Design Recipes: 10 home projects to keep you busy

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

For many, the official arrival of summer signals lazy days and longer nights. But the summer may also be a wonderful time to catch up on maintenance and all your to-do projects around the home.

A number of maintenance tasks can be done to preserve the look and efficiency of your home, while also helping to continue to bring you peace of mind.

Looking to take on some maintenance projects the summer? Here are 10 summer tasks to help keep your checklist on track.

1.Gutter maintenance. In many parts of the country, the summer is a time of heavy rains. The summer is a great time to ensure your gutters are in top shape before fall leaves arrive.

2.House repainting. After a winter beating, your house may be worse for the wear. The summer is a good time to take on an exterior painting project when days are sunny and longer.

3.Lawn maintenance. Those who live in colder climates may be surprised after the winter thaw to find brown grass or empty patches. Summer is a good time to seed your lawn and replant any landscape that may not have survived winter.

4. Home improvement projects. So many homeowners wait until summer to take on the home improvement projects that have been on their wish lists all year. Looking for ideas? Why not incorporate a fire pit or stone patio into your outdoor environment?

5. Tree maintenance. Following the winter hibernation period, all of nature's creatures are back. Low-hanging branches may be an attractive means of access to your attic or roof for a curious animal.

6. Insect control. You may want to protect your backyard barbecues and picnics from unwanted visitors.

7.Driveway repaving. Just like there are potholes created in the street from severe weather damage, your driveway may need a fresh coat to ensure a smooth ride home this summer.

8. Check your water connections. From outdoor kitchen faucets to your garden hose, now is a good time to make sure everything is in working order.

9.Purge. Now is a great time to clear out that basement, shed or attic and get rid of all those unwanted and unused items.

10. Check windows and doors. During winter months there is a need to keep cold temperatures out and in summer months, a desire is to keep cool temperatures in. Given the mild temperatures, summer is a good time to consider upgrading or replacing doors and windows.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at