Summer is finally in full swing, which means lots of things: the sun is shining, the kids are home and opportunities for summer fun are endless.  The great weather and long weekends also permit the start of home improvement projects.  With the time to do them and little worry over poor weather getting in the way of some jobs, summertime is the ideal time to give your home a style makeover and increase its value with four affordable home improvement projects: updating your entry door, fixing up the kitchen cabinets, insulating the attic and replacing the soffit and fascia.

Overhaul Your Entry

The very first thing anyone sees upon approaching your home is the entry and entry door.  You want them to be inviting, right?  Fortunately, it’s simple and cost-effective to give the area a facelift.  Doors become dented, scratched and weatherworn and might need to be swapped out.  Buyers looking for new exterior doors can choose from energy-efficient steel, fiber glass and wood grain doors with accents like windows, sidelights and transoms to complement their home entry.  The price of a new door will vary depending on the options selected. Be sure to buy a good quality door, and it will look and operate great for years to come.

If money is a bigger concern or you’re just looking to make minor adjustments, repainting, refinishing or replacing door fixtures are always options as well.  In fact, it might be wise to at least upgrade handles and locks.  Did you know that these items signal strength and security to those who enter a home?

Update Your Kitchen

What does every wife and mother dream of in a home?  An awesome kitchen.  Kitchen remodeling can be challenging and at times pricey, but one change that won’t break the bank is refurbishing cabinetry. Replacing a cabinet system in its entirety would cost thousands of dollars; however, fixes and cosmetic updates average about $1000.

Painting is one option, necessitating that you or a professional sand and prime the cabinet boxes and/or doors, then apply acrylic paint.  Other strategies include removing and having only new doors installed or replacing handles and knobs for a few dollars apiece.

Another lower cost option for updating your kitchen is to install a replacement kitchen. Basically this includes installing new cabinets, counter tops and hardware, but without changing the configuration of the kitchen. While not inexpensive, this option gives you a brand new kitchen but saves a lot compared to complete kitchen redesign by limiting the plumbing, electric and construction costs.

Insulate the Attic

Heating and air conditioning are not cheap commodities, so we shouldn’t waste them.  When a home isn’t properly insulated, however, heat and air escape.  One neglected area seems to be the attic, which more often than not gets forgotten about unless it’s Christmastime and the decorations need to be brought down.

Insulating your attic is affordable at the outset and will result in energy savings upwards of 40%.  Fiberglass insulation only takes a few hours to install, doesn’t absorb moisture and doesn’t allow mold growth.  Investing now will save you thousands later.

Replace the Soffit and Fascia

Various parts of exterior home design serve to protect your home.  Items like the soffit and fascia function to protect other areas, like the roof, from weather damage and leaks, and promote effective attic ventilation.  Given their exposure to the elements, however, both soffit and fascia may wear and develop rot or mold.

Replacing either or both of these components may be a wise investment.  Aluminum and vinyl materials get the job done, as they’re water-resistant and promote solid interior temperature levels, saving lots of money on your energy bills.  When all is said and done, the home will be protected and you will have likely spent less than $1,000.

We want to be safe in and proud of our homes, and a number of affordable home improvement projects can help us with that.  From enhancing the first impressions created with a new exterior door to increasing energy efficiency with proper insulation, there are plenty of seemingly small projects for us to undertake.  Why not make the most of summer by making it a combination of relaxation and productivity?