weather, rely on design and construction professionals when considering the possibility of building outdoor living spaces. Your newly designed space should align well, both aesthetically and functionally, with your existing home to allow for easy outdoor entertaining,” says Tad Cunningham, director of custom homes at Windover Construction, Inc.

Erik Swanson, project manager and designer of Corliss Landscape & Irrigation, suggests lining up your contractor early. “We get busy and if you book early, you can guarantee a completion date and also have the best selection of plant material. Hardscape projects are typically the slowest to complete, so if you can get those going early you can enjoy them sooner.” Erik also suggests addressing lawn issues: “Remove any debris left by the winter, apply a pre-emergence crabgrass preventer/fertilizer in early spring, and adjust your irrigation system to water efficiently and only as needed-a smart controller will do this. Don’t forget insects. Apply dormant oils to eliminate winter moths on trees and wooly adelgid on hemlocks.”

Bruce Comak, owner of Comak Brothers, agrees with assessing your lawn situation.  “One of the most important and least expensive things that people should consider in the spring is aerating their lawns. The benefits of aeration in the New England area are well documented. Just remember that spring aeration should be done early-no later than the second week in April. Although the benefits to the lawn are the same, punching holes in the turf surface too late in the spring opens the lawn to places that weed seeds can germinate.”