September 24, 2018
A stellar host makes sure their outdoor gathering space is clean, safe, and hospitable, thus creating a fun Fourth of July BBQ that’s memorable for all the right reasons—good food, good games, and good company. Plan on spending $10 to $200 for DIY deck cleaning and prep or up to $500 to hire the pros. Think of it as a summer-long investment—one that can pay dividends for multiple gatherings.
Clean and prep your backyard and deck/patio for a Fourth of July get-together
Weed your gardens and cut back overgrown plants, trees, and shrubs. Mow your lawn to its proper grass height. Fill any holes around the lawn and driveway.
Deck, patio, or porch:
Secure any loose nails, screws, or boards. Sweep off debris (leaves, cobwebs, etc.), then hose down all surfaces. Freshen up potted plants.
Use a gentle cleanser on any outdoor furnishings and cushions. Clean your grill and ensure you have enough fuel (propane or charcoal briquettes, depending on your grill type).
Decorations and entertainment:
Add flags, lights, and other Independence Day-themed decorations, taking note of flammability (especially if you’re planning to use sparklers or other fireworks in your yard). Determine best placements for cornhole, badminton, horseshoes, and other outdoor games. Test any speaker systems.
Select your bug- and pest-preventive method (e.g., citronella candles, Tiki torches, bug spray, or a combo) and set up strategically across the gathering space. Address any standing water areas (e.g., puddles and potted-plant dishes) to discourage mosquitoes.
Test the chlorine or saline levels in your pool and adjust as needed. Remove all debris (leaves, dirt, and bugs). Hose off pool toys and make sure they’re inflated.
Out-of-the-blue medical expenses can impact anyone at any time. Fortunately, there are several ways to pay your bill without spiraling into debt.
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