As we head into the middle of summer, it is a great time to take stock of what summer home renovations can help improve the value of your home. For the common homeowner, the summer season represents the optimal time to complete necessary improvements around the house, including the extensive the list you may have been putting off. The great news is that not all summer home renovations demand extensive time or money to complete.

In fact, successful real estate investors recognize the importance of time — and they value it immensely. When it comes to undertaking summer home improvements, home owners and investors alike take into consideration a combination of factors like cost-effectiveness, efficiency, amount of time, but most important, return on value.

It doesn’t matter if you plan to sell your home in the near future or you intend to live in it for years to come, keeping a property up-to-date benefits you in the long run.

Instead of waiting till the projects become expensive, and cost thousands of dollars, it is much better to execute smaller projects and save a ton.  As a homeowner, comprehending these factors will allow you to align your summer home renovations accordingly, including what’s most important on your list, what can be completed the quickest, and what will generate the best return.

While you want to enjoy your summer weekends, it can be fun and beneficial to pick up some DIY projects that won’t cost an entire month’s salary.  The following highlights the top projects that can be completed over a single weekend:

1. Jazz Up the Exterior

It’s surprising what a little paint can do for the appearance of a home — and its value. The average cost to jazz up the exterior of a home by repainting is approximately $2,000, while the average return on resale is 90 percent.

If you decide to hire a professional painter rather than do it yourself, be sure they are a lead-safe certified contractor. While you won’t be fined if you do the job yourself, contractors must follow safety guidelines and therefore are subject to fines. For people planning to paint a home that was built before 1978, visit the EPA website for more information.

Tips: When painting your home, be sure to use warm and inviting colors. For most homeowners, the most popular choice of paint color is Taupe.

2. Enhance Curb Appeal

One of the more popular summer home renovation projects that takes only a weekend to complete is adding curb appeal. There’s no denying that lawn beautification goes a long way for a home’s visual appeal and it’s a central part of a home’s character. Because landscaping is the first impression visitors and potential buyers see, it’s a critical component to get a jump start on this summer.

When getting started, homeowners can either choose to commence the landscape project themselves or hire a professional. Either way, it should only take a weekend to complete. For those considering hiring a professional, it’s important to understand there are two types of landscapes: landscape architects and contractors — and each one serves a specific purpose.

Tips: Consider creating a walkway and adding solar lighting. In addition, planting a mature tree can be worth as much as $1,000 to $10,000, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.

3. Upgrade Windows

One of the surest summer home renovations to earn a return on investment is upgrading the windows. After years of home ownership, you’ll probably have to replace a few windows in your home. Although you may take your windows for granted, they remain an integral part in maintaining a comfortable home. The cost to replace windows will vary upon size, amount of windows needed, style and quality, but despite the many brands and options available, affordable replacements are easy to find if you know what you’re looking for. This approach not only offers energy efficiency but a high return on investment, as homeowners can generally receive a 100 percent ROI with window upgrades.

Before you construct a window-replacement estimate, it’s important to have a general idea as to where you plan on making a purchase. Wood windows are more expensive. The cost of a wood replacement window can range between $800 and $1,000 per installation. To maximize your ROI, install dual-pane windows. This will not only ensure street noise and inefficient air conditioning and heating is eliminated, but it will improve your home’s appearance.

Tips: Although replacing your windows doesn’t require a permit, it will if you are cutting a hole into the wall to perform the job. Give a window professional a call first before commencing this home improvement.

4. Build A Fire Pit

For those looking to keep their weekend projects to a minimum, building a fire pit is a quick way to add flare to your backyard. Gathering around the fire pit is an awesome way to spend time with close friends and family.

Here is a quick YouTube video from Home Depot on How to Build a Fire Pit:

The three options that require the least amount of time to complete include: utilizing an antique or salvaged fire pit; buy a freestanding fire pit; or simply building one. The first step to a DIY fire pit is purchasing the right materials. A stone fire pit, for example, is an attractive option for modern homes.

One common and affordable method is using concrete tree rings. For less than $60, homeowners can construct a personalized fire pit that allows for a very controlled burn and positive air shut-off to extinguish when it’s time to call it quits. Not only is it a cost efficient project to build, but an outdoor fire pit is the ideal way to entertain guest during the summer months.

5. Replace Fences & Gates

“Good fences make good neighbors.” — Mending Wall BY Robert Frost.

For those looking to get their hands dirty over the weekend, the best option is to replace or repair fences and gates. This summer home renovation is ideal for homes with damaged, old or outdated fences, which can be easily repaired or restored. In fact, many home improvement stores offer ready-made fencing as well as custom materials.

If you plan to build a new fence, make sure you consult a professional and also the local municipal for regulations. Research the property line, inform your neighbors, consider going green, and research how much it costs based on the type of material you may use.