When it comes to a seasonal overhaul, most people think of spring cleaning, as the change in weather is the perfect time to throw open the windows and do an internal refresh, after all. But once your closets are sorted and your home’s color palette is softened, it’s time to move outdoors—summertime brings a new list of projects to tackle!
We turned to a few of our favorite experts to ask for their ultimate summer project checklist, and here's what they had to say.
Meet the Expert
- Mike Bidwell is the CEO of Neighborly, which connects users with trusted, local home service professionals.
- David Steckel is a Home Expert for Thumbtack, an app that makes searching for home professionals simple and easy.
01 of 06
Improve Your Home’s Efficiency
Depending on where you live, summer is prime time for cranking up the AC. According to Mike Bidwell, CEO of Neighborly, this requires a pre-season check-up.
“Ensure your air conditioning unit is running efficiently ahead of the summer heat,” Bidwell says. “Replace your AC’s filter every 45-90 days, use a fan to help circulate airflow inside the home, and keep tall grass trimmed around the exterior condenser unit.”
But your home’s efficiency doesn’t stop there. There are other ways to ensure your aircon unit is working to its potential. “Reduce energy loss and outside noise by installing double-pane windows in your home,” Bidwell expertly suggests, as this will deflect the sun’s rays and regulate temperature.
And as one final piece of your home’s efficiency puzzle: select and update light fixtures and bulbs. Bidwell advises choosing energy-saving LED or solar-driven options.”Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Perfect Your Lawn Game
If you have a lawn or garden, Steckel says that pre-summer is the time to ensure it’s perfect all season long.
“The lawn is an area that homeowners sometimes overlook, but it requires summertime maintenance, too,” Steckel says. “To keep your turf green, lush, and free of weeds or bare patches, consider aerating and overseeding your lawn to prevent and alleviate soil compaction, fill in bare patches, and thicken your lawn. Cut in fresh lines to the garden beds, and add some mulch.”
This last one is worth considering almost year-round. “Depending on where you live and the climate, you may want to do these tasks in early or late summer, early fall, or mid-late spring,” Steckel says.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Freshen Up Your Great Outdoors
Sure, buying new patio furniture and outdoor cushions is the fun stuff, but Bidwell tells us there are other ways to guarantee your outdoor space looks beautiful all season long.
“Remove concrete stains, dirt, and mildew to keep your home looking fresh with a power wash, and freshen up your yard’s decks and fences with exterior painting or staining,” says Bidwell. “Then, light up outdoor spaces by installing string lights, hanging tree lamps, or other accent lighting options.”
Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Party Planning Starts Now
If you’re planning to host any parties this summer, David Steckel, Home Expert for Thumbtack, says that now is the time to prepare. “The outdoor entertaining season can be kicked off with a few quick projects that will make all the difference,” Steckel says.
What's on the task list? Clean your outdoor furniture, add sealants to furniture in need, and touch up any exterior paint. Additionally, before inviting friends and family over for an outdoor gathering, inspect your patio or deck for cracks and peeling paint.
"This damage could mean you are due for repairs or repainting,” Steckel notes.
While many summer refreshes can be completed with simple projects, summer is also the perfect time for upgrades to your space.
“Adding fire features, such as gas fireplaces or fire tables, creates the perfect place for socialization and totally changes the atmosphere of your backyard or entertaining space,” Steckel tells us. “Additionally, if you’re going to be adding a fire feature and you’re already a major griller, now might be the time to bring a gas line to the yard to do away with those pesky propane tanks."Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Tackle Your Pool Maintenance
“If you have a swimming pool that’s getting a lot of use during the summer, stay on top of cleaning it to save yourself from problems in the long run,” Steckel says. Pool cleaning should be done daily by skimming the surface for leaves and debris, emptying the baskets, and vacuuming the bottom of your pool.
"Clean your filter, and check the chemicals and water quality to ensure you avoid costly repairs during the summer," Steckel suggests. "Also, be sure to take care of any damage from the colder months.”Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Plan Ahead for Summer Storms
For many homeowners, the rise in unpredictable weather has made summer a considerable stressor. But Bidwell tells us there are things you can do now to help your future self.
“Prevent flooding, water damage, mold, and standing water by cleaning your home’s gutters,” he says. “You can also prevent possible damage to the roof of your home and neighboring structures by trimming any surrounding vegetation."
Bidwell also suggests calling a professional to service your home’s generator and sump pump to make sure they are operating properly before the summer starts. You should take some time to also familiarize yourself with the location of the main water shutoff in your home and how to use it.