Summer is here, the days are longer and you seemingly have more time to get things done. What can you do to spruce up the homestead this season?
It only makes sense to tackle outdoor chores during the warmer months, but that’s not all you can do. Here are six home improvement projects that are perfect for summer.
1. Renovate Your Garage
The organizing pros over at “This Old House” remind you that only 30% of people use their garage to store their car. Is your space a mass of various boxes you never unpacked from your last move? Make tackling this your priority.
Start by inspecting and possibly replacing your door, especially if you plan to resell your home soon. Realtors claim that updating this feature will sell your home faster and increase value. It makes sense — far too many people, including children, suffer injuries from these devices each year.
However, if you plan to stay in your home for a while and don’t use the space for vehicle storage, why not use it for something else? You can make it into a man-cave, an exercise studio or a home workshop with a little love and creativity.
Painting is perhaps the least expensive home improvement project you can tackle, and it could help you reap the largest return on your investment if you plan to sell. Experts estimate that a fresh coat can add 1% to 3% to the resale value of your home, which isn’t bad considering that a can only costs $20 to $30.
You can do the interior, exterior or both. If you take on the outside, look for a day free from excess temperatures and a 40% to 70% humidity level. High temperatures combined with direct sunlight can otherwise make the paint dry before you have a chance to brush it out, leaving an unsightly texture.
If you didn’t use the shutdown to get in on the gardening craze, now you have another chance. Do you worry about basement flooding? Consider installing a rain garden to help keep excess moisture away from your home, where it can damage your foundation.
Now is also the time to trim your trees — you should keep them at least 15 feet away from your home to keep branches from damaging your roof or walls during storms. Likewise, trim all shrubbery to no higher than 3 feet around windows to deter thieves.
4. Add a Deck or Patio
Another project that can significantly improve your return on investment when you go to sell is outdoor living space improvements. If you don’t currently have a deck or patio — or only a boring concrete slab — consider adding one.
Decks work well if your home sits on uneven ground, as you can adjust the support height to achieve a level floor. If you opt for the patio route, consider your surface. Plain concrete has little aesthetic appeal, but features like natural stone add elegance.
5. Or Screen One In
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could dine alfresco all year long? You can, if you enclose all or part of your deck or patio space. In the summertime, the screens keep insect pests from interrupting your barbecue, a real bonus if gnats drive you, well, buggy, where you live.
During the winter, you can construct vinyl inserts that create a natural greenhouse effect, warming your outdoor space. Get an early start on your spring planting for next year by learning how to save the seeds from your produce and using this area to sprout them.
It might sound odd to winterize in the summertime, but you can get a jump start on many necessary tasks while the weather cooperates. Now is the perfect time to inspect your windows, for example. If it turns out it’s time for replacement, you don’t want to do so after temperatures dip below 60, at least if you like keeping your heating bill low.
Another chore you’re wise to tackle now is cleaning your fireplace and chimney. Approximately 25,000 chimney fires damage properties each year. Please don’t wait until you have to worry if lighting yours to keep warm will endanger your loved ones.
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