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Summer Home Renovations: 10 Projects You Can Do Over The Weekend (Part One)

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet; it must be time for summer home renovations. For the common homeowner, the summer season represents the optimal time to complete necessary improvements around the house, including the extensive honey-do list you’ve been putting off. The good news, however, is that not all summer home renovations demand extensive time or money to complete.

In fact, successful real estate investors recognize the importance of time — and they value it immensely. When it comes to undertaking summer home improvements, investors take into consideration a combination of factors like cost-effectiveness, efficiency, amount of time, but most important, return on value (ROI).

“It doesn’t matter if you plan to sell your home in the near future or you intend to live in it for years to come, keeping a property up-to-date benefits everyone,” says Than Merrill, my colleague at CT Homes and Fortunebuilders. “Unfortunately, what most people tend to do is wait until they can shell out tens of thousands of dollars for renovations when – in reality – executing smaller projects here and there can save them money in the long run.”

At CT Homes, the one thing we always teach our students is to evaluate a potential renovation in terms of its return on investment. This can be the difference between a loss or a profit down the line. As a homeowner, comprehending these factors will allow you to align your summer home renovations accordingly, including what’s most important on your list, what can be completed the quickest, and what will generate the best return.

10 Summer Home Renovations You Can Do Over The Weekend

The summertime is a great excuse to start fresh and enhance your home with that much needed makeover. However, many summer home renovations can take weeks and sometimes months to complete. What you need are some quick summer DIY projects that won’t cost an entire month’s salary.  The following highlights the top projects that can be completed over a single weekend:

1. Spruce Up The Exterior

Spruce up the exterior

It’s surprising what a little paint can do for the appearance of a home — and its value. The average cost to spruce up the exterior of a home by repainting is approximately $2,000, while the average return on resale is 90 percent.

If you decide to hire a professional painter rather than do it yourself, be sure they are a lead-safe certified contractor. While you won’t be fined if you do the job yourself, contractors must follow safety guidelines and therefore are subject to fines. For people planning to paint a home that was built before 1978, visit the EPA website for more information.

Tips: When painting your home, be sure to use warm and inviting colors. For most homeowners, the most popular choice of paint color is Taupe.

2. Enhance The Landscaping

Enhance the landscape

One of the more popular summer home renovation projects that takes only a weekend to complete is adding curb appeal. There’s no denying that lawn beautification goes a long way for a home’s visual appeal and it’s a central part of a home’s character. Because landscaping is the first impression visitors and potential buyers see, it’s a critical component to get a jump start on this summer.

When getting started, homeowners can either choose to commence the landscape project themselves or hire a professional. Either way, it should only take a weekend to complete. For those considering hiring a professional, it’s important to understand there are two types of landscapes: landscape architects and contractors — and each one serves a specific purpose.

Tips: Consider creating a walkway and adding solar lighting. In addition, planting a mature tree can be worth as much as $1,000 to $10,000, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.

3. Upgrade Windows

Upgrade windows

One of the surest summer home renovations to earn a return on investment is upgrading the windows. This approach not only offers energy efficiency but a high return on investment, as homeowners can generally receive a 100 percent ROI with window upgrades.

To maximize your ROI, install dual-pane windows. This will not only ensure street noise and inefficient air conditioning and heating is eliminated, but it will improve your home’s appearance. Depending on how many windows you want to replace, the costs of this summer home renovation will run approximately $600 – $5,000.

Tips: Although replacing your windows doesn’t require a permit, it will if you are cutting a hole into the wall to perform the job. Give a window professional a call first before commencing this home improvement.

4. Build A Fire Pit

Fire pit

For those looking to keep their weekend projects to a minimum, building a fire pit is a quick way to add flare to your backyard. The three options that require the least amount of time to complete include: utilizing an antique or salvaged fire pit; buy a freestanding fire pit; or simply building one.

One common and affordable method is using concrete tree rings. For less than $60, homeowners can construct a personalized fire pit that allows for a very controlled burn and positive air shut-off to extinguish when it’s time to call it quits. Not only is it a cost efficient project to build, but an outdoor fire pit is the ideal way to entertain guest during the summer months.

