Forget spring cleaning. Make your spring housework about home improvement. You can add value to your home with a few easy moves. Some of these activities take little construction or do-it-yourselfer (DIY). Somethings you can do require minimal expense, too. If you have $50 to $100 to spend, you can improve your home and its value. You will also make it look cuter.
Low-Cost Spring Home Repair Tips
Take advantage of the perfect weather to spruce up the outdoor hardscapes and entertainment areas. Take these spring home repair tips into account when deciding how to upgrade your home:
- Stain the deck.
It might look a little dingy after the snow melted or winter’s ice pelted it. Give it a nice power wash. Dry it. Stain it. Choose a stain that beautifies and protects. You can make standard two-by-fours look like fabulously expensive hardwoods with the right stain. Choose something with depth to the color. You need to stain it once per year.
- Paint the porch.
This means the front and the back porch if your home has both. Choose a nice white or a lighter color that complements your home’s color. If your existing paint job started peeling, strip it clean first or at the very least, scrape it, so you remove the peeled paint. Power wash the porch and let it dry. Now, you can add a couple of coats of new paint. Always only paint or stain a clean, dry surface.
- Add a new porch railing.
You can make the whole front of the home look brand new by changing the porch railing. Update it to something snazzy with a little panache. This makes the porch safer and sturdier as well as adding to the curb appeal. Don’t forget to update the steps/stair rails, too. Try something new and different like a Chippendale railing or a colored railing. If that seems too wild to you then stick with a wood-tone railing.
- Add a new mailbox.
Updating your mailbox costs little, but it jazzes up the front of your home. Buy something a little oversized and make your mail carrier love you all the more. It will easily accommodate more mail saving them from having to fold, squish, and jam things in your box.
- Plant a garden.
If you already have a garden, add a new bed or two. You can also update your landscape using a container garden or two. Buy large garden pots and plant a wildflower mix or giant sunflowers. Add window boxes to the home. You can brighten the front of the house this way and add curb appeal. They’re easy to install, and you can grow a wide range of flowers in them. If you do not already have flowers lining your walkway to the front of your home or lining the driveway, add these. Another of the best spring home repair tips is that if you notice driveway damage, contact residential paving contractors to have this repaired. You need an untracked, seamless driveway. Beds along the sides of the home also add to its beauty, and they help prevent erosion along the foundation.
- Line your fence with shrubs.
You might have a chain link or wood fence that keeps your dog and children inside the yard and strangers out, but it might not look too spiffy. You can add plants to spruce it up. Plant shrubs along the fence edge and you not only beautify the yard, but you also enhance your privacy.
- Paint the fence.
This you can do yourself. Anyone can wash off a fence and let the sun dry it. It is then ready for painting! You can use a paint roller or a large paintbrush. Rather than painting it the same color as your main house color or white, pick one of the trim colors on your home and use that as your fence color. This brightens your landscape and complements your home. Plus, you make your fence look new.
- Update your house numbers display.
Check with your homeowner’s association for any restrictions. You can update the look of the front door. Try color tiles or painted bricks. As long as it’s within the rules, you can update the look of the front of your home with many options.
Medium Cost Spring Home Repair Tips
Some projects cost a little more. With these options, you can add to your use of your home and the enjoyment of the time spent there. You also increase your resale value. Prepare to spend $500 to $1,500 on any of the projects in this category if you DIY it. You will spend a little more if you have to hire a building contractor. While you have your HVAC checked you should get any necessary AC repair done so you can stay comfortable inside. Another spring home repair tips is that you can do the following projects outside to add to your yard:
- Add a porch or deck.
If your home does not yet have a front porch or deck along the back, add one! The beautiful weather of spring and summer deserves a place to enjoy it. You can add to your family’s enjoyment of your yard and add to your home’s value. Your curb appeal increases, too. Certainly, you will spend a bit, but your investment pays you back. Consult with experienced flooring contractors to choose the flooring material, so you end up with a finished look that extends the flooring on the interior of the home to its exterior. Your porch needs a good roof to provide shelter. You may discover in the process that you need roofing repairs because the workers may see damaged shingles or other problems during their construction time. Do not have them attempt to do the roof repair. Get estimates from a roofing specialist. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, building a wood deck on your home nets a 69 percent return on investment (ROI) when you eventually sell your home. If you have a swimming pool, but no deck, add on around the pool, too. While upgrading your patio, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. You will need a plumbing company for this project. Residential plumbers can extend the plumbing lines to the patio, so you can also have a sink and other items like an integrated fire pit and oven.
- Add a fire pit.
Increase the ambiance of your backyard by adding a fire pit. It will nicely complement the deck. You can enjoy this into late fall when the temperatures drop. The fire pit extends the usefulness of your yard into seasons of cooler temperatures. Place it in an open area of your yard with no nearby trees or tree branches over it. You could conceivably do this project on your own if you have at least minimal DIY skills. Otherwise, hire a pro.
