Glorious summertime! For many, it’s the most beautiful time of the year, full of beach days, vacations, barbecues, pool parties, and more. It’s an opportunity to emerge from our winter cocoons and shed the coats and boots for shorts and flip-flops! While most of us enjoy these warm and dreamy thoughts as adults, homeowners, and responsible neighbors, the reality is that summer is also the best time for projects because the good weather allows for it.

Soil conditions and bright sun allow us to complete “focus summer projects” or projects that would be difficult to tackle in the colder months. For example, it’s much easier to install a fence when the earth is soft in June than attempting it in January with ice and snow lurking. However, if you plan on hiring a contractor for any of your projects, winter is an excellent time to schedule the work. Summer is the busy season for most companies, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone to fit you in. If you choose to do the work yourself, be careful about doing your research.

Plan carefully around your needs and budget. Contact your town to see what permits are needed and if you need architectural plans. Shop around for the best price on materials and supplies. Don’t be afraid to employ the help of skilled family and friends either; they may be looking for a chance to grab a six-pack and get involved in a project. If you need inspiration on where to begin your focus summer projects, this blog has a few great ideas!

1. Finally, Get to That Garage Renovation

For many of us, what started as a haven for our vehicles became a storage space. Over time, some of us accumulate so much stuff that it’s easier to park the car in the driveway or street and use the garage as our storage unit. It’s easy to throw everything in there willy-nilly and unorganized. After all, it’s technically not part of the house, and the neighbors don’t need to look at it.

This space often becomes the receptacle for everything from lawn care equipment and snow shovels to bicycles and boxes. While this is not the worst thing, imagine renovating this space and turning it into an extension of your home. This idea has become increasingly popular recently, with many families looking for more living space.

A garage is the perfect space to turn into a gym, office, playroom, or even a spare family room. The basics are already there, and all it will take is some elbow grease, a heat source, and possibly some concrete leveling to even out the floor. A garage renovation is one of those perfect focus summer projects because you can sort, separate, and organize everything on the lawn during those warm weekends.

If the clutter has taken over, start by getting a dumpster and tossing away unneeded junk. Next, check out the garage door. Does it need to be replaced or repaired? Consider calling a garage door repair company to ensure the door is in good shape. You may also consider a garage screen that allows airflow and natural light while keeping out pests and other unwanted nuisances. Once the area is decluttered and clean, it’s decision time. Will you continue to use the area for storage or turn it into a spare room?

If you preserve it as storage space, only light renovations will be needed. Add shelves and hooks to get as much off the ground as possible. Consider having seasonal zones, so you know exactly where to find ice melt and scrapers in the winter, grass seed and gardening supplies in the spring, and water toys and pool supplies in the summer.

If you decide to renovate a room, you’ll need to start with some research. Start by consulting your town about ordinances and permits to ensure you’re within the building codes and laws. Consider the need for heat, plumbing and electricity, drywall, lighting, and flooring. From there, you can focus on the fun of decorating and furnishing your new room. The average cost of a DIY garage renovation is about $2,000.

2. Tack on That Home Addition

Home additions are a great way to give a growing family more room, whether you’re welcoming a new baby and need a nursery, have an older parent come and need an in-law suite, or need a spare family room for the older kids who need their space to entertain. An addition to your home is also practically guaranteed to increase the value of your home. This summer project will likely require the assistance of local home builders and other professionals like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. This project will also take some heavy-duty planning, so while you may want this to be a summer project, it’s a good idea to start planning as far in advance as possible.

First, you must prepare the room and decide on a budget. Then, you’ll need to take your vision to an architect, so they can draw up blueprints. Ask family and friends for recommendations on a general contractor or home-building business. The average addition cost typically goes by the square foot and can vary greatly, so get several estimates before signing a contract.

3. Replace Your Outdated Floors

If the dog days of summer are in full swing, and you’re in no mood to tackle the sticky weariness that working outside brings, it’s the perfect time to focus on an indoor summer project. Replacing outdated or worn-out floors can give your house the ideal facelift it needs. Not only can floor restoration beautify your space, but it can provide better insulation that will help cut energy costs.

Whether you’re looking to replace that old, dingy wall-to-wall carpeting or rip up the kitchen linoleum and install some shiny, attractive ceramic floor tile, you can take your house from drab to chic in hours. For example, many homes have gorgeous hardwood floors beneath carpeting, but we have neither the time nor the courage to check. Summer is the perfect time to open the windows and get to work.

