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Summer is the perfect season to dive into home improvement projects. The sun is out, the weather is warm, and the days are long. There can be so many things to tackle that it can be tough to prioritize. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite summer projects to do around your home.
- Summer Upgrade Projects for the Yard
- Warm Weather Home Exterior Improvement Ideas
- Interior Home Upgrades for Summertime
- Clean Your Air Conditioner and Vents
- Install Ceiling Fans
- Install a Whole House Fan
- Add Energy Efficient Windows
- Replace Your Window Screens
- Seal Windows with Caulk
- Add an Accent Wall in a Room
- Repaint a Room
- Add Shelving to a Room
- Add Baseboard and Crown Molding
- Clean the Dryer Vent
- Drain the Water Heater
- Insulate Water Pipes
- Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
- Get New Drapes and Blinds
- Replace Kitchen Cabinet Knobs
- Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
Summer Upgrade Projects for the Yard
With long days, working on your yard over summer offers a great return on your time. Here are a few summer projects for your yard that give you serious return.
Add Curb Appeal to Your Front Yard
You don’t need to open any walls or build anything new to add value to your home. In fact, curb appeal can add up to a 20% increase on someone’s first impression on your home. And, in many cases, it’s really simple to do.
Clear out anything that is dead by ripping the plant out, down to its roots. Focus on the walkway and areas by the windows – these areas attract the most attention. Consider replacing your vinyl sidings for newer ones. Add a few colorful plants or shrubs, and make sure you don’t have anything overgrown on the path.
Give your front door a bit of pop by painting it, and make sure your mailbox looks fresh. A new porch light goes a long way doesn’t cost very much!
Mulch Open Yard Areas
Speaking of curb appeal, nothing kills first impressions like a bunch of weeds or overgrown areas. Rather than re-doing all of the landscaping, just drop a bunch of mulch onto the areas.
You can buy mulch in a variety of colors, which allows you to mix-and-match to suit your home’s exterior decor. The mulch will act as a natural weed barrier, and is a simple and quick fix to up your home’s impression.
Install a Sprinkler System
If you feel like you can never keep up on watering your lawn, installing a sprinkler system is a great way to offload and automate that talk. While you’ll have some upfront work, once done the yard literally waters itself.
This has several values for you. First off, once you dial in the correct watering settings, you’ll have a good looking yard each and every day. No more dead patches, or concerns when you go on vacation – the yard keeps itself dialed in. The only drawback to this is that you have to maintain your yard with a good electric lawn mower regularly.
Second, sprinkler systems actually save you water in the long run. Nowadays, you can pick up a smart sprinkler box that syncs with your phone and the local weather. It can automatically stop your watering when it’s going to rain.
Add Solar Lighting to Your Walkway
Adding lighting to your walkways in the front and back yard used to be a huge pain. You would have to run wiring underground and deal with electric work to get everything hooked up. Nowadays, solar lighting is the perfect solution to lighting your walkway, and only takes minutes to install.
Lighting is a huge contributor to the look and feel of your yard. In your front yard, you can add a lot of curb appeal with simple lights on the walkway. And, in the backyard, you can line walkways in addition to hanging string lighting to up the ambiance.
Put an Arbor in Your Yard
Arbors are statement pieces, allowing you to create a space out of nothing. If you have a dead corner of your yard, or an area that you don’t know what to do with, adding an arbor is a quick fix to make it look good.
Arbors are functional as well. Plant some crawling jasmine and put a sitting bench underneath it. Put a couple of stone steps leading to it, and you’ve created a little oasis. This quick DIY backyard project is a great upgrade and incredibly simple to execute.
Build a Fire Pit
For so many, warm summer evenings are best spent outdoors, sitting around a fire talking with friends and family. If this sounds great but you don’t have a fire pit, you can solve that problem easily.
Believe it or not, building your own custom DIY fire pit is relatively easy. It will add a lot of value to your outdoor space, along with giving you hours of entertainment.
Add a Stone Path
Stone and rock are plentiful, and adding a stone path is an incredibly simple way to upgrade your home’s yard. Whether you have a large expanse of yard that needs something to break it up, or a side yard area that doesn’t have much of a purpose, a stone path is a nice upgrade.
You can buy stones made for this at your local home improvement store. Or, you can get creative and recycle some rocks you have lying around. Extra travertine from a kitchen or bathroom tile upgrade can also make for a great option.
Build a Shed
Storage is a huge problem for most Americans, and building an outdoor shed is a great way to provide some more storage space. Just ready some wood, a pin nailer for attaching, and your paint or sealant.
Sheds don’t have to be overly complicated. You can buy basic versions and set them up yourself. A pocket door would be a great addition to this shed for a sleek, smooth look.
Just make sure you’re wearing a good quality dust mask to prevent yourself from inhaling allergens.
Focus on a good, sturdy design with a solid roof, and make sure the one you pick up (or build) is waterproof.
Make an Outdoor Table
If you have any aspirations of entertaining over the summer holidays, building a table to wine and dine outside is a great project that will add value to your patio.
