Summer is THE season for grilling, outdoor activities, icy cold drinks, and…home maintenance. Wait, what? You read that correctly! Take advantage of the long, warm days to do home projects that aren’t viable during the cold, wet months. Besides beautifying your home and adding value and curb appeal, you’ll want to ensure your home’s integrity through the rest of the year. For instance, if you ignore that small leak in your roof or that overflowing gutter, by winter it could become a much bigger—and way more expensive—issue to repair. Summer is also a great time to add a cool and fun new feature to your home (fire pit, anyone?). We’ve got a super list of possible projects—some you can do yourself, while some are best left to professionals.
Roof Repair or Replacement
If you’ve got a leaky roof or missing shingles, or a roof past its lifespan, don’t wait for next summer to repair or replace it. It’s literally the roof over your head! The average lifespan of a roof is 20 to 30 years, although slate, copper, and tile roofs can last more than 50 years. Make the decision to repair or replace, and hire a well-recommended roofing company to do the job.
Your walkways, driveway, and home exterior could likely use a high-power cleaning. Rent a power washer and DIY; be sure to get professional tips on how to do this without causing damage. If you’re not sure, hire a pro.
How do you know it’s time to replace your home’s siding? When paint is flaking and peeling after only a few years, when there are loose or missing boards, or when any mildew, mold, or rot are clearly visible. Angie’s List has an even more detailed list of telltale signs. This is definitely a big budget project, but it’s not something you want to neglect.
A quick way to increase both your home’s value and curb appeal is an exterior paint job. Unless you are a super DIY-er, this is a task best left to professionals. It’s not a cheap project, so keep in mind that it’s an investment. Pro painters can do the job, do it right, and do it quickly—plus, they are licensed/bonded/insured for doing work on your third floor or your complicated roof eaves. You’ll have to time it right so it’s not during a wet or overly scorching part of the summer. And once this is done you’ve got more time to spend on the other easier projects!
Wood Decks and Fences
Wood decks and fences are attractive and extremely useful home features, but they do need regular maintenance. In the Pacific Northwest, with its rainy winters and wet springs, stained decks and fences can accumulate moss and mold, warp or crack, and start looking weathered or even fall apart. You can definitely make this project your own. If you’re starting from scratch and installing a brand new deck or fence, this article can help you decide if it’s a DIY or professional project.
Walk around the perimeter of your home and check the gutters and downspouts on all sides and levels. It’s actually best to do it while it’s raining, so you can see what spots are overflowing or leaking, or sagging down. Use a sturdy ladder, and go up with rubber gloves and a bucket for the debris you’ll be scooping out. Once all the debris is out, spray the gutters down with a hose. As always, you can hire a pro. Some companies will combine gutter cleaning, roof anti-moss spraying, and outside window cleaning for one price.
Whether you’re looking to spruce up your landscaping or to add features (e.g., retaining wall, sprinkler system, walking path), summer is definitely the time to do it. Major curb appeal points if it’s the front yard. Enjoy the fruits of your (or someone else’s) labor, once the project is done and you’re looking at your lovely yard while enjoying a cold one!
Outdoor Kitchen or Fire Pit
This project is definitely more of a want than a need! It ups your home’s fun factor while also adding value. It’s also a project with a wide range. You could go all-out and create a gourmet outdoor kitchen with a built-in gas fire pit (plus a putting green, like my neighbor). Or you could buy a souped-up gas grill (or even a wood-fired pizza oven!) and a standalone fire-pit. Check out this gallery for inspiration.
A fresh coat of paint is not to be underestimated—it can give your interior space an entirely new ambience and feel, even if you don’t replace all your furnishings and decor. Whether it’s just one room, the great room area, or your entire home, these colors of 2019 are such an inspiration. And with the warm weather, you can open up your windows to air out the paint fumes.
Remodel the Kitchen
Why is summer the best time to do a kitchen remodel? For one, you don’t have to eat fast food for a month. With your kitchen out of commission, summer lets you cook and eat outside; it’s so much easier to get out of the house in the warm weather. You could even schedule your remodel during a vacation. Second, increased daylight hours gives your contractors much more time to do the work, and will speed up your project. Third, it will be easier to keep your home well-ventilated during the summer. Turn off the A/C and open your windows to keep the fans from circulating the dust and debris in the kitchen throughout the house. Ready to jump in? Step 1: find a good contractor.
Bye, Popcorn Ceilings
Although mid-century interior style is very on-trend, the popcorn ceilings from the late 1950’s don’t measure up to today’s aesthetic. There are three ways to redo popcorn ceilings, according to This Old House. It’s up to you which method you prefer.
Here’s a project that will definitely help bring down your home energy bill—it’s a great return on investment. Older, single-pane windows can be drafty, and caulking around windows can only do so much. Dual-pane windows are the most efficient. You could even make some changes, such as replacing two smaller older windows with one big one—let the light in! Not sure if your windows need replacing? This article will help you decide.
This is definitely a whole weekend project. With the dry, warm weather, you can move out everything from your garage. Here at Simplify Experts, we typically use two organizers for this job. Use this opportunity to get rid of old toys or sports equipment, broken or rusty tools, and anything else you no longer use. Give the floor a good clean (that oil stain has got to go!). Now you can set up a fantastic storage system. When you move everything back into the garage, you’ll have a more organized, clean space.
Remember, this is a list of possibilities—don’t think you have to do them all in one summer! Prioritize them by need, cost, and time. Maybe this summer is more for maintenance issues (roof replacement, deck re-stain, gutter cleaning), and next summer is for fun and beautification (outdoor kitchen, new deck, expanded garden beds). For most of us, our house is our biggest investment. It’s your home, where you live, eat, play and entertain; your surroundings should bring joy, fun, and wonderful memories. Maintaining and prettying it up is just part of the privilege of home ownership!