5. Fix/Upgrade The Front Door

Fix and upgrade front door

Believe it or not, upgrading your front door can produce significant value to your home, as well as return on investment. Not only is a front door replacement one of the top remodeling projects with the highest ROI, but it can provide significant savings in terms of heating and cooling costs.

“It gives you the best bang for your buck in terms of transforming the look and feel of your home,” says Brandon Erdmann, president of the remodeling firm HomeSealed Exteriors in Milwaukee. “Plus, old exterior doors can be a huge source of energy loss. So you’re improving the look of your house, improving energy efficiency, and you’re able to do it without breaking the bank.”

This biggest perk of this summer home renovation is it can be completed in less than one weekend.

Tips: Considering installing a steel or fiberglass entry door — both of which will fetch a healthy return. The cost of a steel door is approximately $1,334 with a return of 91.1 percent, while a fiberglass door is much cheaper and still has a 82.3 percent return on investment.

6. Add A Security System

Security system

For weekend projects that require the least amount work from homeowners, installing a security system is your best bet. In addition to improving the security of your fortress, a home security system can also decrease the cost of your home insurance. In most cases, insurance companies will reduce the annual rate by as much as 15 percent to 25 percent.

The cost of installing a new home security system depend on whether you, or a professional company, will be handling the installation. Homeowners can install a system themselves for as little as $50 – $300, while a professional service will cost anywhere from $300 – $1,500.

Tips: Another consideration for homeowners is to add home automation, which will essentially allow you to control home features with your smartphone. Although the average cost runs approximately $3,172; the average return on resale is 100 percent. It’s a win-win.

7. Replace Fences & Gates

Replace fences & gates

“Good fences make good neighbors.” — Robert Frost.

For those looking to get their hands dirty over the weekend, the best option is to replace or repair fences and gates. This summer home renovation is ideal for homes with damaged, old or outdated fences, which can be easily repaired or restored. In fact, many home improvement stores offer ready-made fencing as well as custom materials.

Tips: If building a fence, make sure to consult with a building department or the county municipal government to ensure the proper precautions are taken.

8. Weekend Bathroom Improvements

Weekend bathroom improvements

Considering upgrading a bathroom, but not wanting to spend a ton of money or time on the project? Homeowners can rest assure there are other options, including weekend bathroom improvements.

These projects consist of a combination of mini makeovers such as adding a new vanity top, faucet or mirror, as well as painting walls and cabinets. The total cost of upgrading all these components can be achieved for less than $450 and completed in less than a weekend.

9. Weekend Kitchen Improvements

Weekend kitchen improvements

The granddaddy of home improvements is the kitchen. Depending on the types of upgrades, this monumental project can generally take weeks, if not months, to complete. Homeowners  need not fret, as a mini kitchen makeover can be completed in a tenth of the time and cost.

Tips: One of the easiest and best upgrades a homeowner can make to their kitchen is installing rollouts. These enhancements to your cabinets can help to keep kitchenware out of sight and tucked way, helping to save storage space in the process. At a cost of $40 – $80 per rollout, this home improvement takes a mere 15 minutes per rollout to complete.

10. Installing Ceiling Fans

Installing ceiling fans

For the majority of homes across the United States, ceiling fans serve a fundamental purpose to keep us cool year-round while preserving energy costs. One of the most overlooked summer home renovations — and one of the top home improvement projects that can be accomplished over the weekend — is installing ceiling fans.

“The evolution of the ceiling fan has also seen them go from eyesores to designer pieces that can compliment any room. Essentially, the addition of a good ceiling fan can not only spruce up a room, but also make it more energy efficient,” says Merrill.

Ceiling fans come in a variety of decorative styles and colors, and can be purchased at low costs, but homeowners should seek ceiling fans that are Energy Star-rated.

Overall, these summer home renovations are perfect for homeowners looking to make small improvements to their property over the course of a weekend. None of these require an ordinate amount of time, money or energy, but they all add value to your home.

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