Nowadays, it is pretty easy to build your own DIY table. Whether you opt for a beautiful, handcrafted wood table or a simpler pallet-wood option, you’ll get to enjoy summer evenings eating outside in the good weather.
Build a Planter Box
Adding a simple wooden planter box to your porch or under a window is a great addition that ups curb appear. A simple DIY project that you can even do with your kids, you can build one quickly on a weekend afternoon, or pick one up already built.
Plant some colorful flowers to add a bright pop to your exterior, or use it to grow herbs or vegetables. Either way, a planter box is a classy and quick way to improve the look and feel of your exterior.
Build an Outdoor Bar
If you already have an outdoor space on your patio or in your backyard, consider adding an outdoor bar. This classy upgrade doesn’t have to break the bank, and will add value to a space you are already utilizing.
Again, you can either buy or build here. If you’re more of the rustic, weathered wood type, consider building your own wine rack to sit outside. Or, recycle some old kitchen countertops and scrap wood to build an entire bar.
Warm Weather Home Exterior Improvement Ideas
While outside, it’s now time to turn your attention to working on your home’s exterior appearance.
Pressure Wash Your Exterior
Incredibly quick and easy, pressure washing your home’s exterior will take off years of dirt, mud, grime, and other toxic agents. Depending on how long its been, this could have the same appearance as giving your entire home a new paint job.
You can also pressure wash your driveway and walkways at the same time. Easy to use, if you don’t want to purchase a pressure washer, you can rent one from most home improvement stores.
Upgrade Your Fences
Your fences endure all of the effects of long winters and rainy springtime showers, so focus on giving them some TLC over summertime. Check all of the boards to ensure that none have rotted, and replace any that don’t look like they’ll make it another year.
It might be the summer to repaint or add another coat of stain to the wood fence. Or, perhaps you need to add a fence to a new area of your yard. Either way, cutting and installing fencing is a great way to improve the exterior of your home, and summer is the right time to tackle it.
Fix Loose Deck Boards
If you have a deck, then you’re not secret to the punishment it goes through on a yearly basis. Rain, snow, and sun beat down on its surface, which means that this portion of your home has a tendency to wear quicker.
Make it a yearly habit to check all of your deck boards, and repair or replace any that are weathered or broken. Cut down long ones with a table saw, and if you don’t have one there are a lot of affordable options on the market. Loose deck boards can turn into a bigger problem, and can also be very dangerous.
Seal Your Wood Deck
Speaking of wood decks, prevent some of the problems that come with them by adding a seal to your deck’s surface. A sealer will help preserve and protect your deck from all of the harsh elements.
Adding a sealer is really simple and cost effective. Depending on how large your deck is, it might only take an afternoon. Make sure to power wash the surface first to get all of the dirt off.
Shutters are a wonderful addition to a home’s exterior, and add a touch of charm to what can otherwise be a very boring and boxy house appearance.
Shutters range from simple to ornate, cheap to expensive, so pick an option that fits your decor and budget. As always, you can DIY it by building your own from some unfinished wood.
Clean Your Gutters
Another simple project, keeping your gutters clean saves your home from unnecessary long term wear. Clogged gutters allow water to pool up in bad areas during winter and spring storms. This water can create a lot of problems for your home.
Hop on a ladder and clean out your gutters from all the dirt and leaves that build up. Focus on the down spout areas, and make sure to test that each one works properly. If you find any broken sections, repair during the warm summer months before you’ll need them again in the winter.
Interior Home Upgrades for Summertime
Shifting gears, head inside and get your DIY hat on for our favorite interior home improvement projects for summertime. While you’re at it, look into our recommendations for the best sockets and organizers for your DIY projects as you never know when you might need it.
Clean Your Air Conditioner and Vents
For many families across the country, their air conditioner runs for much of the summer. Make sure you cooler is running at peak performance by quickly cleaning the coils of your AC unit.
Your AC coils build up dirt and debris, which has adverse effects on the performance of your unit. Cleaning them off allows the machine to run efficiently, which saves you energy and extends the life of your AC unit.
While you’re at it, make sure to also check the filter inside you home where the AC unit pulls in the air. If this is dirty, it will block air flow, thus requiring your unit to work harder.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are fantastic way to keep a home cool, and often are really easy to install. If you already have electricity running to the center of the room’s ceiling, then adding a ceiling fan usually only take an hour or two.
Fans not only help keep the home cool in summer, but their direction can be switched to also help move heated air throughout the room in the winter.
Install a Whole House Fan
Installing a whole house fan takes efficiency to a whole new level. A whole house fan typically sits in your attic, and is a large unit that pulls air throughout the home and out through your roof. Rather than spend money on air conditioning to cool your home, a whole house fan can often do it for a fraction of the cost.
These fans usually end up costing around $1,000 including labor and materials. But, depending on your climate, they can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Add Energy Efficient Windows
Adding new windows to your home have a lot of benefits. You’ll immediately upgrade the look and feel of your home, both inside and out. Newer windows provide added security as well. However, the biggest upgrade is the efficiency in energy savings.
