Safety First: Hire A Contractor
With today’s surge of do-it-yourselfers, it’s no surprise at the number of DIY related injuries. There are countless DIY blogs out there telling you how to do home repairs without a professional to save you a few extra bucks. When that attempt to cut corners results in even more money spent to fix your mistakes or to pay that ER bill, though, is it worth it?
No matter how much you want to show up your neighbors in true keeping up with the Joneses fashion, put down that hammer and call an expert. Chances are there is a roofing contractor in Vancouver, WA, somewhere whose prices match your budget.
Hanging Your Exterior Lights
For situations like putting up exterior Christmas lights and decor, it’s not typical to hire a contractor. Though don’t be afraid to call your local roofing company to chat with a contractor about what tips they have for staying safe. You can even visit your local hardware store to find a roofing expert that can give you some pointers.
With the abundance of roofers, contractors, and many other professionals at your disposal, there’s no reason not to be informed. To further help take the guesswork out of getting started on your exterior Christmas decorations this year, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips below.
Plan It Out Before Climbing That Roof
As much as you might consider yourself the Van Gough of Christmas decor, it’s best to come up with a design plan first instead of just winging it. Having a plan first will make the process go a lot smoother. Nobody wants to be standing out in the cold for hours, trying to figure out where the giant inflatable Snoopy would look best.
Consider Placement and Surface
It’s a good idea to check your gutter thickness and the flexibility of the shingles along the roofline and the eaves to decide where best to hang your lights. Depending on the size of your lights too, some might work in certain places better than others. Some good areas to hang your lights include:
- Atop bushes and trees, or around tree trunks and planters
- Lining pathways or the driveway
- Around windows, doorframes, or inside of window boxes
- Around deck and porch railings, pillars and columns, and fence or mailbox posts
Measure and Determine How Many Lights You Will Need
Be sure to measure any straight line around the house where you will be hanging lights. Don’t forget to measure how far it is to the power source as well. The last thing you want is to be at the end of a strand and realize you don’t have enough to cover the area and reach an outlet. If you’ll be covering any plants, trees, or shrubs, a good tip to remember is that it takes about 100 lights for every 1 1/2 feet you want to cover.
Find A Focal Point
If you’re struggling to figure out a design layout for your lights, it can help to find a feature of your home that you want to highlight. If you have an interesting roof shape, it can be fun to highlight that by focusing most of your lights around the eaves or the roof lining. If you have a walkway leading up to your door, you can line either side of the path with lights. Or, perhaps you have some columns or pillars on your porch that you’d like to feature. It doesn’t matter what you decide to focus on, as long as you focus on something. Without a focal point, it can often look like a Christmas bomb exploded all over your lawn.
Test First, Roof Second
Don’t climb that ladder just yet. You’ll want to test all of your lights first before heading outside.
Plug It In
The last thing you want is to be up a ladder halfway through the hanging process only to find out that half of the lights don’t work. Even a newly purchased strand could have a defect. So lay everything out and plug it all in before you start to think about where you’re going to put them. If the lights work, this is also a great time to attach any light clips you might need to hang them.
Not only is checking that the lights work essential, but checking the cords for any frayed areas or exposed wires is crucial as well. A strand might light up even if it is frayed, but having an exposed wire outdoors is a safety hazard.
This is also the time to check that all of your extension cords are UL approved for outdoor use. As tempting as it might be to use whatever you have on hand, you really should only use outdoor or indoor/outdoor approved cords for your exterior lighting.
Get To Hanging
Now that you’ve got a plan, tested all of your lights, and checked all of your cords for safety, it’s time to climb that ladder and let the fun begin. When attaching lights to the gutters or roof lining, you can use an all-purpose light clip. For railings, it’s best to use deck specific clips. For trees, you can get a light-hanging pole, which will make it easier than moving a ladder from branch to branch.
Take It All In
Now that you’ve finished, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your handy work. Just don’t forget to connect everything to a timer. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night only to realize they forgot to turn off the Christmas lights before going to bed.
How Can A Roofing Contractor In Vancouver, WA Help?
Again, even though hanging Christmas lights isn’t a job usually performed by roofing contractors, that doesn’t mean they don’t still have some valuable tips that could help. Don’t be afraid to contact your local contractor or roofing expert to ask for their advice when it comes to hanging lights on the roof and exterior of your home.
Armor Roofing & Exteriors
For over 25 years, we’ve been serving the Vancouver and Portland Metropolitan area with professionalism, workmanship, and care for all of your roofing and exterior needs. From roofing, siding, fencing, and decking, we guarantee an unrivaled degree of excellence, experience, and customer care.