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DIY OR EXPERT EDITION: 4 HOME RENO PROJECTS AND WHO SHOULD HANDLE THEM

As summer rolls around and the days grow longer and hotter, the kids are finally out of school and the pool water should be approaching an ideal temperature. Right now, home improvement projects are probably the last thing on your mind. But as it turns out, the warmest months are actually the perfect time to take a good look around your property and get to tackling some of those plans you have been putting off.

Many projects are even less costly in the summer, considering that labor is more readily available and many folks won't schedule renovations with children home from school, while others would rather avoid conflicts with family vacations.

So which projects are right for summer renovations? Maybe more importantly: Do you pick up your toolbox and get to work, or pick up the phone and call in the experts?

Patio Bar Remake

You can't get much more summery than cocktails outdoors, so if your property includes a standard patio, sunroom or sizable deck, this might just be the year you finally add that window bar. Creating a patio bar will allow you to open up the living space inside and enjoy the perks of an outdoor kitchen, but without the need for new outdoor plumbing.

Anyone cooking inside will be able to enjoy the summer air and be part of the activities, while still benefiting from the conveniences of the interior kitchen.

EXPERT OR DIY?

Since the patio window will require some serious carpentry skills, this project would be best left to the pros. Even for the handiest of DIYers, mistakes could prove very costly, so let someone who is licensed and bonded make the important calls and decisions.

Upgrade Your Security System

A home feature you may forgotten about or taken for granted during the year is your home security system. With technology advancing by the day, even a system less than five years old can be antiquated and due for an upgrade. Particularly in the summer, when you may be away, or when your kids will be home, a home security camera system would allow you to keep an eye on what's going on when you're not around.

EXPERT OR DIY?

Believe it or not, you've got this one. With the purchase of a high-quality security camera system, you can an find easy-to-follow guide to install your new security cameras online.

Repave the Driveway

If your driveway is sprouting grass through four- or five-inch-long gaps in the surface, then it's time for a facelift. Asphalt driveways, in particular, are popular projects in the summer because working with asphalt is actually simpler if it is done in higher temperatures. When the weather is hot, asphalt is less likely to harden too soon, so laying asphalt in summer means smooth asphalt surfaces.

The lower the temperature dips, the less time contractors will have to evenly spread the asphalt to form a level surface. Otherwise, you may be left with an irregular surface with bumps and valleys.

EXPERT OR DIY?

Though this may seem like fairly straightforward work — hey, you're just mixing and spreading — there is actually a little bit of art to it. A seasoned pro will know how to manipulate the temperamental asphalt. Go pro — your back will thank you for it.

Gutter Repairs

Making sure your gutters are clean and secure has become a summer ritual to many Americans. Throughout the year, leaves, stagnant water and sometimes even vermin accumulate in the gutters throughout the year. The joints need to be checked for leaks, and the panels checked for holes.

EXPERT OR DIY?

This one is a personal call. Gutter repairs are usually simple and quick, but it's important to understand this type of work frequently ends in injury, so know your limits. There are specialists who will arrive with specific equipment in hand to take care of gutter issues efficiently. So, whatever you decide, remember safety first.

Summer is a great time to cross off a few home renovations from your list and an even better time to sit back and enjoy the improvements, either made by you or a pro, once they're completed.



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