Summer Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement projects are investments that often deliver better returns than anything you might find on Wall Street:

  • As a homeowner, you directly benefit from any modifications for the duration of your stay (i.e. short-term dividends).
  • As a home seller, improvements can increase the value of your property (i.e. long-term dividends).

And when it comes to scheduling home improvement projects, summer is one of the best times to get started. The weather tends to be more agreeable, resulting in fewer delays and interruptions. Summertime is also ideal for assessing damage that may have occurred during wetter or colder months of the year. This is especially important in the Carolinas and other regions of the country that frequently suffer from floods and landslides.

Below are some of the most important home improvement projects worth tackling.

Top Summer Home Improvement Projects

Many homeowners focus on things like kitchen remodeling or bathroom tiling — both of which offer solid returns. But don’t overlook the importance of protecting those parts of the home that make your home “work.”

Roofing, siding and foundation repair may not have the cachet of new kitchen cabinets, but improving these areas is one of the most important things you can do to increase the lifetime value of your property.

1. Foundation Repair

When deciding whether or not to move forward with home improvement projects, make sure you start with the foundation. If the underlying structure of your home is compromised, any investments made elsewhere is money wasted.

So before doing anything else, be sure to check for signs of foundation problems. And be prepared to bring in a professional ASAP — even if it means pausing some of the other tips on this list. For more on how to do a foundation inspection, click here.

2. Roof Repair

The roof is almost as important as the foundation. Check for water damage, missing shingles or misalignments. Depending on your budget, it may be worth investing in a metal roof if you have asphalt or slate tiles. Better still, install solar panels. They not only protect the underlying roof, but they also can help reduce your monthly electricity bills — often by a lot.

3. Siding Repair

With the foundation and roof out of the way, you can begin assessing damage to your home’s siding. Buckling, cracks and holes are obvious warning signs. Some materials (like brick and stucco) can usually be repaired. Others (like vinyl) must be replaced.

4. Gutter Cleaning

Cleaning out the gutters is one of the easiest (but overlooked) home improvements you can make. You can do this in a single weekend, without having to call in a professional. By contrast, DIY foundation repair is usually a bad idea.

Even better, you can install self-cleaning gutters. Doing so reduces the number of cleaning sessions in the future.

5. Energy-Efficient Windows

If you’re really ambitious, consider installing energy efficient windows. Depending on your technical expertise, this can be a do-it-yourself project. But even if you have to call in a professional, energy efficiency improvements are investments that pay for themselves many times over, especially as utility rates go up in the future.

Home Improvement Projects to Optimize Your Returns

If you still want to remodel your kitchen, install a pool or build that extra wing — go for it. But for optimal returns, explore the above suggestions first. Getting these home projects out of the way will amplify any future improvements you decide to make.

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