(BPT) - After a long summer relaxing on your deck or patio, autumn is a great time to renovate your outdoor space — or build one from scratch. Home improvement expert Alison Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab,” offers five tips for fabulous fall fix-ups.

1. Get decked out. Fall is an ideal time to tackle a deck project, whether it be repairs, board replacement or a completely new build. In addition to offering more pleasant temperatures for working outside, fall and winter are typically slower times for contractors, meaning you won’t have to wait as long to get onto their schedules. Contractors may also be willing to offer off-season discounts on their services or materials, which tend to be cheaper after the spring and summer rush.

“Another big advantage of waiting until the off-season to tackle outdoor projects is contractor focus,” explains Victoria. “Rather than being one of many projects a contractor is juggling, you can be one of the few, which often translates into greater attention to quality and better customer service.”

2. Think high and low. Research the best materials available for your budget and be sure to keep maintenance in mind. After all, the last thing you want is a deck that requires constant upkeep. Victoria suggests looking for materials that are both high performance and low maintenance.

Trex decking is my go-to material for outdoor projects,” explains Victoria. “It’s a composite material that delivers the beauty of wood without the environmental impact, the labor-intensive upkeep or the natural deterioration over time. I love that it’s made from 95% recycled materials and only needs an occasional cleaning with soap and water to maintain its beautiful appearance for decades.”

3. Raise your railing game. Railing is one of the most visible elements of a deck and has tremendous impact on a deck’s aesthetic and curb appeal. In recent years, the industry has seen an influx of statement-making railing styles inspired by contemporary architecture and commercial design. Give your outdoor space an instant facelift by replacing your old wood deck railing with sleek, sophisticated aluminum railing. Trex Signature Railing comes in a variety of modern designs, including rod, mesh and glass that can take any deck from drab to dramatic.

4. Hide and chic. Nothing dampens the enjoyment of an elegant al fresco gathering quite like the sight of unattractive trash bins or nosy neighbors. Providing function and design, lattice is perfect for concealing storage areas or unsightly views and enhancing privacy. With styles ranging from romantic to deco, lattice panels also can be applied to structures such as arbors and trellises, or used as wainscoting or deck skirting.

5. Light it up. “Lighting is a must for any outdoor space,” says Victoria. “In addition to amping up the ambiance, it enhances safety and helps to extend the time you can enjoy your outdoor space.” Outdoor lighting can easily be integrated into deck boards and stairs, as well as railing posts and caps. Trex offers DIY-friendly components that feature plug-and-play installation and energy-efficient LED bulbs that are dimmable and cool to the touch, making them safe for kids and furry friends.