Spring Home Improvement Projects

Anyone have plans to do a little home improvement this spring? We have a couple projects we’re looking to accomplish before those April showers set it, but nothing too elaborate. First, we’d like to install rain gutters on our house as planting near our home is nearly impossible thanks to heavy rain runoff. I’m also looking into ways to collect the rain water in some sort of rain barrel (more to come on that project) to irrigate our expanding square foot garden.

Once we get the gutters installed we would like to pour a patio or build a deck on the back of our house. Our home has a very small back porch area that is barely big enough to house my grill and the kids’ outdoor toys. We’re leaning towards pouring a larger patio off the porch to put some outdoor furniture, and to have a place to enjoy backyard campfires in the chiminea.

For now, we are focusing on saving up the cash to pay for our home improvement projects. So what are you up to this spring?

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  1. I have messed around with rain barrels a bit. Their primary use is to detain run-off and then release it slowly to reduce peak discharge rates for storm water. The whole water re-use thing is a nice idea, but a PITA. You can use it to fill a container to water plants, but there is not enough head pressure to feed a soaker hose, nor should the water be used to irrigate food crops because of all of the pollutants that it washes off of your roof (jet fuel, particulates, etc.).


  2. If you are looking for a unique rain barrel idea, check out the family handiman. They have a very interesting rain barrel set up in the latest issue. I just wish I had a place I could put it to use.

  3. Adding more raised garden beds for the permanent edible landscaping…. Cost – $2.19 for nails – timbers and soil free.

    The patio that didn’t get poured last summer 8×30.
    Free labor, lumber for forms borrowed. Cost – the cement pour only. Cash saved already.

    Patio steps into the house after the concrete sets – both the 1 x4 cement steps and the lumber were salvaged and free. Cost – some nails/screws. Labor free.

    Rain gutter – free labor. Gutter free from a friend. Cost – some nails/screws to hang it.

    Brick walkway from front door to patio. Cost – one sack of sacrete to set the bricks. Bricks, labor, and sand free.

    As you can see – most of my projects are freebies or close to it! Only way to build a home 🙂

  4. We plan to add a patio to the back of our house, but unfortunately it isn’t in the budget for this year. Hopefully we’ll have the money saved up for it by next Spring.

    For this year we plan to work more in the gardens. We’re adding a vegetable garden and switching out some of the plants in the gardens around the house. Thankfully I can get some nice plants from friends and family that will be dividing plants in their gardens. Since it’s our first year in the house it’ll be fun to start our stamp on the yard.

  5. With this being my second spring in my house, I have full intentions of ripping apart my existing flower/shrub bed and incorporating more tomato plants.

    I’m also hoping to add a set of steps from my deck down to my patio and redo the existing retaining wall, because right now the bricks are stacked vertically and not staggered???

    Cash is being saved for both adventures

  6. We have two projects planned, one mostly money the other mostly work.

    Several years ago we did Phase 1 of our landscaping and installed interlocking block walkways and the retaining walls around the beds in front of the house. They’ve sat empty since then. We keep weeding the empty beds so the place doesn’t look awful, but we’ve just never made it a priority to set aside the budget to complete the job. We’ve decided this is the year to plant the shrubs and finally mark that job finished. We may also get furniture for the front porch & gazebo this year and start making full use of the outside of our home.

    We are also planning to get ruthless about cleaning out the junk in the basement so we can finally start finishing the basement in the fall. I’m assuming it may take us most of the summer to pick away at the job and sort out what is garage sale material, what should be donated and what is truly garbage. Hopefully we’ll have a nice new recroom for next winter when we go into hibernation again.

  7. I want to add $10 or less of some cheap, colorful perrennials around my Holly bush and Crepe Myrtle.

    Our house came with a small covered patio that is proportionally perfect for our small yard. I might buy a $10 hanging plant for the area, but that’s about it.

  8. Working on a fence right now. Cost more than originally estimated for. Took a vacation week to get it accomplished. Writing this because it started to rain, again! :o) Best laid plans of mice and men.

  9. I just had 3/4 of my roof redone. I have to repair water damage in living room from leaky roof.

    Next paint living room.

    In April huge garden is in works as well. And lots of yard work (I still have dead leaves, itchy balls, and such everywhere.)

    In May or June I am knocking this weird wall by my back door down and putting in a sliding glass door.

    I also want to redo my coat closet (it is now two but I want it to be one, it sort of waste space right now.)

    I would alse like to:
    replace bathroom mirror and vanity. But this is a wish.

    Everything but bathroom I have money and man power (free family labor) to do.

    I am a single mom who bought a fixer upper house in Nov.

    I will do garden, yard work, and painting myself. But the construction stuff I have my stepdad, and dad to do.

    Oh my boys want to make a tree house/fort.

    I anticipate I can have all this done by end of year. Yeah!!!

  10. I am really looking forward to my Spring projects this year. I have some student debt around the side of my house, crowding my sun flowers I would love to get rid of finally. Also the right half of my roof is cluttered with some student debt as well, as soon as I can I’d love to be able to replace that section with some savings. Finally my entire lawn could use a re-fertilization of cash as opposed to the dew-like layer of student loan debt that coats it.

    And that pretty much sums up my Spring projects:)

  11. @MyFinancialObjectives…. I’m thinking a good lawn mower and some superstrength debt-ller, full strength, should get you out of your mess 🙂
    lol – enjoyed your humor 🙂

  12. Marci357, do they sell superstrength debt-ller, full strength at my local Home Depot or do I need to special order that from Russia? 😉

    Better to laugh about it than stress about it, I’m already doing all I can to pay it down as rapidly as possible! Which actually means no Spring cleaning for me, besides sweeping up more debt!:)

  13. shudda been debt-killer…. 🙂 typos 🙁

    As long as the lawn mower is won’t powered, (as in won’t spend anything more), all should work well!

    You’d be surprised how many freebies you can come up with tho for yard projects. All my lumber and timbers come from the wood debris pile at the local transfer station, and most of the plant starts from friends. 🙂

  14. Plan on doing:

    1. Re-purpose area where electric hotwater heater was….have a “on demand” water heater in another location. Got a LOT of space to make use of!

    2. Rip out flower beds, replant.

    3. New deck or at least firm up plans for a new deck & find contractor. (DH is not a handy guy!)

  15. I’d love a patio for our yard — we currently only have grass, and no surface for some outdoor furniture like a table and chairs. I think this is number-one on our home improvement list. I wonder if we can do it ourselves…

  16. Yes, those of you looking to plant some perennials want to hook up with someone in your neighborhood with an established garden (like me) who would probably be more than happy to share plants.
    We’re going to try to leverage husband’s current unemployed situation (first time either of us has ever been unemployed, and we’re fiftyish), by having him stain the house and perhaps put a new roof on with help of unemployed carpenter/handyman friend. Of course we would pay the friend for labor, but figure that in the long run we can get some major projects done for little money.
    Thanks to adopting a more financially prudent lifestyle for the past few years (with help from blogs like this) the job loss is not a total disaster for us. We’re trying to mine the silver lining from the clouds 🙂

  17. We poured tinted concrete for our patio about 2 years ago and it looks great! You are probably aware of this but be sure to pour on a damp day (not rain) so the cement will set up correctly. Basically avoid pouring on a hot dry day and you will enjoy your new expanded patio for years to come.