Home Improvement isn’t Only for Those Who Are Selling
In neighborhoods across the country, summer brings on a For Sale frenzy. Homeowners who are eager to sell dive into home improvement projects to boost curb appeal and livability. “But I’m happy and plan to stay in my current home,” you say. Even you would be wise to tackle some summer spruce-up projects.
Six Ways to Protect Your Home’s Value this Summer
These six home improvement projects are easy to do and will help protect your home’s value.
Check Your Furnace and AC Filters and Change If Needed
Depending on the size of your filter, Energy Star recommends checking your filters monthly and certainly no less than quarterly. A dirty filter impedes airflow – for cooling or heating – and makes the system work harder. Overworked systems can lead to costly repairs or replacements. Better to spend $100-$300 on filters annually than $7,000 or more to replace your furnace and central air. (Bonus: clean air filters help keep your energy costs down throughout the year.) Here are some great resources for how to replace your furnace air filter and how to replace your AC air filter.
Wash Exterior Windows
I know, I know. The *proper* way to wash your exterior windows is to get up there with a ladder and use a squeegee, just like the professionals do. Not only is that potentially dangerous, but it also requires a certain level of physical fitness along with a fair amount of time. If you’re like me, “clean enough” is good enough, lol! Windex Outdoor Sprayer attaches to your garden hose for fast and easy outdoor cleaning. It’s great on windows (just spray, rinse, and let dry). Easy peasy home improvement! Bonus: you can also use it on exterior glass doors and glass patio furniture such as an outdoor dining table.
Clean or Replace Your Window Screens
In many areas of the country, homeowners leave their window screens in year-round. That certainly seems to be the case in the Denver metro area. Although it’s convenient to do so, leaving window screens in all year means they have 12 months to collect dust, dirt, and (sometimes) icky bug parts. When summer comes around, that can result in restricted airflow and a dingy appearance. Luckily, cleaning window screens is simple. I like Mrs. Clean’s approach to cleaning window screens because it’s efficient and doesn’t rely on harsh chemicals.
If your screens are damaged (thanks, hail), replacement is the better option. While it will take a little time, DIY replacement isn’t difficult. Here’s a good overview of the tools and process. If you’d rather hire someone to handle it, a quick search of the Nextdoor app for your neighborhood will likely yield results. I’ve seen pricing on Nextdoor in southeast Aurora around $25 per window and $50 per patio/slider.
Pressure Wash All the Things
For so many exterior cleaning home improvement jobs, a pressure washer is exactly the right tool. That said, it’s not a magic wand; you’ll still likely need to use a little elbow grease (and maybe a broom). When it comes to pressure washing your home’s exterior, this article from Popular Mechanics is one of the best overviews and how-to’s I’ve seen. It explains what type of pressure washer you’ll need and why. (Tip: you can rent a gas-powered professional unit from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s for under $100/day.) The article also provides critically important safety precautions as well as tips for getting the job done. Gas pressure washers are also good choices for pressure washing driveways, patios, and walkways (see how here) as well as wooden decks and fences (see how here).
Touch Up Exterior Paint
Summer weather – be it sun, rain, or hail – can do a number on your home’s exterior paint. According to Houzz.com, “If you’re taking care of this on your own and are touching up only a few spots, it will likely cost you less than $100.” Houzz recommends checking the paint can to be sure you’re applying it within the recommended temperature range. Another important tip: don’t slap on the paint you have left over from the last time you painted. Due to fading, it probably won’t match. Take a few chips from the house and get them matched at the paint store. Then paint a test patch and let it dry to make sure the colors aren’t noticeably different.
And if you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association, be sure you know whether your touch-up project requires sign-off from the architectural control committee. In most cases, there’s no problem if you use the same colors in the same areas but it never hurts to check.
Give Your Landscape Some Love
Beyond your regular weekly mowing, take a look at your landscape at least once a month from the perspective of a passerby or potential buyer. Are the bushes or trees a little scraggly? Should the roses be trimmed? How about picking the faded blooms off the flowers in your annual containers? A few well-placed snips can have a big impact on your home’s curb appeal.
Need Vendor Referrals? I Can Help!
Pat yourself on the back for working to preserve the value of your biggest investment and the place you call home! If you need help with any of the home improvement services or tasks in this article, I’d be happy to share my vendor referral list. I have great folks in my vendor network who can clean your furnace and AC systems, wash windows, and repair and replace window screens. Just give me a call at (303) 204-6494 or send me an email to request the list.