Spring time is when things come to life. This is true for home improvement, too. Here are some value-adding project ideas and budgets for the home this season.
Spring is here, and it’s time to tackle the growing list of projects around your home. But do you how much they will cost? Moreover, do you have the budget to cover all of them? You can probably complete some projects DIY, while others will be best handled by local professionals. To plan ahead for everything you have to do, first figure out what these home projects will cost. Then you can budget, prioritize, and tackle them one at a time — either as DIY weekend projects or professional long-term jobs.
Here are the costs of typical spring projects and an explanation of what’s involved in each. This will help you decide whether its best to complete projects yourself or hire a pro:
Repaint your walls
DIY – $200
Pro – $1,500
If it’s been awhile since you last painted, your walls are probably starting to look worn down and in need of a new coat. With spring here, why not take the time to refresh the interior of your house? Think about how you can change the color scheme of your home, starting with the walls. When choosing colors, remember that swatches will look lighter than the samples themselves.
You’ll also need to think about primer if your paint does not already include it. Primer better covers old paint and helps new paint last longer. It’s a long, labor-intensive process — especially if you’re tackling more than one wall or room. A budget of $200 might cover four walls in a small room, but otherwise you’re looking at upwards of $500 or more to cover two or more rooms. If you intend to repaint the entire house, it might be worth calling a painter.
Touch up the siding
DIY – $300
Pro – $470
Given the harsh winter, it’s likely your siding has chipped and cracked — or just gotten dirty. If you want to spend a few days outside revitalizing it, you have a few options:
- Power or pressure washing
- Putting on a new coat of paint
- Repairing the cracks, dents and chips
Depending on the time, effort and budget you have for the siding, your best bet is to focus on cleaning up and making repairs. Dirt and debris can wear away siding, leading to more holes and further repairs down the road.
Power or pressure washing is a quick, efficient way to renew the siding. If you rent a pressure washer, be aware that it uses cold water that can’t get everything off. This means you might have to scrub areas that have mold, mildew or accumulated debris. Pressure washing uses hot water, but usually you will need a power washing professional to do the job. Then you can focus on finding the chips and cracks in the siding and repairing them.
Build a deck
DIY – $500
Pro – $6,400
Haven’t you always wanted a place to entertain, relax and watch the stars at night? A deck is considered a worthwhile, long-term investment that adds resale value to your home. It blends well with the landscape, and you can personalize it as well. If you decide to build the deck on your own, you’ll spend about $500 in materials and a few weeks in building the structure.
Be aware you’ll have to account for weight, climate conditions, permits and any accessories you want to add. That’s why most people usually hire a deck contractor to do the job, because they have the experience building these structures to code. Then you can focus on adorning it with plants, furniture and other accessories without worrying about it breaking.
Maintain your lawn
DIY – $50
Pro – $120
Your lawn is going to need some quick care to get ready for new growth and rejuvenation during the spring. Look for any patches, weeds, dead flowers and shrubs — get everything cleaned out and taken care of.
This is an easy do-it-yourself project for the weekend. Just get the lawn mower out and chop a little of the grass off, but not too much. It’s recommended that you leave the lawn at 3 inches high until summer rolls around. You may want to consider hiring a lawn care professional when you need to do more extensive work, or if you don’t have the time to maintain your landscaping. This includes projects like:
- Installing sod over dead grass patches
- Treating bugs and other pests in your lawn
- Aerating or dethatching the lawn
- Trimming shrubs, hedges and trees
- Mowing the lawn and general upkeep
While you could do most of these projects yourself, they’re labor-intensive, time-consuming and sometimes dangerous. They can also be very expensive DIY projects, whereas lawn care contractors have easy access to the equipment and other materials required to do these jobs.
Clean the gutters
DIY – $30
Pro – $150
Cleaning the gutters after winter is an absolute necessity. They will have collected a lot of debris — leaves, branches, dirt, etc. — that can clog the drainage system. If this isn’t addressed in spring, rainfall could travel from the roof directly down along your siding to your foundation. This damages your home’s exterior and interior. Instead, take the time to get up on a ladder and use a hand rake to get all of the debris out.
Given the potential injury that comes with cleaning gutters, you could also hire a gutter cleaning professional to do the job. While this is the more expensive option, a professional can also find potential problems with your gutters. Doing so allots you the opportunity to avoid more expensive issues down the road by getting your gutters repaired.
Easy DIY Projects
So now that you have a few projects on your list that could be either DIY or professionally completed, here are some other projects you can definitely tackle — in under $500 — on the weekends:
- Replacing kitchen and bathroom hardware (faucets, handles, hinges, etc.)
- Replacing bulbs with their CFL and LED alternatives
- Re-grouting and caulking around your home
- Adding new plants to your landscape
While it’s important to tackle the big jobs around your home — like those mentioned above — you should also handle the smaller problems. Doing so helps avoid bigger bills down the road and adds to the overall appeal of your home.
Projects Requiring a Pro
If you want to take the time and have the bigger budget to do so, there are more projects you can do around the home this spring. They will require hiring professionals, but they will also add a lot of value to your home in the long term. These include:
- Partially or wholly remodeling your kitchen or bathroom
- Replacing your appliances with their energy-efficient alternatives
- Replacing single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane ones
- Installing better floors in your kitchen or bath (hardwood, bamboo, tiles)
- Removing your popcorn ceiling
If you don’t have the budget to tackle one or more of these at a time, you can always take out a loan to pay back over time. You can also consult with a contractor on cheaper alternatives to increase the appeal of your home. For example, if you can’t fully remodel your kitchen, you might be able to at least refinish your cabinets or countertops. This is a first step in a remodel that costs less but improves overall aesthetic appeal. You should be able to find similar projects that will achieve the same result.