IT is easy to completely forget about your outdoor areas in winter. However, spring is here. So get into DIY mode and revive your garden and entertainment area so it is ready for those long lazy summer days. Exterior painting Most of our country has summer rainfall, which makes winter the perfect time to paint your house exterior, without the worries of being interrupted by a sudden thunderstorm. The rule of thumb for painting exterior walls, is to go for darker shades, because colours appear lighter in bright sunlight. Bright white walls that get direct sunlight are not ideal around an entertainment area, since it will be blindingly bright.Also consider the plants in your garden when choosing paint colours. Greenery pops against dark or contrasting colours, but without plants, dark walls can easily look stark. Building renovations For the same reason, the dry season is also the best time to do renovations to exterior walls, doors and patios. Also check where damp proofing is needed. Since you don’t spend much time outdoors in winter, the piles of building debris and material won’t bother you that much. Hard landscaping It isn’t easy to visualise your outdoor areas in winter, but plan it in summer and then do the changes in winter. A garden also needs a focal paint. This is best achieved by hard landscaping. Hard landscaping refers to all the structural elements in your garden, whether a wall, a water feature, firepit, an arch or sculpture. These are the elements that give your garden structure and character and prevent it from just being a green mass. The added advantage is that your garden will recover quickly during spring’s growth spurt. Roof and gutters Get onto your roof to see if there are any lose tiles or leaks. Also clear your gutters. Clean gutters will help them last longer by avoiding rust and keeping them as light as possible. Pool maintenance Winter is a good time to do pool maintenance. During the off season, you’ll find good specials for pool equipment and contractors will be open for you to negotiate a better fee. Paint or treat doors and windows Treat all your outdoor timber furniture, decks and windows. Why not liven up with a brightly painted front door. Lime yellow, teal, blue or lobster red are worthy colours for front doors.