Before you focus on long, sunny days and fun times outside, devote some tender loving care to your home. You may have been putting off repairs because of cold weather or lack of funds, so we’ve made a list of 10 budget-friendly ways you can get your house ready for summer.
Clean Your Gutters
Dead leaves and other debris from winter could be clogging your gutters. Left unchecked, you could end up dealing with costly water damage. Either clean them out yourself or hire a professional to do the climbing for you. Put this on your list to do again in the fall, or sooner if your yard has lots of large trees in it.
Rent a Pressure Washer
Your local big box store rents pressure washers for cheap. Clean your decks, porches, and patios to make them look shiny and new. Then move on to your sidewalks and driveway. If your home’s siding looks dirty, pressure wash it, too. Wood fences also benefit from a good pressure washing spray. A weekend with a pressure washer plus a little elbow grease from you will completely renew your home’s look.
Weed Your Flower Beds
Don some thick gardening gloves to protect your hands and start yanking weeds. Section off an area at a time and work across your front yard first. Talk about instant gratification! Your yard will look like it’s had a facelift and won’t have cost you a dime.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is one of the most expensive parts of your home. Take care of it by having a professional look at it before the blazing heat of summer. If he finds broken shingles or leaks, have them replaced immediately. If you leave them, they can morph into much bigger – and costlier – problems.
Replace Your Outdoor Lighting
Test all your outdoor lighting and replace any burned-out bulbs. If you haven’t already, invest in some solar lights to illuminate your walkways and flower beds without adding a cent to your electric bill. Keep bugs away by staking out some citronella-burning tiki torches for those warm evenings spent outside.
Walk Around Your Fence
Your fence may have been neglected during the winter, and the harsh weather could have caused some damage. Look for and repair the areas that have come apart, nails sticking out, and any holes that animals have dug underneath it. Look at the gate latch and make sure it’s in working order, too.
Prune Your Trees
Dust off your pruning shears and tackle those overgrown trees and bushes that are blocking the sun and causing your yard to look overgrown. Cutting them back will make them look fuller and healthier throughout the summer. Take the discarded branches to the curb for pickup, or load them into your vehicle and take them to your community’s yard waste disposal center.
Deep Clean Your Grill
Looking forward to social evenings with good burgers and great friends? Or maybe quiet evenings grilling with the family? They’re both popular ways to spend time in the summer months. Make sure your grill is up to the heavy use it’s going to see over the next few months by giving it a tuneup and a scrub. Using a grill brush and some hot soapy water, scrub any remnants of last year’s use. Then use a soft wet cloth to wipe down the outside. If it’s gas, make a trip for new propane, and if it’s charcoal, pick up a fresh bag the next time you’re out. You’ll be good to go!
Wash Your Windows
Take full advantage of the beautiful sunny summer days even if you’re indoors with spotless windows. Start inside and wash them with window cleaner, or make your own with a vinegar/water mixture. Then move outside and wash them either by hand or with the handy cleaning spray tools that attach to your water hose.
Do a Safety Check
Look through your safety supplies and add anything that’s missing or almost empty. You should have a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors with fresh batteries, and a full first-aid kit. Hang a list of important numbers, like poison control and your kids’ doctors, on the refrigerator for easy access during an emergency. If you own a pool, make sure you have plenty of safety floats.
Before jumping into fun summer activities, dedicate some time to maintaining your biggest financial investment – your house. Even if you don’t have much room in the budget, the tips above will help you get it ready for a safe, enjoyable summer.