Homework: Summer spruce-ups

Summer is the busiest time of the year

Summer is the busiest time of the year for painting and that means paint is on sale. Add instant curb appeal just by giving your front door a shiny coat of paint in a contrasting color or by touching up the mailbox, porch, stair or walkway railings. Summer's also the perfect time to pick up other color changers, such as deck and concrete stains and sealers. The contrasting color will look fresh and updated. (Credit: iStock)

1. PAINT PROFITABLY

Summer is the busiest time of the year for painting, and that means paint is on sale, so snag a few gallons while prices are down. Even small painting touch-ups can make your house look better fast. Put a fresh coat of paint on the mailbox, porch, stair or walkway railings. Add instant curb appeal just by giving your front door a shiny coat of paint in a contrasting color. Throw on some new hardware and maybe a new porch light and your house will have a nicely refreshed look and feel.

Summer's also the perfect time to pick up other color changers, such as deck and concrete stains and sealers. To give your deck a quick pick-me-up, change one color on either the decking or railings. If you have a redwood stained deck, try staining the railing black. The contrasting color will look fresh and updated. Sidewalks and porches can be repainted or treated with a concrete stain to give them a fresh and finished look. Do some repair work if your concrete surfaces have developed chips or cracks.

 

2. FRESHEN UP INDOORS

Even summer has its share of scorching or stormy days when you don't want to be outside. Use the time for those small cleaning jobs you've promised yourself you'll get to eventually. Clean the dryer vents. Scrub out those out-of-the-way spaces like behind the refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer. Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the coils. Mop behind all your large appliances.

Next, clean under beds and vacuum the mattresses. Flip or rotate mattresses. Wash mattress pads and pillows and place outdoors to dry and sun-bleach. The fresh air on your bed linens will make them smell clean.

 

3. HEAD OUTSIDE

During the winter, roofs can become stained and moldy, making the whole house look shabby. For simple mold stains, a hose sprayer with a bleach solution will usually solve the problem, but if stains are set in, you may need to rent a circulating roof brush or hire a professional cleaning company. A clean roof, like a striking front door, adds curb appeal.

Caulking is an important step in helping seal your house from insects and energy loss. Always buy the best quality caulk possible for longer life and better results.

Now is also a good time to pick up summertime bargains on grills, gardening equipment and outdoor furniture to make yard chores easier and outdoor space enjoyable into fall.

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