Summer can be the perfect time to refresh your home, both on the inside and out. And that’s especially true now — whether you plan to cash in on your vacation days for a staycation, or you’ll be working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can use that extra time for these easy home improvement projects.
Last updated: June 11, 2020
Give Your Doors a Fresh Coat of Paint
Painting your front door can give the exterior of your home a whole new look. Or, you can paint an interior door a contrasting color to give the room some more visual interest.
Expect to spend between $100 and $300 to paint an exterior door and between $50 and $200 to paint an interior door, according to HomeAdvisor.
Seal or Waterproof Your Deck
Get your deck in tip-top shape by sealing or waterproofing it. This DIY project costs an average of $877 but can cost as much as $2,000 in some cases, according to HomeAdvisor.
If that price seems a little out of your budget, you might want to consider taking out a personal loan. There are a number of banks and financial organizations that offer loans, so look for a loan with no or low fees and a low interest rate. For example, PenFed offers personal loans with no origination fees and interest rates as low as 6.49% annual percentage rate1.
¹Annual percentage rate (APR) effective May 28, 2020, and subject to change.
Bring New Life to a Piece of Furniture
A new coat of paint can give a piece of accent furniture a whole new look. Consider repainting a bookshelf, side table or set of drawers to switch up its vibe.
Weed Your Outdoor Spaces
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to weed all of your outdoor areas, including your lawn, yard, patio and deck. This gives an instant facelift to your outdoor spots, so you can truly enjoy them throughout the rest of the summer.
Make Your Home Office Ergonomic
If you’ll be working from home this summer, it’s worth it to upgrade your home office to make it ergonomic. This will make you more comfortable, as well as decrease your chance of injury.
The first place to start is your chair. If you’ve been working at your kitchen table, you’re likely not using a chair with the proper support. Upgrade to an ergonomic office chair, like the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, which New York Magazine rated the best overall ergonomic office chair based on chiropractor recommendations. The chair retails for $1,615. You should also invest in a laptop riser or monitor stand, and an external ke
yboard and mouse. While the chair is a large investment, you can find the other items for relatively cheap on Amazon. Plus, if you’ll be working at home for the foreseeable future, the investment could be worth it.
Experiment With a Bold Accent Wall
If you’ll be spending more time at your home this summer, it’s a good time to experiment with a bold accent wall. This will give you plenty of time to get used to it — or decide you hate it and want to paint it back.
The cost to paint your wall will vary based on the size, but it typically costs $3.30 per square foot of paint, according to HomeAdvisor.
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Paint Over Scuffs and Chips
Applying a fresh coat of paint over scuffs, stains and chips can make your home feel cleaner and refreshed — and it’s not as big of an undertaking as repainting a whole room.
Plant a Garden
Growing your own vegetables and herbs is one way to cut down on trips to the grocery store. Even if you don’t have outdoor space, you can plant herbs near a window. Rosemary and mint are the easiest herbs to grow indoors, according to Real Simple. If you have outdoor space, you can get a little more advanced. The best things to plant midsummer include beans, carrots, cucumbers and cauliflower.
Build a DIY Wall Organizer
Clean up the clutter in your home office with a DIY leather wall organizer. The Design Sponge blog outlines how you can make this chic setup with a wood plank, leather and brass nails — and then you can store your papers there.
Clean and Condition Leather Furniture
Cleaning your leather couch might not be the most fun project, but you’ll be happy once you’re sitting on a tidy, soft couch again. Use a leather cleaner to remove dirt and stains with a cloth, and once the couch is fully dry, you can apply conditioner to bring back its natural moisture.
You can buy a leather cleaning and conditioning kit on Amazon for less than $14.
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Decorate (or Redecorate) Your Walls
If you have art or shelves you’ve been meaning to hang, stop putting it off. Hanging art or installing shelves usually doesn’t require too much effort, so it’s a home improvement you can make pretty easily.
If your walls are already adorned, consider swapping out photos for newer ones or choosing new pieces of art. Shutterfly delivers prints straight to your door, and Etsy is a great place to shop online for unique prints and other art.
Upgrade Your Countertops
You don’t need a lot of money or a contractor to give your countertops an upgrade. You can purchase peel-and-stick contact paper designed to look like marble or granite on Amazon and DIY this improvement yourself. Rolls sell for around $12.
Set Up a Portable Hot Tub
Installing an above-ground hot tub is easier than you might think. Simply set it where you want it, fill it up with a gardening hose and plug it into the nearest outlet.
The cost of this home improvement project will depend on the hot tub size and type — costs range from $320 to $17,000, according to HomeAdvisor. You might consider taking out a personal loan to cover the cost. PenFed offers personal loans for up to $20,000, and you can get your funds as soon as the next day after you’re approved.
