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

May is a month worth celebrating. Those April showers have gone, leaving in their wake beautiful spring flowers, and the heat of summer has yet to arrive. As the days become warmer and sunnier, seasonal maintenance both inside and outside the house seems like less of a chore. Make the most of this energizing season by getting your lawn off to a good start, reviving your outdoor furniture, and improving your home's curb appeal. Inside, you'll want to make certain your air conditioning units are in good working order for the summer months ahead. Here are the 10 top "must-do" projects for May.

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  1. Tend to Your Lawn


    In addition to tuning up your mower, you should take steps to prevent weed growth in your lawn. An organic herbicide will help do the trick. Also, consider reseeding on a regular basis. This will make your lawn denser, which will help keep out those pesky weeds. 

    Related: The Ultimate Lawn Care Guide—12 Steps to a Prize-Winning Yard

  2. Take a New Path


    A distinctive walkway can add immeasurable curb appeal to any home. Consider using stones or pavers to create a new walkway that best suits your house's style. Although laying bluestone may be a job for a pro, making a walkway from pavers, bricks, or flagstone can be a good—and rewarding—DIY endeavor.  

    Related: Garden Paths—10 Easy-to-Imitate Stone Walkways

  3. Update Your Kitchen


    Infusing some color and pattern into your kitchen is a great—and easy—way to improve its appeal. If you have the full weekend, consider retiling the backsplash. Want to go a step further? Reface your cabinets. A new wood veneer or a bright coat of paint on cabinet doors and drawer fronts can be transforming. 

    Related: Cabinet Refacing—Should I or Shouldn't I?

  4. Install Ceiling Fans


    Ceiling fans are an energy-efficient alternative to air conditioning units, and they are particularly refreshing during these weeks of open-window weather before the heat kicks in. Install ceiling fans in those rooms where you spend the most time (for example, the kitchen, family room, or bedroom). 

    Related: Blades of Glory—10 Ceiling Fans With Sharp Style

  5. Plant a Tree


    May is the perfect month for making improvements to your landscaping. Put in a distinctive edging that will define your garden walkway or planting beds. Plant your garden in raised beds for optimal drainage, or directly into the ground if your soil is arable. Consider adding a shade tree or fruit tree to your yard; either will bring many years of beauty to your landscape.

    Related: How To Plant an Apple Fruit Tree

  6. Inspect Your Air Conditioning


    Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that your air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and confirm that the drain pans are draining freely. If you had problems with the efficiency or performance of the unit last summer, now is the time to call in a professional to check it out.

  7. Seal the Driveway


    Showing your driveway a little TLC goes a long way in preserving its good looks and durability. Oil and gas spills, rain, wind, sun, and temperature fluctuations all make sealing the driveway a necessary process at least once every two years. Don’t be afraid to tackle the job yourself. It is the perfect DIY weekend project.

  8. Revive Your Outdoor Furniture


    After a long winter, your outdoor furniture might be looking shabby, particularly under the bright, unforgiving glare of the sun. Before you buy new, see if there’s something you can do to revive that patio set, picnic table, garden glider, or favorite pair of lawn chairs. You'd be amazed at what a thorough cleaning and can of spray paint can do.

    Related: 10 Unexpected Uses for Spray Paint

  9. Curb Appeal


    A tidy, well-decorated facade and well-landscaped front yard speak volumes about your design style and maintenance habits. A few quick updates—from a fresh coat of paint on the front door to decorative planters—will do wonders to promote a great first impression and a beautiful welcome.

    Related: Fast Fixes for Your Facade—15 Ways to Add Instant Curb Appeal

  10. Ready the Grill


    With summer cookouts around the corner, you should prep your grill for action. If you own a gas unit that has been idle for several months, check the burner jets for obstructions and secure all hose connections snugly. Be sure that the propane tank is full before guests arrive! Charcoal grill owners should clean off ashes and grease residue—a good habit to keep up over the course of the season.

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