Top Home Improvements for This Summer



If you live in a place with four definite seasons, summer can seem woefully short, which means you learn to make the most of the time you have outdoors. It’s the perfect opportunity to tackle home improvement tasks you’ve been putting off during the rest of the year now that you have no excuse to avoid being outside. 

Seal Up Leaks

Weather stripping around doors and windows deteriorates as it ages, leading to air leaks and energy loss. Take advantage of a sunny summer day to throw open the doors and windows and replace the weather stripping. If your doors need new door sweeps, now’s the time to replace them.

Examine your house for other types of leaks. If you’ve noticed water leaking into a particular corner of the basement or through a roof seam or spot in the ceiling, it’s important to use the summer season to diagnose and fix the problem before it causes permanent damage. 

Products for repairing roof leaks may only properly work during warmer days, so once the weather cools in the fall, you’ll be stuck with a leak until next summer. 

Repair Rot and Repaint

As you check your house for various leaks, take note of any trim, siding, window sills or other wood features that show signs of rot, holes or insect damage. If you catch the damage soon enough, you may be able to repair it using a wood epoxy filler. For instructions on which fillers to use and how to use them, check with your local building supply retailer or do some online research. Replace any wood that looks too far gone (over 50% damaged).

As long as you are repairing or replacing damaged wood, why not plan for repainting or re-staining your house? If you plan ahead and announce your repainting project at the beginning of summer, you can host a painting party for friends and family as an end-of-summer bash. You supply the paint, brushes, rollers and drop cloths, plus a generous helping of good food, and they’ll supply the labor and fun. 

Deck and Porch Repair

Summer is deck and porch season. There’s something nostalgic and relaxing about sitting in rocking chairs on a porch, sipping iced tea or lemonade while watching the world go by. All the better if the porch is enclosed by screens so you can enjoy the weather without the bugs. 

Decks speak of fun, conviviality and cooking out while catching some sun and breathing the fresh summer air.

Because these are fair-weather spaces of your home, the best time to keep up with the maintenance of porches and decks is during the summer. Replace warped or split boards and stairs on your deck. Check the railing to ensure it is still solid. If not, repair as needed, being sure to check each of the spindles. Stain and seal the deck in order to keep it looking good and serving your summer fun.

If you have a porch, examine the deck for signs of wear. Repair or replace boards as needed. Because porch columns and window framing are exposed to the weather, they are likely to show signs of water or sun damage. Rot that’s not too extensive can be repaired with the aforementioned wood epoxy filler. Replace columns and window framing that appear to be structurally compromised.

While working on the porch window framing, look for holes in any screens and replace as needed. If you have a single small hole in a large expanse of a porch screen, it’s a sure bet the mosquitos will find it and ruin your tranquility. 

Spruce Up the Yard

What is summer without yard work? This is the time of year that provides delight for gardeners everywhere, whether they have a massive green thumb or just want to dabble with a tiny container garden.

Sprucing up your yard is an easy way to improve the look of your home. No one will guess that your sink is full of dirty dishes if your grass is mown and flowerbeds are weeded.

To draw attention to your front door, plant some colorful annuals in a few pots and place them on the stoop. Or hang a basket of flowers from the entry roof. Along with planting annuals, add perennial beds to reduce future maintenance of your yard.

Use the summer months to trim back unwanted brush. However, skip trimming any deciduous or summer-blooming trees you want to keep until late winter. This will allow them to regrow quickly in the spring. 

Summer will speed by in the blink of an eye. Get on top of these home improvement projects before it is gone.

Joanne Aubuchon
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