Tearing up a rug is not tricky, and you can rent a sander to spiff up the floors. The floors will likely need to be treated and stained, and it will take a few days to set. But what better time to get out of the house and take a mini-vacation than summer? If that focus on the summer project seems too big, start more minor, like the mud room or laundry area.

These areas undergo a lot of wear and tear and often suffer water damage. The best flooring for these areas includes vinyl, ceramic tile, and concrete. They’re waterproof, hold up well against daily traffic, and come in many styles. Regardless of what room flooring you choose to restore, there are a lot of options that can suit any budget and skill level.

4. Clean Up Your Landscaping

Early summer is a great time to get outside and clean up your yard. Chances are you’ll have people over and spend a lot of time enjoying your yard, so you want your property to be warm and inviting. Even if you’re not entertaining – it’s summer, everyone is outside, and you don’t need the neighbors whispering that your grass is funky!

Cleaning up your landscaping is also important because if left overgrown and unkempt, there’s the possibility of drawing insects and pests that could be harmful, annoying, and even carry disease. Start with mowing, trimming bushes, pulling weeds, and edging. If done correctly, those simple steps can go a long way in sprucing up your landscaping. Lay down some mulch for an attractive look, a weed deterrent, and plant some flowers for good measure. It’s a great family activity for a bright sunny day that you can all take pride in later.

If you want something with more pizzazz for your outdoor area, consider consulting with local landscape architects and designers. These professionals can help you with designing separate zones for a variety of shrubs, flowers, and trees. They can also outline pathways and the placement of hardscaping, such as retaining walls, water features (like ponds and fountains), benches, and patios. Landscape designers can also work with general landscapers and other professionals to grade your property to ensure proper water run-off and flood prevention.

5. Install a Well

Did you know you could toss away your water bill by installing a well? While wells are common in rural and country areas, most urban and suburban towns have city or public water systems. Other great things about well water are that deep, healthy water often tastes cleaner and fresher than public water; you know exactly where the water comes from; it’s high in nutrients and minerals and low in pollutants like herbicides and pesticides.

Since the water is not treated with chemicals, one drawback is the possibility of bacteria in the healthy water. So, it’s advisable to have annual testing done to ensure the purity of the water. Before installing a well, it’s important to check local town and state ordinances regarding the process. You must also apply for all the proper permits and work orders.

Once that’s in place, consult with several local well drilling services to see how much it will cost. The average well drilling or irrigation service charges between $25 to $50 per foot. The average well depth can be anywhere from 100 to 300 feet, depending on the water table, so the expense can vary greatly.

It is possible to drill your well (depending on local codes) by renting a drill and a home water well installation kit. But be very careful not to drill near contaminated sites and call your utility companies beforehand. Before you know it, you’ll serve your guests personally sourced water.

6. Finally Install That Fence

When the weather is warm, everyone from the kids to the dog wants to enjoy themselves outside. So that means it’s time to tackle that fence project you’ve been putting off. There’s no better time than when the soil is soft, and the sun is warm to get those post holes dug and cemented into the ground.

Fences provide safety and security for your family. They keep the pets and kids in the yard while keeping unwanted guests (both them and animals) out. They can also offer privacy depending on how high and what materials you use; it’s possible never to see another soul or vehicle all summer.

If you’re going to DIY your fence rather than hire professional fencing services, there are some things to consider before you start digging. First, decide on the material you want the fencing to be made from. While wood is attractive, it doesn’t provide the best security and can easily suffer weather damage. Then decide on the height and amount of coverage you want for privacy.

7. Build a Shed

If you’ve renovated your garage (and even if you haven’t), you’re probably looking for extra storage space. A shed is the perfect place to put all your treasures, from gardening and snow equipment to the children’s sporting equipment and bikes. While buying a pre-fabricated shed is super easy and convenient, it can be outside a lot of budgets. Building a shed can save money and allow you to customize it to your needs.

You can access inexpensive and sometimes free plans online or at home stores like Home Depot and Lowes. You’ll get to decide what materials you use and how big it will be. Before any of that, though, you’ll need to get the proper permits, stake out the area for placement, and ensure the ground is level. After that, it’s just a matter of gathering some friends, prepping the grill, and making a day of it!

Summer-focused projects are a great way to get things done. There are no excuses about cold weather and the various perils that come with it. Family and friends may be around more and are open to helping (especially if you pay them at a pool party or barbeque). Many of the projects above are not only needed for year-round comfort but will enhance your summer fun and relaxation. So get started early, and you can kick back and enjoy the rest of your warm weather days!

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