Want to take advantage of these summer months and improve the quality of your home quickly while maintaining a low budget? Here are some ideas to help keep you busy and your finances in line.


1. Paint


A coat of fresh paint can make any room in your home look clean and new, while adding a personal touch to your home. If you have several smaller rooms that only require a gallon of paint each, many thrift stores and salvaged material shops have “mis-tint” cans that were either left overs or slightly altered from what the original owner had anticipated. Many places have cans for around $5-$10, a great way to re-do a room on a small budget!


2. Mulch


Laying a 1-3 inch layer of mulch on garden beds will quickly spruce up the area around your home’s exterior. Mulch has other benefits as well. For example, it spares you from having to do a lot of weeding. Mulch smothers weeds by depriving them of oxygen and light, and it holds moisture in the soil, saving water and giving plants a consistent source of moisture.


3. Seal Wood Decks


If your deck is looking a little tired, it might be time to seal, stain or paint it. Staining and painting your wood deck can make it look like a million bucks- and you’ll only spend a small fraction of that amount doing it. The way to save money is to do it yourself. You may have to spend a couple hundred dollars on supplies and rented tools, but do it every two to three years and you’ll save thousands of dollars that would’ve been spent replacing the deck all together.


4. Fix Concrete Cracks


The brutal winter months can take a toll on your driveway, patio or walkway. A quick way to make them look better is to fill those cracks. For small cracks, buy concrete caulk. Simply clean out the crack and apply caulk. If crack is larger, than you’ll need to apply concrete patch.


5. Clean Up Your Outdoor Furniture


If your patio furniture is looking a little faded and sad, clean them up from top to bottom. If the material can be painted, why not add a fresh coat? Paint them a bright, fun color to add interest to your yard or porch that passers-by will be sure to notice.


6. Add an Outdoor Fireplace


If you’ve been dreaming about summer nights in front of an outdoor fireplace, now’s the time to make it happen. Create a safe space in your yard for your fire pit; it shouldn’t be close to overhanging trees and should be at least 15 feet from the house. Dig into the ground to form a circle three feet in diameter, pour sand into the bottom and them surround it with a metal fire pit ring or stones, which can be purchased inexpensively at your home improvement store, or maybe you already own! Once you’ve gathered some wood, you’re good to go!


7. Create Fruit & Vegetable Planters


By planting fruits and vegetables around your yard and home, you’re not only adding visual interest but also creating a delicious and inexpensive source of healthy food options! There are many pot and planter friendly plants such as tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries and peppers, or you could even create your own herb garden! Basil, rosemary, parsley, oregano, mint, dill and many others all grow incredibly well in planters and pots, not to mention taste great with your home grown vegetables!


This is just the beginning of what could be your most productive summer yet! There are endless opportunities for you to keep your costs low while improving your home.

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