Simple Outdoor Fixes to Save You Serious Cash

From on May 06, 2010 in Landscaping

Looking to give your house a much-needed facelift? Most homeowners don’t know this, but amping up your curb appeal doesn’t have to cost more than a few hundred dollars. In fact, it shouldn’t. Here are some tips on how to make small changes now to improve those first impressions later.

Touch-Up that Chipped Paint

simple outdoor fixes painting

Most people tend to neglect their home’s exterior paint until it’s time for an all-over paint job. But this is harmful for two reasons. One, let’s be real, chipped paint is just unattractive. And two, it can expose the structure to moisture and damaging ultra-violet light.

When purchasing the paint, it’s important to stick to higher-end water-based paints. While these are pricier, they last five years longer than the more inexpensive brands. They’re also more environmentally friendly and easier to use.

In order to match up the color exactly, make sure to bring in a sample paint chip that can be run through an optical computer. But beware of overbuying; you should only need one gallon of paint and one gallon of oil-based primer. After all, if the areas needing touch-ups require more paint than that, it’s probably time for a whole new coat.

Give Your Yard Some TLC

simple outdoor fixes garden

Looking to bring your newly planted flowers to center-stage? A fresh layer of mulch can help with that.

Instead of heading to your local home improvement store, have your landscape supply store deliver the mulch to you. Not only is it easier than schlepping a ton of bags all the way home, but it’ll ensure that the mulch is local and won’t introduce any foreign diseases to your plants.

While cedar, pine, cypress and hardwood will all finish the job quite nicely, make sure to get 100 percent bark. The alternative is whole-log mulch, which can damage plants.

What next? A garden spade can help outline the space where the mulch is going to go, and a pitchfork, wheelbarrow and rake can be used to spread it all out. But if you don’t want to dedicate your weekend to hauling mulch around your yard, a handyman can always complete the job for anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

Protect Your Deck from the Elements

simple outdoor fixes deck

If you’d rather not rebuild your deck in a few years, spending some time sealing it instead.

First things first: always seal with stain, not paint. If you use paint, then you’ll have to re-sand every single time it needs to be touched up. Instead, use an oil-based stain that can easily soak into the wood.

At a loss for color choices? Decide whether you want your deck to look natural (clear stain) or more painted (solid stain). If you go the natural route, make sure to choose one that has UV blockers to keep the wood underneath protected. In addition to the stain, you’ll also need to buy a scrub brush (or power washer) and a wood cleaner.

So what are you waiting for? Get off that couch and go tackle those projects you’ve been putting off. It’ll be worth it. Seriously.

Photo Credit: Hugo Painting, Garden of Eaden & Savoring Simplicity