School’s out and the long days of summer are in full swing, which means it’s a great time to invest in some projects to spruce up your home or yard. From one-day odd jobs to weekend undertakings, these family-friendly activities will create memories and value for years to come.
Plant a Raised Vegetable Garden
There’s nothing quite like a home cooked meal made from homegrown vegetables picked from your own garden. The long, warm days of summer are perfect for trying your hand at tomatoes, squash or peppers. Use a double layer of cheap landscaping timbers to frame out a 4×8 bed and fill it with compost and topsoil from a home improvement store. Start with seeds for squash, cucumbers, beets or green beans and plants from a nursery (cheaper and healthier) for tomatoes or peppers. Kids love to help till the soil, plant the seeds, and eat straight off the vine.
Add a Backsplash
Does your kitchen need an update? Add a colorful backsplash with Peel and Stick tiles. With little more than a ruler, utility knife, and a pencil, you can quickly install these easy-to-work with pieces, transforming your kitchen with a backsplash made to look like subway tile, stone, or glass. Interlocking pieces make it easy to achieve a seamless look.
Replace a Bathroom Sink and Countertop
Take out that sunken, 1980s scallop sink and put in a trendy vessel sink with a reclaimed wood countertop. Sinks with stoppers can be found on the internet for as little as $50. Gather some old wood from fencing or pallets, sand it down, and stain it a rich color. Put plywood down for the base of the countertop, measure and cut out the sink hole, then add the wood around the sink. Top it off with a thick layer of epoxy for a sleek, polished finish.
Take Down Popcorn Ceiling
That popcorn ceiling has been the bane of your existence for too long. Start in a small room, such as a closet or bathroom, and be prepared for a big mess. Empty the room of everything you can—remove furniture, take down light fixtures—and hang plastic to keep the walls clean and help funnel the texture you scrape off. Wear a mask and goggles. Working in sections, start by spraying the ceiling with water from a pump sprayer, then let it soak in for 10 minutes. Scrape it off with a wide bladed tool, like a floor scraper. When you are done, you’ll need to sand it or add some texture back before painting.
Build a Treehouse
If the kids have been begging for years, it may be time to finally build that tree house. One weekend of work for you will mean entire summers of imaginative play for them. There are some great tutorials online, including some using old pallets. Add a zip line for about $150 and be the talk of the neighborhood. Let the kids paint it with leftover house paint and turn an old sheet into a flag. And don’t forget a rope ladder.
Install New Flooring
If your carpet is in dire need of replacing, think about ripping it out and using vinyl plank flooring. Remove the baseboards, prep the work surface and watch an online tutorial for a general guide. The pieces snap together to form a flush, uniform surface that looks like hardwood floors. Choose a light gray for a modern look or a dark wood grain for a warm, cozy feel.
Wondering about financing your summer home improvement project? Contact us today to discuss loan options.

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