Real estate

Six Home Improvement Projects You Should Do this Summer

A new walkway can improve your home's curb appeal. Credit: Cathy Knapp

If you’re a weekend warrior who’s waited all winter to spruce up your home, now is the time to get those improvements underway. Whether you’ve got an indoor project on your agenda, or an outdoor undertaking in mind that you know will improve your curb appeal and property value, there’s no time like the present.

But with so many options and a limited amount of time — not to mention daylight — where do you begin? We asked local South Orange, Maplewood and Millburn realtors for their suggestions on which home improvements are ideal for this season. Here’s what they said:

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1. Painting: Inside & Out

“Interior painting of current desirable colors in grey tones would be one of the best investments,” Robert Northfield of Keller Williams Realty advises. “Upgrading or renovating the kitchen would be also a good move. Stone counters, new appliances, and fresh coat of paint would go a long way.”

Northfield adds some of the best and most rewarding changes you make to your home’s exterior are landscaping and a paint job to “enhance the look and highlight the details of the home.”

2. The Patio: A Backyard Oasis 

Speaking of the outdoors, Caroline Gosselin, head of the Gosselin Group at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, has some recommendations for making the most of your exterior space.

“This time of year I am all about doing things that keep you outside and enjoying the weather,” Gosselin says. “Fixing up a nice a backyard patio can be one of the best DIY home improvement projects. It allows you to have your own little relaxing oasis right in your backyard. It is great for entertaining, and upon resale, it makes an impact to buyers who can see themselves enjoying that space.”

Gosselin adds that great places to get many low-cost design ideas areHouzz.com and Pinterest.com.

3.  Pest Prevention: Creating a Bug-Free Zone

Vanessa Pollock of Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty suggests establishing a bug-free zone so you can enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.

“After the winter we’ve had, we all need as much outdoor time as possible, but the mosquitos are already trying to ruin the warm weather for us all,” she says. “If you have a patio or deck though, you have a great foundation for a fun and bug-free zone: put a tent on your deck!  Yes, that’s what I said – a tent on the deck!  A mesh-sided, tall tent with lanterns, battery operated, of course, inside with some lounge chairs will make a perfect bug-free hang!”

A tent can help create a bug-free zone in your backyard. Credit: David Ellis Canvas Products

Vanessa shares additional ideas for creating the perfect pest-free area in her blog.

4. Clean the Windows & Enjoy the View

If you want to get a clear view of your new-and-improved outdoor space, cleaning your windows will do the trick. Plus, it’s a perfect way to brighten up your place, says Allison Ziefert of Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty.

“You’d be surprised how many people go years without doing this and it makes a big difference,” she notes. “Once the project is finished you might be asking yourself, ‘Who turned the lights on in here?’ It’s a good DIY project or you can hire a local company to handle the job for you. It’s usually costs about $6 to $7 per window.”

5. Declutter: From Top to Bottom

Tina Chen Erway of Towne Realty Group says aside from the usual exterior painting and minor kitchen and bathroom renovations, a good summertime home improvement project is “decluttering” your house.

“You can start from the attic and move down to the basement and, of course, tackle the garage mess too,” she advises. “You can even hold a garage sale to make your effort worthwhile.  It is not a fun thing to do, but the rewards are huge.”

6. A New Walkway Adds Curb Appeal

Cathy Knapp of Towne Realty Group says one of the most important parts of the marketing of a home is its curb appeal.

“Especially if a seller has owned the home a long time, a new walkway adds enormous appeal and freshens up the whole front of the home. It also shows the prospective buyer that the seller maintains all parts of the home,” she says.

Though summer is often all about relaxing, these six home improvement projects can help you make the most of your indoor and outdoor space, increasing your enjoyment as well as your home’s value.

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