Beat The Heat: 10 Projects To Tackle Before The Mercury Rises

Published April 10, 2012 by Julie Provenzano

Open the garage and air out the tool shed, here are 10 spring home improvement projects that will have you relaxing poolside by Memorial Day rather than fighting the crowds at your local Big Box.  Whether or not you’re in the market to sell your home, these tips will have you sitting pretty when summer hits. 

1. Get your air conditioning unit serviced.  Don’t wait until the temperatures jump from 75 to 95 in a matter of hours to check you’re a/c is up and running.  If something is amiss, you will find yourself at the end of a long line of (equally sweaty) customers.

2. Inspect the rain drainage systems on your property.  This includes drainage grates, gutters and downspouts.  Increasing temperatures can brew some strong storms.  Make sure your home is prepared to withstand the deluge.

3. Roof Check. Dry winter wind, colder weather and the occasional freeze can loosen shingles from your roof, increasing the chances that an early season downpour will find its way in.  Fix them now, and you’ll be enjoying the rainbows from your back patio, not from under a tarp. 

4. Respect Mother Nature. Be a friend to the earth:  Have an energy efficiency analysis on your home and make improvements as needed.  You’ll not only save money in the long run, you’ll feel a burst of pride as you do your part for the next generation. is a great place to start.

5. Green it up. Inspect your lawn sprinklers.  Learn your community’s restrictions and recommendations and follow them.  Prune, trim, plant, mow, weed… Now is the time to set the stage for a summer’s worth of enjoyment.

Now that the dirty work is done, its time for a little aesthetics.

6. Brighten up those dark corners. Longer days and more sunshine provide the perfect opportunity to add a pop of fun color to otherwise boring nooks and crannies.  Not ready for paint?  Flowers and potted plants, a piece of fresh artwork or a carefully placed water feature can bring your home to life.

7. Adjust those lights. Nothing spoils the ambience of a summer evening more than running inside for a refill of sweet tea only to find yourself blinded by the glare of your interior lights.  Add dimmers where necessary, clean dirty fixtures, replace old bulbs with energy efficient choices or opt for the rustic nostalgia of strategically placed lanterns.  Think soft glow, not blinding flash.

8. Brandish the Barbeque. Summer engages all of the senses.  Although many of us have given up the Weber in favor of the Gas, and Grandpa’s crackling radio for the flat screen, the idea remains the same; fire up that grill, turn on the ball game and let the good times roll.  Cleaning, repairing or replacing your barbeque and outdoor cooking space now means you won’t have to make up an excuse when your neighbors show up at the back gate with filets and adult beverages.

9. Have some fun. If you have kids, warmer weather means outdoor fun.  Go through that sports bin and discard the sun faded, broken, mildew infested playthings of summers past and head to your local sporting goods store for some replacements.  They’ll be happy with their new gadgets and so will you as new outdoor playthings for kids usually equal more sitting and relaxing time for parents.   And don’t forget the bikes.  Tune ‘em up and roll ‘em out.

10. Grow something. Spring is the season for new life and healthy change.  Whether you live in an urban loft or on a rural spread, everything tastes better freshly picked.  Not only that, the bright colors and mouthwatering smells from freshly planted fruits, vegetables and herbs add a feeling of calm while at the same time creating that spark of energy that will take your indoor and outdoor spaces right through those dog days of summer.

With this spring checklist in hand, head out and get busy.  When temperatures soar, you’ll be glad you did.


Spring Cleaning