At the first signs of spring, it pays to get busy with home repairs and improvements.
Don’t wait for summer to arrive.
You can save money, time, and hassle by starting those projects now.
Why is it important to start now?
For starters, once summer arrives, you’ll be in line behind everyone else who is doing a home improvement project.
Contractors will be swamped.
This means longer waits and higher rates.
Do-it-yourselfers will jamb home improvement centers.
And you will be up against a deadline to complete your projects.
If they run longer than expected, they can ruin your vacation plans.
Instead, if you get a head start, you can gather competitive bids from contractors who are hungry for work.
You can miss the crowded aisles of the home improvement center.
And you can take the time you need to accomplish your project.
In addition, you can handle problems while they’re fresh, before they get worse.
Last but not least, doing home improvement projects now gets your home in shape for the summer recreation and entertaining you’d rather be enjoying then.
Following are 9 summer home repair and improvement projects you can—and should—jump on early:
Repair Winter Storm Damage
During mild spring days, take stock of storm and water damage to your home.
Most houses sustain at least a few problems during the winter months.
Investigate and make the repairs now, before starting on any larger remodeling or warm-weather projects.
By attacking necessary repairs now, small problems don’t become big ones.
Don’t wait to address a leaking roof or damp basement or crawlspace.
Ultimately, chronic moisture or water damage can cause mold and rot.
To hire someone who can do these jobs, call roofing or siding contractors, a waterproofing contractor or a general contractor.
Missing or damaged roofing.
Look for trouble spots on the roof—but only in good weather and only if you can do so safely.
You can also go into the attic with a bright flashlight to check for signs of moisture.
But be careful!
Once in the attic, step only on attic floorboards or secure framing members—never on the insulation or the topside of the ceiling below because neither will support your body weight.
Look for pinpoints of daylight showing through (though on a wood-shingle roof you’ll probably see many such places, but these tend not to leak because they’re protected by the shingles’ overlap). For more, see How to Find & Fix a Roof Leak.
Many serious roof leaks are not caused by missing or damaged shingles but rather by broken or improperly installed roof flashing. Repair or replace flashing as needed.
See How to Repair Roof Flashing.
Following a roof leak, there is usually a yellow or brown stain on the ceiling below.
After you’ve fixed the roof leak, a stain will probably show through if you just paint over it.
Instead, first seal the stain with a shellac-based stain sealer.
Then you can touch-up or repaint the ceiling.
Flooded basement or crawlspace.
Keeping under-house spaces dry protects against dry rot, prevents moist air from being drawn up into the living space, and arrests the growth of mold. Depending on what you find when you check the basement or crawlspace, you may need to install a sump pump.
Check out the Sump Pumps Buying Guide.
Springtime means it’s time to watch baseball, plant flowers and enjoy the outdoors. For homeowners, it also means it’s time to start making a home maintenance checklist in preparation for the warm, wet months ahead. But before you start making checkmarks