With spring just being a few months away it’s time to start thinking about those home improvement projects you want to finish. Spring is the perfect time to begin home improvement projects. The weather is generally warmer than the winter months but not quite as hot as the summer. The following is a guide to the top 5 home improvement projects to complete this spring. Grab some paper and a pen and start planning your projects now, before spring time comes and goes and your still left with those unfinished projects.
- Putting up a fence. Spring time is the perfect time to put up a fence, if you don’t already have one, or maybe you want a new fence. Putting up a fence does require some planning on your part. First decide if you want to hire a contractor, which I recommend, or if you want to put the fence up yourself. I don’t recommend putting up a fence yourself, due to the safety risks involved, and the time an effort it takes to complete it yourself. Believe me, hiring a contractor to put your fence up is money well spent. I know this from experience. About 4 years ago I had a fence put up, I hired a contractor, and all I had to do was pick out the material and pay the contractor. The contractor you hire generally does all the leg work for you as far as contacting the county office for the land records, the utility grid, and any needed permits. If you decide you want to install it yourself, The Home Depot is a great source for both the materials and instructions for putting up the fence yourself. For do-it-yourselves fencing materials range from about $49 per 72 inch section for aluminum fencing to about $166 per 48 inch section for vinyl fencing. Although more costly the vinyl material is basically maintenance free aside from the once or twice a year hose off of debris. I went with the treated wood option for my fence, which was a bit less expensive and also easy maintenance, but you do have to retreat the wood every 3-5 years. I believe our total cost for labor and materials was around 6,000. Again money well spent.
- Deck and or siding washing. After the snow melts and the cold weather subsides, our decks and siding tend to look a bit dingy and dirty. Deck and siding washing is generally something you can do yourself in one or two days depending on the size of your deck and amount of siding to be washed. In my opinion, again from experience, it’s not worth paying somebody to come out and pressure wash your deck or siding. This is a task that even a novice like myself can handle. If you don’t already have a best electric pressure washer, invest in one. Pressure washers run anywhere from $179 for a 2000 PSI washer (generally recommended for home, non-commercial use) up to $4,995 for 3100 PSI washer. As with anything you buy it is up to you how much you want to spend, but for general home use for an average sized home (2100 square ft or less) the 2000 PSI model works just fine. Be careful when selected pressure washers, as the higher the PSI, the harder the washer is to handle and maneuver. For a couple hundred bucks and a Saturday or Sunday you can get that deck and siding looking like new.
- Cleaning exterior and interior windows. Spring is that dreaded time of year when most of us think about cleaning our interior and exterior windows. This task is again something that can be done by yourself without spending money to hire a professional. All you need is some windex and paper towels or an old time solution of white vinegar and water and some crumpled up newspaper and you are ready to get started. The exterior portion of your windows can be easiest cleaned using a window cleaning attachment that goes a pressure washer. This saves you from taking all the windows down and trying to clean them by hand. Make sure you use a ladder to reach those higher windows. The costs to clean windows is generally very inexpensive. For less than about $8.00 you can buy a spray bottle of windex or your favorite glass cleaner, and a roll or two of paper towels. The white vinegar and newspaper option is even cheaper, just use an old newspaper you have at home, and a bottle of white vinegar is generally less than $2. You can clean the windows of an average size home (2100 square ft or less) in one or two days.
- Garage clean up and organizations. Garages are intended for parking cars and storing outdoor living items, however, if you are like most people the garage ends up being the multi-purpose storage room, leaving little to no room for the car. Spring is perfect for going through all the stuff you have in your garage. Start by organizing items into like piles, for instance, car cleaning items, gardening/landscaping items, tools, sports equipment, etc. This gives you an idea of how much space you need and what type of storage equipment you need. Garage shelves are generally priced between $24 and $100 for a 4 or 5 self unit. You can purchase these shelf units at your local hardware or home improvement center like “Home Depot”. You can browse online at www.homedepot.com to price and select what you want. As for the floor you can either clean your existing floor with a best pressure washer and some garage floor degreaser, or you can lay down a near floor. For a new Vinyl floor the costs are between $29 – $88 for a 24 square ft piece. Be sure and accurately measure your floor area to ensure you buy enough flooring. Normally this can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weekends depending on how much you want to do in the garage.
- White Washing. Those white picket fences and porches aren’t looking so white come spring time. White washing is just another way of saying repainting. White washing involves only 2 or 3 steps. First clean the fence and porch areas you plan to paint over. You can either clean the areas with a pressure washer or by hand using a mild soap and sponge or one of those new “Eraser” sponges. You may need to do some light sanding for chipped areas. Then it’s time to paint. Usually two coats is all you need to get that white fence or porch back to its original luster. Be sure to let the paint dry between coats. According to www.consumersearch.com the two best exterior paint brands are Sherwin Williams and Valspar. The Sherwin Williams paint costs about $50 per gallon, and the Valspar runs about $42 per gallon. It’s wise to spend the extra money for the better paint than to go with a less expensive paint, that may chip and start to fade before the next spring.
With these projects in mind you should have no trouble planning and organizing that Spring Home improvement projects To Do List.