Well, we’re nearing the end of summer. Maybe you’ve checked off every major project on your list, or maybe you didn’t have any to begin with. If you’re looking for something to keep you occupied until Labor Day, then check out this short list from Service Magic Connection. While the list is far from comprehensive, it includes some projects to increase the value of your home. It’s a solid list and serves as a great jumping off point for anyone looking to add value to their abode. But the list covers interior improvements, which, let’s face it, you can do at pretty much any time of year. So I’m going to add some lawn and garden improvements of my own, because those are a little more season-sensitive. And with the two lists, you’ll have no excuse not to keep working on DIY projects until the new year rolls around.
Gardens, front and back
A garden won’t always add substantial value to your house, but if you do it right, you can increase the curb appeal significantly, which of course will help your bottom line. I’d recommend a flower/shrub garden in front with a vegetable garden in the back. If you don’t have that kind of space, you can add small flower bed in front and build some raised planter to grow your favorite veggies. You should think about installing a rain garden. It’s an easy project that will bring color to your front yard while also preventing fertilizer from running off your lawn and into the storm drain when it rains.
If you’re not one for vegetables–or even gardening in general–consider building a walled stone patio in the back. You can set up a table and eat on it during warmer months, and it will really make your back yard pop. And for those in dryer climates, you can save a lot of money watering a lawn with rock gardens. When they’re done right they look pretty awesome and won’t require constant watering to stay alive.
Seed your lawn
This one is pretty obvious. After all, who wants to buy a house with a dead lawn? And while it’s the end of the summer, what you might not realize is this (and also fall) is a great time to seed certain types of grass. Your house will thank you for it, and your neighbors probably will too. If you have a healthy patch of grass, keep up the good work. And make sure that lush lawn stays healthy with the right amount of fertilization.
Install a walkway
This is a pretty easy project that can really transform a yard. One of my earliest DIY experiences was helping my father install a walkway when I was about 8 or 9 (naturally I wasn’t doing a lot of the heavy work, but it still felt nice to be included). At the time our “walkway” was really just a bunch of stones plopped down into the grass. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. So one summer we installed two brick walkways. One went down to the driveway, the other out to the mailbox. All said the project only took a few weekends and the look and feel of the yard shot through the roof for–more or less–the price of bricks. Add to that the it takes to dig out the paths, add sand, and lay the bricks and you can have a walkway pretty quickly without a huge investment. If you do it right, and don’t mind adding a bit of sand to the path every few years, you won’t even have to cement the bricks into place.
Lighting can be a tough one, especially if you want to run wires to various points in your lawn. Electric lights are the classic way to accent the trees, shrubs, and plants in your yard during twilight and early night-time hours. But thanks to advances in solar technology, wires aren’t the only solution. You can easily purchase small lights to line your newly installed walkway, cast shadows on trees, and highlight patios and porches. And since they run on solar power, you won’t have to dig up your lawn to run wires; and as an added bonus, you won’t see your electric bill budge at all. This is one of my favorite tricks as a little lighting can go a long way to making your yard the envy of the neighborhood.