New windows are made double paned, with a layer of Argon gas in between the panes. All of this adds up to energy savings in all seasons. Your home will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Replace Your Window Screens
A quick task, replacing your window screens is an easy home repair task that you’ll make use of in the summer. Over the winter, your screens might have gotten damaged or torn in different areas.
New screens look a lot nicer, and also allow you to open your windows up on cooler summer evenings to let the house air out.
Seal Windows with Caulk
One of the biggest areas where windows lose their energy efficiency is around the seals. Over time, the caulk or sealant that has been used cracks and wears, resulting in holes to the exterior.
Quickly go around your house with a tube of window caulk and touch up any cracks you see. Not only will you increase your energy efficiency, but you’ll also help prevent water from spreading into these openings and turning into a bigger problem.
Add an Accent Wall in a Room
If painting an entire room in your home sounds like too much, try dialing it down a notch and just painting an accent wall in a room. Perfect for making a statement, adding a different color to one wall in a room is a huge fashion upgrade. You can even paint the side with your own DIY pallet bed on it so the wall highlights it further.
Accent walls are nice when you have a neutral colored room that needs a pop of color. Rather than having to change the entire room’s decor, a simple paint job on one wall can take care of it for you.
Repaint a Room
Dollar for dollar, it’s hard to find something that has a bigger impact than fresh paint. Painting a room is simple and easy, and doesn’t require any knowledge or experience. Its quick as well – it normally doesn’t take more than a few hours to repaint a room in your home.
The finished result covers any dings and damages that the old paint had. It provides a fresh, clean look, along with upping your style at the same time.
If you plan on painting several rooms in your home, it might make sense to pick up a well-priced paint sprayer for interior walls. This will allow you to make short work of the task.
Add Shelving to a Room
If you’ve just finished painting a room in your home, it’s a great time to keep working on those walls by adding some shelves. There are a variety of different ways you can go with shelving, but the addition will give you more storage space, or can be used to feature different home decor.
Add Baseboard and Crown Molding
If your home doesn’t have baseboard or crown molding, this cosmetic project is a huge win for the look and feel of your home. Not a quick project, the process of adding baseboard is not very complicated. Crown molding is a lot harder, but has a big impact, especially in rooms with high ceilings.
You can tackle this project yourself with not a lot more than a miter saw and some nails. Make your life a lot easier by splurging for a decent nail gun, which will allow you to fly through the install.
Clean the Dryer Vent
Cleaning your dryer’s lint trap is probably something you do frequently, but it’s good to do a thorough clean of all of the vents at least once per year. Summer is the perfect opportunity to tackle this project.
Remove the dryer lint trap and clean in and around the area as much as possible. Ensure that the exhaust tube that the dryer sends air out through is clear and doesn’t have anything lodged in it.
Drain the Water Heater
Most people are unaware that you actually should drain your water heater once in a while. You’ll probably be surprised at how much sludge and dirt has settled at the bottom of your tank. While a bit nasty, it also causes inefficiencies and early breakdown in your water heater.
Every water heater has a drain at the bottom of the tank, so it isn’t a difficult process.
Insulate Water Pipes
Depending on where you live and the climate that you endure, you might be losing valuable money by sending hot water through exposed pipes. Any pipe that carries hot water should be insulated wherever you can.
It’s extremely simple to do – you can pick up foam sleeves to slip over your piping for really cheap. You’ll notice the energy savings most in the winter, when temperatures drop and cool the uninsulated pipes down, causing you to have to pay more to heat the water that goes through them.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
You might think that adding a smart thermostat only provides cosmetic and convenience benefits to you. And yes – being able to control the temperature of your home from your phone is ultra-convenient. But, you can also realize a lot of savings in the process as well.
Smart thermostats learn your habits, such as when you’re home and when you’re gone. They take this information and use it set up a smart schedule for your air and heat, which results in a reduction of costs.
In addition, if you’re storing guns and other firearms within your home through your DIY gun storage cabinet, then maintaining a consistent temperature will work well.
Get New Drapes and Blinds
Tired of nothing having any window treatment, or just sick of what you have? New blinds and/or window treatment can add a touch of elegance and style to a room that needs an update, but saves you the cost of having to buy new furniture.
Replace Kitchen Cabinet Knobs
Redoing an entire kitchen is expensive, but looking at ways to upgrade your kitchen for a fractional cost can have a big impact. The easiest (and cheapest) way to do that is by upgrading the knobs that are on your cabinets and drawers.
Knobs are cheap to pick up at your local home improvement store, and require nothing more than a screwdriver to replace. For a few dollars and a couple of hours of your time, this is a great summer project to add value to your home.
Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
If you’ve opted to paint a room or two in your home, and replace the knobs in your kitchen, then this is a perfect combo project. While it takes a little while to pull your kitchen cabinets off of the hinges and repaint them, the results are stunning. You can literally transform a kitchen with this one action.
Summer is a perfect time to tackle a few home improvement projects. You’ll be adding value to your home while simultaneously upgrading your daily enjoyment of your home.