DIY

Bob Vila’s 10 “Must Do” Projects for June

Warm, sunny June days are the perfect time to upgrade your outdoor space, and conquer indoor maintenance that’s best accomplished in nice weather.
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Young woman arranging and planting plants at her porch.

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The first day of summer is almost here, and memories of the long, cruel winter have all but left our collective consciousness. Since June is prime time to fire up the grill and soak up some rays, the first order of business is to make sure your outdoor space is comfortable and beautiful: Consider installing new sprinklers and a fire pit, and adding some budget-friendly summer style to the front porch, deck, or patio. If you need more room to accommodate bikes, mowers, and garden equipment, now’s also a good time to order or build a storage shed.

Inside the house there’s also plenty to do, including dumping and decluttering stuff that has outlived its useful life. Washing window screens, too, will give you better views of your blooming garden.

1. Install a Smarter Sprinkler

A gardener with a digital tablet using a smart garden application concept. Watering system.
Photo: istockphoto.com

The key to a lush summer lawn is water: water early, water deeply, water often. Consider automating this landscaping chore by installing a timed sprinkler system. Today’s smart sprinkler systems can even adapt their watering schedule to the rain forecast. That means you’ll pay only for the water your lawn needs, and not a drop more. The Rachio 3: 8 Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller can be managed via smartphone app and is Alexa compatible.

RELATED: The Invincible Yard: 25 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping

2. Wash Window Screens

Woman scrubs a window screen on a blue tarp with a scrub brush.
Photo: Tom Fenenga for Bob Vila

It’s the season for open windows but if your screens are grubby and dusty, even a light summer breeze could bring dirty air into your house. Keep your home clean by giving your window screens a good washing. To do so, first remove the screens from the windows, then lay them on the driveway or patio and rinse them with a garden hose. Scrub seriously dirty screens gently with a solution of mild dish soap and water. Rinse them clean and let them air dry. Clean the window tracks, before reinstalling the screens.

3. Install a Backyard Shed

Woman finishing a partly built shed.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Maybe you need some extra storage for lawn and garden gear, or perhaps you yearn for a structure that can serve as an unconventional hangout or home office. Whatever your needs, a simple storage shed will fit the bill. A prefab model is a breeze to install in an afternoon, or you can build your own shed using a set of simple shed plans.

4. Get Rid of Old Paint

Man carrying an old can of paint with white paint dripping down the side.
Photo: istockphoto.com

It’s always a good idea to keep leftover paint on hand in case you need to touch up scratches and scuffs. If, however, you’re holding on to old paint that no longer matches the hues on your walls, or is too dry and lumpy to use, it’s time to toss it. Resist the urge to stack old paint cans at the curb with the regular trash. Paint contains toxic chemicals and must be disposed of at proper facilities. Contact your local sanitation department for disposal information.

RELATED: Solved! Here’s How Long Paint Actually Lasts

5. Clean the Mattress

Person vacuuming a mattress with a vacuum attachment.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Be honest: When was the last time you cleaned your mattress? If you can’t remember, you are overdue for a refresh in order to eliminate dust mites and deodorize your sleeping quarters. Remove the mattress protector or mattress pad, and use a vacuum attachment to clear away crumbs, pet hair, and more from the cushion top. Then sprinkle the surface with baking soda to deodorize. Let the powder sit for at least a couple hours before vacuuming it away. Open the windows in the bedroom, too, to air out your sleeping space as you work.

6. Add New House Numbers

A #5 house number hanging on a white post in front of a big house.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Stylish address numbers are an important component of a home’s curb appeal, but their main function is one of practicality and safety. In an emergency, first responders rely on house numbers to locate your home, so be sure your digits are big, bold, and can be seen from the street. These modern floating numbers from Reavor are 5 inches high, rustproof, and will make your location easy to identify in an emergency.

7. Refinish the Floors

Worker polishing a parquet floor with grinding machine.
Photo: istockphoto.com

The best time to refinish the floors is before you even move in. If you’re past that point, at least tackle the project in fair weather, when you can open the windows to help ventilate the room. Simply move furniture and fixtures into a garage, screened porch, or covered patio until the finish has set. If you’re really organized, you can try to time your renovation project to take place just before you leave on vacation. After a few days, your floors will once again be ready to walk on when you return.

8. Build a Fire Pit

Circular fire pit area in the back of home in the forest.
Photo: istockphoto.com

There’s nothing quite like gathering the family around a backyard fire on a warm summer night. If you don’t already have a fire pit, building one is a simple undertaking. Your first order of business is to contact your local government and find out what the regulations are in your area. Then, be sure to consult experts at your local home center or masonry retailer when choosing stones or bricks for your fire pit—not all materials can withstand high heat. (Would you rather buy than DIY? Consider a smokeless fire pit like the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0, which received rave reviews from our product tester.)

9. Pare Down

Woman putting books and clothes in a box for donations.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Keep your dwelling quarters bright and breezy by decluttering the junk that’s been weighing you down. Pick one or two easily achievable goals, like arranging a disorderly box of photographs into a photo album, or carting last summer’s reading materials to a used-book shop or donation center.

10. Dress Up the Porch

A porch swing with cozy white cushions on a front porch.
Photo: istockphoto.com

A classic porch swing, an outdoor rug, planters and hanging baskets—even draperies and a chandelier—can transform an ordinary space into an extraordinary one. You don’t have to spend a ton, either: Buy a set of La Jolie Muse hanging planters and a 6-pack of annuals from your local home center and you’re halfway to an appealing entry.