Hot Home Improvements For The Summer
In these dog days of summer as the temperature keeps its steady climb, having your own oasis is critical. Whether you’re someone who spends your weekends barbecuing or binge watching, we’ve gathered the hottest tips for updating your space to help make it through the heat. You should be able to find something that fits your budget, so you can go from summer bummer to summer splendor.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Space
It’s summertime and the great outdoors is calling! But what if your outdoor space is less HGTV and more Fear Factor? Remodeling doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve put together this list of impactful outdoor upgrades at a variety of prices.
1. Pressure wash your space
Pressure washing is an easy way to significantly improve the look of any outdoor area. By using a pressure washer, you can blast away grime and built-up sediment on the patio, driveway, and exterior of your home all in an afternoon. Plus, it’s pretty fun and oddly satisfying! You can rent a pressure washer from home improvement stores for as low as $30 for four hours.
2. Re-stain your deck or fence
If you’re planning a cookout or backyard party, freshly re-stained wood fixtures will make your yard the envy of all. Keeping your stain up to date will help keep wood from molding and developing mildew and also will help protect against sun damage. DIY re-staining can be affordable if you’ve got the time to put in some sweat equity. And there are tons of tutorials on YouTube. If you’re short on time, a professional deck re-staining will typically cost under $1,000 depending on the size of your deck. You know what they say? No stain, no gain.
3. Add a fire pit
Is there anything more classically summer than roasting marshmallows around a fire pit after the sun goes down? Maybe a hotdog on the beach is a close second, but we can’t help you build a beach in your backyard. What we can do is point out that a beautiful fire pit may be what you need for your yard’s centerpiece. It’s no wonder it was the winner of our poll from last week's newsletter. You can spend as much or as little as you want on a fire pit. Some online retailers have them for as low as $40, and there are custom options that can be as swanky as you please.
4. Install a ceiling fan
Sitting outside in July doesn’t have to mean sweating when you’ve got an outdoor ceiling fan to keep you chilled out. If you have the wiring already from an existing light fixture, installing a ceiling fan on your porch, deck, or pergola will run you about $200 plus the cost of the fan. If you don’t have the wiring in place, expect it to cost up to $1,500.
5. Build an outdoor kitchen
An outdoor kitchen provides a place to prep, cook, and entertain all at the same time. Building or remodeling an outdoor kitchen is a big project, but you can make it as involved or as simple as you want. You can go small with an outdoor counter and fridge, or you can go all out and mount TVs and build beer taps. The scope of the project is entirely up to you, but having a place for you to cook and for your guests to gather is a welcome addition to any outdoor space.
Cozy Up In The Great Indoors
We haven’t forgotten about the indoor cats of the world. If you don’t think the outdoors are all that great, then these projects will make your home your very own oasis from the heat without putting more strain on your AC bill.
1. Refresh your walls with high LRV paints
Most interior and exterior paints include an LRV (light reflectance value) number. This describes the paint’s reflective characteristics. Paints with a higher LRV are more effective in keeping your home cool in the hot months. If your home needs a paint refresh anyway, choosing a paint with a high LRV can have a cooling effect on your home in addition to sprucing up your space, for no more than the cost of a can of paint.
2. Check on your AC filter
Even if you have central air, your system might not be working at its highest level if it hasn’t been serviced every season. A yearly service of your system will keep you and your family cool while ensuring your system lasts as long as possible, saving you money. The cost can vary depending on if you do it yourself, hire a provider with a yearly plan, or pay each visit, but generally you won’t spend more than a couple hundred dollars for a year’s worth of service.
3. Upgrade the front door
Your front door is the gateway into your home and it’s your guests’ first experience when they visit. Because of this, it gets a lot of wear and tear. If your front door is looking like it needs a makeover, consider installing a new one. Over time, doors can warp from the heat and humidity, causing them to stick or close improperly. The weathering on your door can also deteriorate over time. These issues can let in the heat and, more importantly, let out that precious AC. You can spend more depending on the type of door you pick, but the average cost to replace a front door is around $900. A new door can keep your home cool while increasing your curb appeal.
4. Install energy-efficient windows
Old or inefficient windows are a major cause of temperature control issues in the summer and winter months. There are a few different solutions to this problem which will help keep heat in during winter and out in the summer. You can install weather stripping or add reflective heat film to your windows. If your temperature issues persist, it might be time to consider a major solution like installing double or triple pane windows. You can expect to spend between $300 and $1,000 for each window, plus the cost of labor. But the extra layers of glass in these energy-efficient windows serve as a reflective layer to make controlling the temperature in your home much easier, saving you money over time. Your energy bill will thank you!