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.

Paint

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.

flower-beds

…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.