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Now that daylight saving time has arrived, and the official start of spring is next week, it is time to stop talking about the outdoor projects you want to do this year and start doing them. And with the mild winter we had, many homeowners are already well on their way to planning and working on them. So if you haven't started your planning, you may already be behind.
Dave Stoutenger, marketing director at John's Lumber, (586) 791-1200,www.johnslumber.com said he is already seeing activity with decks because of the mild weather.
"We usually have three salespeople on the floor, but this past Saturday we had five salespeople working, and we still could have used more because it was so busy."
He said deck builders usually have to wait until the ground thaws before they can dig post holes, because the frost is around 42 inches deep this time of year. But this year it is barely 6 inches, so they can start digging the holes earlier.
That forward thinking about spring projects has been evident in the large crowds that have attended the area's recent home shows. Doug Mans of N.A. Mans, (734) 714-5800, www.namans.com was extremely busy, and he is seeing more people coming into his store who are already far along on their spring projects.
"People have already been doing their spring cleanup because of the mild weather, and they are starting to think about the big projects they want to do this year," Mans said. "With tax refunds and auto company bonuses, there seems to be more interest in doing larger projects."
The warm weather also means people can get an earlier start on landscaping and cement work. Remember that when doing many outdoor projects that require digging, you should also contact MISS DIG, (800) 482-7171, www.missdig.net to make sure both you and your contractor know where your gas, water, electric, telephone and cable lines are in your yard.
Elizabeth Alfastsen, the operations manager for MISS DIG, said they had an unusually busy January and February because of the weather, and she expects that to continue as it remains mild.
"Many people who are just digging with a shovel to plant a bush or other yard work don't think they need to call us, but you can still cut a cable or telephone line with a shovel because often they are buried close to the surface," she said.
Michigan state law now requires anyone who engages in any type of excavation, grading, demolition, cultivating, auguring, blasting or boring has to call MISS DIG at least three full working days prior to digging. The best thing about the MISS DIG service is that it's free!
With all this activity, you can be sure of two things: The good contractors will soon be booked up for the spring and even into the summer, and the words "in stock" could be hard to come by. If you wait, it may be Labor Day before you get to show off your new project and brag about it!
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email@example.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The “Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.
Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed.
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