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Inexpensive Summer Projects: Part 2

summer projects

Inexpensive Summer Projects: Part 1

In the first part of this series we looked at some practical summer projects/chores, things like cleaning, painting and pest control. Those tasks are not the most enjoyable things to do around your home but at some point they need to be done.

We continue our look at summer home projects by getting into some fun stuff. If the first article was the green beans, this one is the dessert (assuming you prefer dessert over green beans).

Make An Herb Planter

Find an old kids wagon, preferably the metal kind (not plastic) and convert it into an herb planter. You can paint it if necessary, fill it with soil and create a lovely looking herb garden that can be moved to different areas of your yard, depending on the season and your whims.

herb garden

Grow Fruits And Vegetables (anywhere)

In the same vein as the previous idea, plant food…anywhere it will grow. You don’t need to confine yourself to non-edible flowers and bushes in your yard, and you don’t need to have a garden plot. Plant some lettuce, cucumber, beans, tomatoes or whatever else grows well in your area. Don’t forget to be mindful of local critters that may want to partake of your homegrown food!

Create A BBQ Station

Even if you don’t want to (or feel confident to) build a permanent structure (bricks, concrete, etc) around your BBQ, you can still build or gather components to surround your BBQ and make it more like a mini-outdoor kitchen. You can find a couple of weather resistant wood or metal tables with storage underneath or if you are handy to build using wood, you can create some workspace and storage which will greatly enhance your summer BBQ workflow.bbq station

Outdoor Lighting

Adding some inexpensive lighting can make a dramatic impact along walkways and patios in particular. Simply stringing some outdoor lights around your deck can give your outdoor eating area a restaurant-like ambience. Adding some new lighting around your garage doors is also a wonderful update.

Create A Dreamboard Or Dreamspace

Do you dream of owning a condo in Hawaii or do you wake up in the morning wishing you were sailing on the high seas? Why not create a space that inspires you to take action towards bringing this dream to reality?dreamboard

Replace A Indoor Lighting Fixtures

Changing out some dated, boring lighting fixtures will make a space pop. Think outside the box a little. You are not limited to buying a new fixture from your local hardware store. Go to garage sales, flea markets and antique stores to find a vintage fixture that may be a great complement or contrast within your current decor.

Create Your Own Decor Accents

Beyond just lighting fixtures, you can create very creative accents such as frames, mirrors and candle holders for spaces both inside and outside. Re-purpose old items and renew them with paint. Even items such as rope, wood scraps, and old glass and metal items can be transformed into new decor accents.homemade lamp

Build Outdoor Furniture And Accessories

Let your creativity expand by visualizing old or rustic items transformed into something new. An old wooden barrel can be a table. Bricks and concrete blocks can turn into seating areas. Slices of branches and logs can be made into candle holders or food serving platters.

Have some fun being creative around your home this summer!

homemade table

Inexpensive Summer Projects: Part 1

Posted on

Inexpensive Summer Projects: Part 1

summer-projectsSummer is for having fun, right? Yes, but as much as we love to enjoy BBQ’s, camping, vacations and the beach during summer, it also is an ideal time to get some home and garden tasks done. The weather is (usually) fine, the days are long and there is certainly not much on TV.

Just as we learned to eat our vegetables before we get dessert, we will first look at some practical and important jobs, followed up by a number of optional tasks which will enhance outdoor decor, fun and frolicking in your outdoor space.


Summer is a great time to paint, especially in climates that have a lot more rain in the spring and fall. Exterior painting is often a job that is better left for professionals. They are well equipped to deal with the preparation, finicky detail and safety concerns that an exterior paint job requires. They will get the work done faster and cleaner, freeing you up for some of the other tasks below.

Refinish Your Deck

If you want to tackle some painting or refinishing, your deck is a good place to start. Do it early in the summer, so you still have lots of time to enjoy the fruit of your labour. Refinishing your decks now will save you considerable money by extending the life of your decks. It will also help prevent cracks and splinters which may end up in some unfortunate person’s feet.

refinish-deckWhether you will be using stain or paint take the time to research the best method and products to prep, strip and refinish your deck. Take care to protect surrounding plants, gardens and your house from sprays, cleaning products and paint/stain.

Here is an informative tutorial on deck re-finishing

Spruce Up Your Flower Beds

This task really starts in the spring but continues on during the summer. Take some time to first clean your flower beds, removing dead stems, leaves and branches. Next, step back and see if there are any plants that are not enhancing your beds. Remove them. Now you have some space which may best be left open or you can add new flowers or plants which enhance the area.

…and if you happen to have an old VW Beetle

Adding mulch, some pots or decorative accessories will give your beds an instant facelift.

Clean Your Gutters

Whether you are comfortable cleaning gutters yourself or pay someone to do it, this is one of those thankless jobs which doesn’t improve the appearance of your home but will maintain the proper functioning of your gutters. Please be safe and only attempt this maintenance task if your gutters are easily accessible.

Clean Your Furnace

Summer is a good time to clean your furnace simply because the furnace tends to get used less during the warmer months, depending on where you live.  Remove the dirty filter and replace it with a clean one. Take a vacuum and clean up any dirt and dust while you are there. Remember, this unit is moving air that you breathe, so keep it clean!

Here is an in-depth furnace maintenance articleclean-furnace

Pest Control

Depending on your climate, your property will be prone to any number of pesky pests and summer is a good time to clean up and remove their reasons for domiciling in your space. Cleanliness is key, so dispose of fruit, leaves and branches that fall from your trees. Ensure your waste containers have snug fitting lids. Eliminate standing water to prevent mosquitoes from hatching and visually (and carefully) inspect trees, bushes and your home itself for wasp nests.

Now that we have some important but not very exciting tasks out of the way, next time we will look at some fun summer projects to inspire you.