Sunshine and blue skies provide the ideal setting to finish those outdoor renovations you’ve been putting off, or to fix the damage left behind by winter. From decks and driveways to new windows and flower beds, here are some great summer projects to take on as a homeowner to increase the value of your property.
Top Exterior Renovations
Exterior renovations in the backyard, front yard, and other areas surrounding your property, such as your garage, house siding, or deck, can only be done when weather conditions allow for it. With summer here, these renos become a top priority.
Here are some common outdoor projects to up your curb appeal, improve the safety and security of your home, reduce maintenance, and help you to sell faster when the time comes:
Repaint/Reside your Home or Garage: Perhaps the most common renovation done during summer is refinishing your home’s siding. This may include a fresh coat of paint to an existing material or re-siding the exterior of your home with vinyl, wood, aluminum, stone, brick, or stucco. Price will vary according to your choice of material.
If your home doesn’t need a complete makeover, patch areas that are chipped or worn. Re-siding your home will not only update its appearance but also protect it against structural or weather damage. If you’re painting, make sure to wash thoroughly and sand your siding beforehand.
Replace Your Roof: Just like the siding of your home, your roof is an important structural element that you should replace every 20-25 years or sooner, depending on its condition. If you notice any leakage, curling or buckling of shingles, missing shingles, or other problems, it’s a sign you should repair or replace your roof.
Windows: Replacing your windows is a job you want to leave for the summertime. It’s also a job you want to complete fairly quickly as it can be a nuisance to have a hole to let in bugs, dust, and other outside debris. Measure and order windows well in advance of your project, as they can take time to arrive, especially if they have to be custom made.
Driveway/Walkways: Summer is the best time to pave your driveway with asphalt because the warm temperatures prevent it from hardening too fast. Slower dry times also allow you to spread the asphalt evenly.
When it comes to concrete, the opposite holds true. High temperatures can cause it to cure too quickly, which can lead to weaker concrete, and physical defects, such as shrinkage or cracks. While the best time to install concrete is spring or fall, this isn’t to say that you can’t lay concrete during the summer. In fact, you can use a cooling blanket or water to help prevent uneven curing.
Landscaping: There are endless possibilities when it comes to landscaping. To start, you can install sod or other low-maintenance alternatives to a grass lawn, such as thyme, yarrow, chamomile, moss, or clover. Non-living alternatives may include turf, stone, sand, or wood chips.
In addition to your lawn, think about other ways to improve your curb appeal, such as:
- Planting trees, flowers, and shrubs
- Building a flower bed or a showcase planter
- Adding a garden or focal piece, such as a fountain
- Creating a stone pathway
Deck: Whether you have a deck that needs a facelift, or you’ve been planning to build a new one, now is the time to get started. If you’re looking to build from scratch, you may need to get a permit before you start construction. From there, plan out your design, location, and materials, and always finish with a protective coat of stain to seal it and protect it from weather-related damage.
Fence/Gate: Just like a deck, summer is also the prime time to paint your existing fence or build a new one. If you share a fence with a neighbor, you might be able to split the cost and labor. A fence can increase the value of your property as it boosts your home’s aesthetic, provides privacy, and also secures your yard from intruders.
Should You Use a Contractor or DIY?
Like any home renovation, there are times when you should use a contractor, and times when you can save money by doing it yourself.
Contractors are busy in the summertime, but they’re also looking for work. For large projects, like a new deck or roof replacement, you may not have the skills to get the job done. However, an experienced contractor can complete your reno efficiently. Just make sure to do your research ahead of time before hiring anyone.
For smaller repairs, such as painting, maintenance, or landscaping, you’re better off doing it yourself to save on outsourcing costs.
Summer Renovations: Pros and Cons
The summer is a popular time to carry out renovations because the weather is usually calm, warm, and consistent. Some downsides of doing major remodels in the summer could be sacrificing family vacation time, and dealing with the disruptions from kids are who are off from school.
If you’re doing a large-scale project this summer, take the time to plan out your steps to make the job as efficient as possible so that you can spend less time with a drill, and more time soaking up the sun.
What outdoor renovations do you have planned this summer?