I’ve been busy but really want to post the follow-up I promised with tips for those who may not have put up outdoor decorative holiday lights before. Or your might find some things to keep in mind if it is the first time you are hanging lights at a new location.
Mainly you really need to take a good look at the overall layout of the building and the grounds around it. Here are some general points to take into consideration, in no particular order:
1. Where is the power source? Is there an outdoor plug or will you need to run power from inside somewhere? There are battery/solar options available nowadays as well. Are you using timers, will you manually be turning lights on and off?
2. How big is the building? 1 story, 2 story? How high are you willing to go if there is more than one story? Do you have the proper tools to achieve the height you want? Even if it’s only one story make sure your ladder is tall enough! If you are going on the second story it might be necessary to stand on some of the roof areas of the first story. Is that viable option?
3. Can you get access from below to all the places you want to put lights? Are there plants, trees, steps, furniture to manuever around to put the ladder in place? Will you need scaffolding, other people to help? Maybe you need to access from ABOVE not below in some areas.
4. Decide on pattern/scene of how you want it to look and determine if that will really work on the building you are decorating. Are there plants, trees, etc to be included in the lighting scheme?
5. How will you attach the lights? Clips, nails, staple gun? Are you able to find a way to attach the stings where you want them to be? Keep in mind if you nail or staple the damage it can cause to the wood and invite rot, pests etc in the future-consider the long-term impact of deciding exactly how you plan to attach the lights to the building.
6. Be prepared with everything you need and make sure you have plenty of time (and assistance if needed). There will almost always be something to cause a delay and you don’t want to be still working on it when once it gets dark and cold or rush anything and risk your safety.
7. As noted in previous post: test and layout all the lights you intend to use before starting to hang any of them. This step alone can save you so much time and trouble. Even brand new lights need to be tested and will be easier to handle after being stretched out from the packaging for a few minutes first (good tip for putting lights on the tree too).
These are some of the things I thought of as being part of my mental preparation. When hanging my own lights this year, I tried to view it through the eyes of someone who hasn’t done it before. I could go on probably, but experience is really always the best educator, so go on out there and light up your little piece of the world!!