I find that doing nothing gets you nowhere in life. Every time that I did something productive it made a positive change in my life. Now that I have reached the age of 60, the energy I have left to take on new projects has dwindled. There are still things I would like to do, but once I start adding the costs and time that I would have to put into it, I usually don’t move beyond the planning stage. This summer I am devoting my efforts to small maintenance projects around the house. I have a budget of about $100 per month that I use to get supplies. I just completed applying another coat of stain to the deck. Last year it took me most of the summer to refinish the deck because I had to sand and replace several boards. This year, I replaced two 8-foot deck boards, but I didn’t have to sand the whole deck. I got 1-gallon of stain at Sherwin-Williams. It was on sale for 40% off. Normally, they have a 30% sale, so 40% was a good deal. I placed my order online and picked up the stain a few days later at my local store. Sherwin-Williams specializes in paint products, and they get a lot of their business from professional painters. For that reason, they may give you less attention if you are only buying one gallon. With the discount it was almost $45 with tax. A similar stain at Lowes goes for $56 before tax, which is where I got my stain last year. To get notified of the sales at Sherwin-Williams, just create an account on their website.
I have a few other projects around the house, but with a limited budget it comes down to cleaning, painting and minor repairs. These things are not going to add value to a home. But they are needed on a minimum level to maintain the value of a home. New doors, windows, and carpet can cost thousands of dollars. New roof, siding, and heating/cooling systems can cost tens of thousands. Every year I have to trim trees and shrubs. Landscaping is nice to look at, but it requires maintenance. Before fall, I will need to fill the cracks in the driveway. This is another annual maintenance project that requires $30 or $40 in materials. I think it would cost $500 or $600 to have someone reseal the driveway. I did it myself a few years ago. The product I used was Blackjack Drive Maxx 1000. I think I needed three 4.75-gallon buckets. I wouldn’t buy a seal coat with less than a 5-year warranty. You can save some money doing it yourself, but it can become a messy job especially if you need to fill lots of cracks before you apply the sealer.