Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for April

Spring has sprung! While cool temperatures may not be completely behind us, it's certain that April will usher in warmer days, making it the perfect month to get back to beautifying the yard and garden. The season is likely to bring rain, so be sure to clear your gutters of debris and resolve any water issues in the basement. Getting those tasks out of the way now will give you time to refresh your home's curb appeal, tackle a DIY project or two, and sow some seeds for your summer vegetable garden.

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  1. Avoid Basement Flooding


    Now is the time to inspect for leaks that may have developed over the winter—before seasonal rain sets in. Inspect the exterior foundation and the basement walls and floors. Use epoxy to fill any foundation cracks and apply masonry sealer to basement walls. 

    Related: How To: Dry a Wet Basement

  2. Clean Gutters of Debris


    Along with prepping the basement, spring showers also call for outdoor maintenance. Prevent flooding by clearing the gutters of debris and positioning the downspouts away from the foundation. Ideally, water should flow three feet away from the house, so consider running an extension or trough.

  3. A Fresh Coat of Paint


    A new paint job will transform the look of your exterior, and it makes sense to tackle the job before the dog days of summer. Think about using a contrasting color on trim or architectural details. For maximum curb appeal, factor in the color of your roof. 

    Related: The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing a New House Color

  4. Tune Up the Lawn Mower


    Before the grass gets too high, make sure the mower is in good working order. Clear away any old, dried grass clippings—if you failed to do so in the fall—and change out the filter and oil. If you left some gas in the mower over the winter and it doesn't start up, try draining the gas tank and starting fresh.

  5. Make a Planter for Your Deck


    If you've got a green thumb, pick up a deck rail garden planter at your local garden center, or flex your DIY muscles by making your own. With a saw, drill, hammer, and a free afternoon, you can build a few planter boxes for about $40. Check out our tutorial to build your own. / jencelene

  6. Sow Your Seeds


    Once the danger of winter frost has passed, April is the best month for sowing many vegetable varieties outdoors. Plant your garden in raised beds for optimal drainage, or directly into the yard if your soil is arable. Choose your plants wisely and opt only for what you already like—no one wants to get stuck with a bumper crop the family won't eat.

    Related:  How To Plant a Vegetable Garden

  7. Keep Pollen-Free


    April is peak pollen season across much of the United States, so allergy sufferers should take precautions now. Keep windows closed and clean or replace filters for air-conditioning units. While you're at it, change the air filter in your car. To avoid bringing allergens indoors, those who love sun-dried laundry should wait until after pollen season to use the outdoor clothesline.

  8. List the House


    Thinking of putting your house on the market? Spring is historically the best time to do so. Before you list, put your best face forward with a few minor curb appeal updates. Simple staging tips can transform your interior too. For example, you'll make it easier for buyers to picture themselves in their new home by packing away family memorabilia and knickknacks.

  9. Do Something Fun!


    Because you're likely to spend more time outdoors this month, why not take on an enjoyable DIY project that will enhance the beauty of your lawn or garden. You can easily make a birdbath by stacking different-size inverted terra-cotta pots one on top of the other. Other great outdoor projects include building a fire pit, trellis, or raised garden bed.

    Related: Bob Vila's How-To Center

  10. Start Composting


    The best gardeners know that compost is better than fertilizer when it comes to providing a nutrient-rich growing environment for plants. Composting is easy and inexpensive, and anyone can do it. For the best compost, you'll need to know what not to put into the mix—and remember that your compost needs to stay warm and aerated.

    Related: Compost Bins—10 Smart Options

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