8 Home Improvements To Make This Summer
Here are 8 easy-to-implement home improvements that can make your house feel fresh (and cool) over the summer.
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The summer is here and many of us are looking to make the most of the warm weather with some home improvements. But where to start? Here are seven ideas to get you started.
#1: Update Outdoor Furniture
It’s not until summer that you pull out your outdoor furniture, only to find that it’s looking worse for wear. It’s easy for chairs to go moldy over time or for tables to be covered in spider webs. Assess the damage, and then get an action plan to spruce up your furniture.
A lot of the damage can be undone with some warm soapy water. You might also need to sand down wooden furniture and give it another coat of paint and varnish to protect it from the elements.
If you’re looking for something new, we just got two of these amazing chairs for our front porch and I am absolutely in love. They’re so comfortable and they totally give off that “just need some lemonade and a white picket fence” type of vibe. Also, made from recycled material, so my eco-guilt was assuaged...
#2: Fix Your AC (Before It Breaks)
If it’s been a while since your last AC tune-up, then be sure to have your unit serviced this summer. A properly maintained AC unit can save you money, make the air you breathe far healthier, and also reduce noise pollution in your home. What’s more, it is likely to be far more energy-efficient and better for the environment.
And if that’s not good enough, the wait times for AC repair people are INSANE during a heat wave (trust me...ours broke in 100+ degree heat a few years ago and we had to wait weeks in what felt like literal hell for the first available appointment), so you want to make sure you fix any bugs here before things go south.
#3: Tidy up the patio
A fresh patio brightens any yard, but paving stones can become grimy over time. It’s a great idea to borrow a pressure washer and blast the dirt away.
If weeds are coming up through the paving stones, rip them up. Just be wary of toxic chemicals. Boiling water often does the trick just fine. You could also update your patio area with a whole new material, like stylish pebbles.
#4: Resurface the Deck
Do you have decking outside your home?
Because it’s been exposed to the elements all year, it can end up looking a bit shabby come summer-time. Consider cleaning or even stripping the paintwork, and then giving it fresh layers of paint. It’s an excellent opportunity to update the color, too.
Finish with a treatment that will protect the wood for the year ahead. You might also want to apply these steps to your front door and fencing, if relevant.
#5: Install New Windows
Double glazed windows will keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, so they are the definition of a win-win. If you don’t already have them, it’s well worth investing this summer.
If your windows are already fully insulated, now is a great time to give them a clean. Windows often get left off the cleaning rota, since they’re not a high priority area of the house. But the sun makes it easier to see grubby marks and makes us feel more conscious of dirty window panes. Sparkling windows will add radiance to your entire house.
Bonus Points: This makes a great job for the kiddos. My 3 year old literally begs me to let her Windex things. You do you, kiddo. I’m all for it.
#6: Get a Ceiling Fan
Adding a ceiling fan can actually shave a surprising amount off your energy bill each year.
A fan will help to circulate fresh air around the room during the hotter months, but it’s an excellent investment year-round. Running a ceiling fan during winter helps to distribute the warm air better that naturally rises to the ceiling.
(Also, did you know they have indoor/outdoor ceiling fans? Apparently that’s a thing now.)
#7: Create an Outdoor Cooking Area
You might already have an outdoor grill, but have you ever considered building an entire outdoor kitchen?
It’s an ambitious project, but one with huge rewards, especially if you love entertaining in the summer evenings. An outdoor kitchen allows you to cook up a storm while lounging in the balmy evening air.
Also, for those of us with tiny monsters...I mean adorable children, the idea of a hosable cooking surface makes it possible for them to actually help out with meal prep without the fear of them destroying your entire house. Win/win.
#8: Plant Some Flowers
Nothing says summer life fresh flowers. Even if you get a small pot and plant a couple Choice bulbs in it, something about actual, growing, life makes you feel a little bit summerier.
This is also a great project to do with the kiddos, because they get a sanction a reason to play with dirt and they get to watch a plant grow, both of which are excellent learning experiences.
If you're like me and have a tendency to accidentally murder plants, they even sell foliage just for us, like these pre-potted plants that are literally named “hard to kill”. Did I mention how much I love the internet? Now I don't have to make an idiot of myself asking the person at the Home Depot garden section which plants are least likely to be accidentally murdered by me.
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Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
My Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
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