- Plant a vegetable garden.
This only falls into the medium cost area if you have not done it before. You need to purchase tools, soils, and seeds. You may need to rent a rototiller to prepare your ground. Plan out your garden plots before you start. This pays you back at the end of the growing season. You spend the money on the accouterments now and the time planting and sowing. You reap the benefits at harvest time when you get paid back with your vegetables, chiles, and spices. Once you till the beds in and enclose them, you complete the expensive part. In coming years, you will only need to spend money on potting soil, nutrients like bone meal, and seeds or seedlings. Unless you establish your own composting heap, you will need to purchase manure each year, too.
High-Cost Spring Home Repair Tips
You have to spend money to make money. The projects in this category add lasting value to your home. They also provide a hearty addition to its resale value. You could earn back up to 90 percent of what you spend on these projects. That’s why these project ideas are part of this list of spring home repair tips.
- Fence in your yard.
If you do not already have a fence, get one installed. Choose a design that adds to your curb appeal, such as a wood privacy fence or a brick enclosure. Match the fence to the house if wood. You have many options in fencing and you can improve your home’s value while you live in it and upon resale. You beautify at the same time you add to security and privacy.
- Convert a detached garage to an apartment.
Your unused detached garage adds value to your home as a mother-in-law apartment. It does not add as much as a garage you probably use for storage. You can easily update the garage doors to open out like carriage house doors to make conversion simpler. You do not have to use the converted for family visits. Once you renovate it, you can rent it out. That pays you back for the renovation long before you sell your home. You will probably spend $15,000 to $20,000 to renovate it, resulting in a one-bedroom, one bath with a small kitchen. You can rent that for $300 to $500 per month. Considering the housing shortage in most areas, you can rent it quickly. You earn back at least $3,600 of what you spent to renovate each year and in less than five years, you pay yourself back and begin turning profit. That keeps paying you back and becomes a semi-passive income stream for you.
- Have the house painted.
You might think you could do this yourself, but this is not the project to DIY. You need a professional crew to do this correctly. Choose a color combination that complements each other. Typically, this consists of the main color for the overall house color and two accent colors. Use one on the trim, the other on areas of highlight such as the porch rails and eaves. Consult with a paint expert at your local hardware and home store. Home Depot stores across the country offer a paint matching service. You take in a swatch of fabric or a football helmet and they can match the color and create it for you as exterior or interior paint. These experts can also use their color wheel software to suggest two colors that would go with the main color as highlights. You then purchase those as well.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
How do you know which projects require a professional in home improvement and which you can do yourself? The first of the DIY spring home repair tips is that you have to be honest with yourself. You know your own skill level. Be straight with yourself. If you do not know how to frame a wall or know what that means, you should not attempt to construct your own fence, deck, porch, etc. You will just waste your own money on tools and materials.
On the other hand, if you have done small projects before like building birdhouses, dog houses, or you have worked on friends’ projects before, you can probably call in a few favors and have some friends help you with construction. Using your friends’ and family’s skills is another of the best spring home repair tips. Some projects, like the house painting, just make sense to hire a pro. Why? If your home is more than one story in height you need scaffolding to paint the upper floors. The pros have that on hand. Depending on where you live, you cannot rent this. Often professionals in the construction industry will own tools that you cannot rent unless you are also a pro.
When you do need to hire someone, you need to check them out first. Walk through your neighborhood and look at the homes and whether they underwent recent improvements. Those who had fences installed, typically have a small metal plate on the fence’s front that provides the name and phone number of the company that installed it. Landscapers, remodelers, and house painters often provide a yard sign that advertises their work. Write down these numbers and use them as a starting point for finding a professional to do your job.
Phone each contractor whose work you liked. Ask for an estimate. While you await their estimate which typically comes via email, you can check out their reputation. Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. The BBB rates each business for reputation based upon consumer ratings. You can read comments from the company’s prior clients. Eradicate any companies with poor records.
When the estimates come in, avoid the temptation to choose the cheapest. You need to read them carefully and make sure that they really provide an apples-to-apples comparison of the work. Some contractors do not include cleanup or equipment breakdown costs in their estimate. Others leave out materials costs. Some contractors require you to purchase materials through them and others expect you to purchase them and to have them waiting on hand when they arrive to do the job. You need to follow up on each estimate that leaves off an item a more complete estimate included.
Most of the projects discussed in this article, you can do it yourself. The only ones that require a professional contractor say so. Remember that one of the top spring home repair tips is to be honest with yourself. Only try the projects, like painting the fence or installing a mailbox, that you know you can capably do. You do not need to use every suggestion in the article. Pick one or two things to do and gussy up your home. It will pay you back all season long and at resale.