Upgrade Your Flooring
Peel-and-stick is also the easy answer to upgrading your floors. You can find peel-and-stick tile on Wayfair for $26 a box.
Options: 30 Ways To Upgrade Your Home Without Blowing Your Budget
Power-Wash Your Deck and Patio
Get your deck, patio and other outdoor spaces looking clean for the summer with a power-wash. You’ll be glad you did if you’re spending more time at home this summer. You can rent power-wash equipment from a home improvement store for about $50, according to AARP.
Install Solar-Powered Landscape Lights
New lighting can easily spruce up an outdoor space but can be hard to install. Fortunately, you can now buy solar-powered lights that don’t require any complicated wiring. Simply place the fixtures in a location where they’ll get plenty of sunlight.
You can buy two dozen spike-style solar lights for about $100, according to AARP.
Add a Fire Pit
You don’t need to do any complicated installation to add a fire pit to your outdoor space if you opt for a portable one. The cost of a portable fire pit will depend on its size and design — you can find some inexpensive ones for around $200, but if you’re looking for something to really style up your yard, a portable fire pit can cost you over $2,500.
Since a fire pit is something you’ll likely use often, it could be worth splurging for a more expensive model. Consider taking out a personal loan to pay for this home upgrade if it’s out of your budget or if you want to do a couple of these home improvement ideas on your yard at once.
Patch Up Cracks in Your Sidewalk or Driveway
Small cracks will become bigger ones if left unrepaired. But fixing these cracks before they become larger issues is cheap and easy. You can purchase ready-to-use sealant for patching cracks in sidewalks for about $5 for a 10-ounce tube, and asphalt repair products for even less, according to AARP. You can purchase sealant at your local home improvement store, and they can be applied with a simple caulking gun.
Swap Out Your Cabinet Hardware
Repainting your cabinets can be a major undertaking, but you can change the look of them more easily just by changing out the hardware. The price of the hardware depends on the design, but you can find cabinet and drawer pulls on Wayfair for as little as $2.
Build a Compost Bin
Cut down on your waste — and make free fertilizer — by building your own compost bin. It’s possible to put one together with wooden pallets, which you can usually get for free, plus some hardware to keep everything together.
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Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards can save you the headache of having to clean your gutters of leaves and other debris that can pile up inside. You can buy guards for as little as $1 per linear foot, according to AARP.
Switch Out Your Mailbox
Give the front of your home a new look by upgrading your mailbox. You can buy chic mailboxes at CB2 for less than $100.
Install a Chimney Cap
Just as gunk can clog up your gutters, it can also get stuck in your chimney. If you don’t already have a chimney cap, you can buy an easy-to-install metal one from a home improvement store for around $100, according to AARP.
Reseed Your Lawn
If your lawn is looking a little worse for wear, you should take on the project of reseeding it. Reseeding should be done every few years, according to HomeAdvisor.
The cost to reseed will depend on the size of your lawn, the type of grass you choose, the condition of your lawn and the cost to rent any equipment needed. On average, reseeding costs $945. You might want to consider taking out a personal loan to cover this cost. PenFed allows you to easily apply for a personal loan online.
Oil Your Wood Cutting Board and Furniture
This might not be the most fun home maintenance task, but if you don’t remember the last time you oiled your wood cutting board and conditioned your wood furniture, it’s probably been too long. Wood objects can dry out and crack if they’re not conditioned regularly, so take the time to do your wood maintenance now ahead of the colder months.
You can buy wood polish and conditioner for around $8 and cutting board oil for around $9 on Amazon.
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Change Out Your Window Coverings
Especially if you’ll be spending more time at home this summer, consider switching up your window coverings to let more natural light in. Swap out heavy and dark curtains or drapes for sheer or semi-sheer ones that let the summer sun light up your home.
Hang Strategically Placed Mirrors
Multiply your home’s natural light by hanging mirrors near windows and doors. This will reflect the light for an instant brightening effect.
Buy Some Houseplants
Houseplants can add some life to your home. And they not only look nice, but they can have health benefits too, including allergy relief, mood boosting and air purification, according to WebMD.
Reupholster Your Desk Chair
Give your home office a new look by reupholstering your desk chair. If that seems too daunting of an undertaking, you can also give your chair a new look by painting the arms and legs.
Clean Your Cast Iron Skillet
This is another easy maintenance task you should do with some extra time. To remove a sticky coating or rust, scrub your cast iron skillet with steel wool. Then reseason it by coating it with cooking oil and baking it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
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