It’s that time of year again when the sun beats down and the kids are released from school. What will you do with all that free time and energy cooped up in your house? For some, it’s time to hit the backyard pool or chill out on the porch with a cool drink. For others, it’s time to hide in the safety of your air-conditioning and wait for the heat to pass. Either way, summer is often the time when we look at our homes and yards and think that things may need a little livening up. Here are our top eight picks for home improvement projects that will make your home and yard chill hangout havens for summer and beyond.
A fire pit can transform a backyard by adding a warm focal point to a patio setup, a rustic and cozy hollow for chatting at dusk, or maybe even a place for the kids to roast marshmallows. HGTV has some of our favorite DIY or custom-built designs. Take your pick!
2. Patio Set
Speaking of fire pits, you’ll need a place to sit around your favorite new exterior decoration. Now, you could go out to Target and get the latest greatest yard collection—or you could make your space truly your own by doing it yourself! There are plans for literally any seating arrangement under the sun, whether you want to build a sectional, just a bench, or even an arbor.
3. Pergola or deck
From structure to some much-needed shade, pergolas can provide added dimension and greenery to your already beautiful yard. From backdrops to seclusion to just sectioning off space, a pergola can add a very necessary touch of rustic dignity to your space. If you decide to go the full deck route, now you’ve got a beautiful new space for your patio furniture.
What’s the first thing everyone thinks when they think of summer fun? A pool, of course! From floating on a raft in the sunshine to kids splashing in the shallows all summer long, there’s nothing more relaxing than a lovely day poolside in your backyard. Want one of your very own? We have some ideas.
5. Remodel your bathroom
So maybe an outdoor project just isn’t for you. That’s understandable, it’s hot and the sun’s beating down, and you just don’t want to spend all your free time slaving away in the heat. If that’s the case, but you still want to get your DIY on, consider remodeling a bathroom. Some of the top 2018 trends are light, minimalist, and airy spaces, so if your bathroom feels a little dark and cluttered, it might be time for a makeover.
Curious about the ROI of a remodel like this? Check out our post on the best and worst home renovations for ROI.
6. Paint a room
In the same spirit of “I don’t wanna go outside” as the above, if you also don’t feel like taking a sledgehammer to your bathtub, a simpler kind of home makeover might be for you. Just painting the walls can not only spruce up the look of your living room but when it comes time to sell, can make a difference.
7. Install energy-efficient windows
Does your electric bill skyrocket every summer because of air conditioning costs? You can conserve energy by keeping heat in or out of the house by making sure you’ve got your windows covered—properly installed and keeping everything sealed up tight. Especially with older homes, the more air conditioning required to cool the house, the higher your energy bill becomes. Did you know that installing energy-efficient windows can reduce your energy cost by up to $500 per year?
Maybe you’re not into that whole sitting outside in the sun, in danger of bugs, birds, and sunburn, but you still want to enjoy the beautiful view. A good compromise between inside and out on the deck is a sunroom: all the benefits of the indoors, but with glass walls and patio furniture, so that you can still enjoy your backyard. Just, without the mosquitos, wasps, or weather-related issues.
What are you waiting for? It’s already July, there’s not much time left. What big home improvement projects will you take on this season? Whatever it is, we’re here to help.