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Summer is in full swing, and it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and add character to your home. We all know your home’s appeal can be affected by its appearance from the street, so upgrading your landscape and entrance way can be imperative to maintaining your home’s value.

Check out these five easy, do-it-yourself tricks to improving your landscape and home’s value.

Make Compost and Save Green

It may be tempting to pile bags of soil into a shopping cart at your local garden store, but there is no need to spend that extra cash. You can create nutritious soil of you own. Make the most of your family’s organic trash by making your own compost. Simply mix a bag of potting soil with your backyard clippings, dead leaves, mulch, coffee grounds, and those leftover you have laying around from tonight’s dinner. Some experts even recommend adding hair, tumble-dryer lint, vacuum bag dust, and wood ashes. Never add meat, fish, or pet feces to your compost. These items can harbor disease and attract vermin.

Keep your compost in a dark, moist place. You can easily build a compost bin out of wood or repurpose an old plastic storage container. You can also purchase an inexpensive compost bin at most home improvement stores. The natural process of composting generates heat. Keeping your compost in a container enables the heat to be retained more easily. This allows for the efficient breakdown of material. Along with retaining heat, a covered compost bin also prevents rain from making the compost too wet. To give your compost pile a steroid shot, add earthworms! Attracting and adding worms to a compost pile creates the equivalent of 1/3 pound of high-quality fertilizer for your plants.

Select and Plant Perennials

You will find yourself giving away a lot of hard-earned cash every season if you select flowers and plant varieties that die every year. Catmint, coreopsis, alstroemeria, gayfeathers, and yellow coneflowers not only look great, but rebound and spring back to life every year.

Perennials are known for thriving in home gardens. They can easily become the heart of your garden – as there are highly attractive and colorful. Choose long-living perennial plants that produce beautiful foliage every year and save your green!

Front Door Makeover

Updating and upgrading the entrance to you home can completely transform the overall look. Adding a brightly colored front door, changing your hardware, and updating light fixtures can go a long way in increasing appeal.

First, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and spider webs. Next, grab your water hose and spray down the door to remove stuck-on debris and dirt. All you need is a heavy duty sponge, water, and a cleaner like Soilax or Goo Gone to finish the job. If you want an eco-friendly alternative to cleaners, try using vinegar and water. Give your front door and any surrounding framing a good scrubbing. Use a clean cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt.

If just cleaning your front door doesn’t make a difference, consider painting it. A brightly colored door is a great way to draw attention to your house and make it feel modern and inviting. Choose a bright color that adds character and contrast to your home. There are even smartphone apps that allow you to take a picture of your house and toy with different color options for doors, framing, shutters, and more. While you’re at it, spray paint existing door hardware (like knobs and keyholes) to give your fixtures a more modern look.

To really take things to the next level, get home numbers with a modern font and consider adding a historic looking door knocker for added personality and style. You can complete the new look with updated light fixtures.

Next Level Renovations

You may have an appetite for larger home improvement projects, but wonder how you will finance the need for contractors, supplies, and equipment. Projects like paving your driveway or adding a garage will improve your home’s value as well. MAX may have a solution. If you have a mortgage on your home, as most homeowners do, then your home has probably earned some equity. A home equity line of credit allows you to borrow sums of money using the equity in your home.* This can be a great solution for financing home improvement projects, as well as covering other large expenses.

MAX provides Home Equity Lines of Credit to help you finance your needs. A MAX home equity line of credit is an open-end loan, so you can advance anytime during the loan.* Learn more about how you can harness the power of your home’s equity by checking out these details or speaking with a knowledgeable MAX financial consultant at one of our branches.

* Alabama properties only. Good for qualified borrowers. Certain restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender.