A deck sander is currently the most popular piece of equipment at Sisters Rental. photo by Jim Cornelius
A deck sander is currently the most popular piece of equipment at Sisters Rental. photo by Jim Cornelius
This may be the most opportune time for home-improvement projects ever. Folks are spending more time at home trying to maintain their “social distance” and the opportunities beckon to fill our time with productive efforts.

And, despite the evidence of recent days, the calendar promises that summer is in the offing — and we all want our home and yard to be a nice place to enjoy those long, warm days that surely must be coming.

So, we get to work. The crew at the new Sisters Rental facility in Sisters has been hopping, getting Sisters folks lined out for those projects. What are the most popular projects in Sisters Country right now?

1. Refinishing the deck:

“I think right now our most popular thing is a deck sander,” said Eric Spor at Sisters Rental.

We spend a lot of time on the deck during the summer, and it seems that everyone is trying to make it nice. That means restaining and oiling.

According to Spor, simply pressure washing the deck may not be the best course to prep it for restaining.

“Pressure washing, you’re basically forcing the water into the wood, which means you have to wait longer to apply your finish,” he said.

Pressure washing also does nothing to address splinters and rough spots. A well-sanded deck will be smoother and accept stain better.

2. Aerating the lawn:

An aerator pulls plugs out of your lawn to allow water and nutrients to penetrate into the root system, making for a healthier, more verdant lawn. They’re easy to use.

“It’s just like mowing the lawn,” Spor said. “We’ve actually got a new one now that’s easier to steer — it’s got caster wheels on the front.”

A few minutes of extra work can make the lawn a whole lot nicer through the summer.

3. Mowing the pastures and fields:

Those who have acreage need to get the pasture grass mowed down. It’s not just a matter of aesthetics — keeping grasses down is a critical element of maintaining defensible space against wildfire.

A tractor with a mowing deck makes the job easy — and fun. Who doesn’t love running a tractor?

“Just engage the PTO and go,” Spor says.

4. Painting the house:

Painting your own house is an ambitious project. If you think it’s beyond your skills — or your timeframe, there are several top-notch contractors in town (although they may already be booked for the summer). But maybe this is the year when it makes sense to devote the time and effort to doing it yourself. And if you do, you’ll save thousands of dollars, Spor notes.

Good prep is key to a quality paint job. Rent a pressure washer and get all surfaces thoroughly clean so that paint adheres well and lasts. A paint sprayer makes a world of difference in the time you’ll need to put in on the actual painting, the effort you’ll expend, and the quality and consistency of the final paint job.

Renting equipment and buying your paint, brushes, rollers and tarps won’t cost you too much. Then it’s all on you.

The possibilities for home and landscape projects are virtually limitless, and the tools and equipment to get the work done well are readily to hand in Sisters. The only limitations are imagination, ambition and the will to work.