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Summer Projects Made Simple

 Summer is the time of year when outdoor projects, big and small, come to our attention. Small improvements such as fixing concrete steps, sealing driveway cracks and straightening fence posts can make a big difference in your home’s overall appearance or resale value. If you know how to do it right, these kinds of DIY projects can easily be finished on a Saturday morning.

 

Here are a few simple do-it-yourself undertakings to spruce up the outside of your house:

 

Fence posts, light posts, or mailbox posts:

Whether you’re putting in a fence, adding a light fixture or fixing one that’s gone askew, you don’t need a cement mixer or other special equipment. “Setting a post is one of the easiest jobs and one of the first things a homeowner will attempt using concrete,” says Shawn King, director of marketing for Sakrete products.

 

Here’s how you do it:

Remove the loose post and clean out the existing hole, or dig a new one. Set the post into it and fill the hole with water. Using a fast-setting concrete mix, pour the dry mix directly into the hole. The water activates the cement and the mix sets in approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure your post is straight before the concrete sets. There’s no need to brace because of the fast set. Approximate project time: less than one hour.

 

Cracks in the driveway:

Driveway cracks can become very unsightly if left untouched. Over time, they expand, weeds begin to grow out of them and they catch debris. Cracks provide an opening for water, and in regions with freeze-thaw cycles, water penetration will lead to deterioration of driveway surfaces. If you catch the cracks before they get too big, they’re easy to repair.

 

Here’s how you do it:

Use a household garden hose to clear the debris from the crack. Moisten the crack and wipe away any pooled water. Using concrete or blacktop crack filler (depending on your driveway), squeeze the filler into the crack. It levels itself for a smooth, sealed finish. Approximate project time: one hour.

 

Cracked and broken steps:

Steps in disrepair are not only unappealing but can be unsafe. Repair cracks and damaged corners before the entire step needs replacing.

 

Here’s how you do it:

Remove any loose mortar pieces of concrete, sweep the surface clean and dampen with water, then remove any standing water. Apply a concrete resurfacer and using a trowel, work it into the cracks and smooth it over. If the corner is missing, mold the mix into the desired step shape. You can use a fast-setting cement patcher to get a faster set, approximately 20 minutes, and your trowel will act as a form to give the patching material the desired shape. If you wish to cover the entire surface, add water to the mix so it’s the consistency of paint, and brush on with a paint brush. Approximate project time: 1.5 to 2 hours.

 

Early summer is a great time of year for these easy projects, and Sakrete products are perfect for do-it-yourselfers who want to get them done the right way, quickly. And once the projects are complete you can enjoy your home and the rest of the summer.

 

Sakrete products are available at your local hardware and building supply retailer. For other locations and to find ideas and advice on summer home projects, log on to www.sakrete.com.

 

Courtesy of ARAcontent

 

 

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