Make your house and garden lovely this summer

OK, we don’t get that much fine weather here, but when we do, the place and the people look great. And there is no better time to give your house the once over than at this time of year.

With summer in the air, you’re just itching to get going. But as we all know, cash has never been in shorter supply, so there are some tips you can use to save yourself a few bob. No matter what project you have on your summer to-do list, you’re going to be shopping for supplies, and depending on how large your project is, the price can add up quickly.

Here are some tips to get your home improvement projects going, while keeping a bit of extra cash in your pocket:

DIY – If you have any handy talents, you can save a lot of money by doing the project yourself, or by only contracting out part of the work where a professional might be required. If you are not certain about installing a wood floor in your living room or are in need of landscaping ideas for around your back porch, head to your local library or online and check out several books on the topic for background knowledge.

With a little help from your friends – Having more hands on deck to help with the work will make the job go much faster, but you don’t have to hire the help. Offer your friends a trade – maybe you’ll take them out for dinner. Or volunteer your services on one of their home improvement projects. Just make sure they understand the trade before the work gets started so you don’t abuse your friendship. And keep it casual and fun.

Put cash back in your pocket when purchasing supplies – Be wary when purchasing supplies as the bills can add up. Make sure you only get what you really need.

Phase your project over time – You might discover your project is too much to handle – both physically and financially – in one season. The best recommendation is to break it down into mini projects. For example, if you want to landscape the entire yard, consider concentrating first on a vegetable garden or a flower garden that outlines the house. One advantage to breaking down a huge project is it allows you to discover how much maintenance and upkeep work you need to do on a yearly basis. You may discover you want to revise later stages of the project and make them maintenance free. As the summer gets started, fast forward your imagination to the autumn where you are enjoying that new room inside the house, or are sitting on your refinished deck and admiring your backyard with its fresh gardens.

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