Syndicated — It's August, the summer is in full swing, and the living is easy. Well, sort of. As every homeowner will agree, there's always something to do around the house or the yard to keep things looking good and performing well.
This month is the ideal time to tackle some upgrades on your home's exterior; simple, inexpensive things that you can accomplish on your own to boost the curb appeal of your home - its resale value.
And with the days growing continually shorter, the time to start is now. Here are my five "must-do" projects for August:
Improving the entrance to your home is a relatively easy thing to do. Add some color by painting the front door in a fresh coat of gloss paint, or strip it down to the natural wood. Consider container gardens or shutters to provide additional interest. And replace outdated exterior wall sconces with more stylish models. If you are looking to do the latter, here's all you need:
Materials and tools
You can avoid the expense of a structured walkway and add visual interest to your home's landscape by laying a more casual pathway. Choose from a full range of materials - bricks, pavers, flagstone, granite slabs, river rocks, gravel or simulated stone products like above - to design the path that fits your home's design and matches your DIY skill set. Not interested in cutting stone to configure into a pattern? There's no need. Plenty of designs require nothing more than a little imagination, a thoughtful plan and some basic skills.
A simple window box can add enormous curb appeal to a house or an apartment while providing an attractive garden view from indoors. There are a multitude of products on the market today - wood, plastic, resin and metal - that embrace a broad range of designs and price points. Feeling crafty? Make one yourself. It's an easy woodworking project that requires minimal tools and materials. You can tackle it as a family, imparting how-to skills and an appreciation for small-scale gardening to your kids.
If you are looking for a way to free your garage of unnecessary seasonal storage, consider the benefits of a ready-made shed. Not only are sheds a practical choice for outdoor equipment storage, many are appealing as an architectural element in the yard. But today's sheds aren't just for the garden. Coming in all shapes and sizes, some are perfectly suited as a standalone workshop, artist studio or home-away-from-home office.
Although serious rain shortages and extreme heat have parched many a lawn and garden this summer, you can take some initiative and responsibility by installing a rain collection system to help with future irrigation needs. A rain barrel, or some variation thereof, will allow you to keep your yard and garden well-irrigated without tapping into well water or municipal water supplies. You might want to check with your town to see if there are any restrictions on rain barrel use or size, first.
Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV's This Old House, Bob Vila's Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at BobVila.com. His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content - practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.