April Chores to Prep Your KC Home for Spring

Spring has arrived! It took a while to get here, but the Just Say Home KC real estate team is still happy to see the season shift. Are you grateful for the warmer Kansas City weather like us? These greener days let us know it's time to take on all those essential springtime maintenance tasks.

"April is the perfect window during the year to tackle many home projects, because most areas of the country have moved past harsh winter conditions but not yet welcomed the heat of summer, which can really make maintenance tasks feel like chores," says Danny Lipford, a home improvement expert and host of the nationally syndicated TV and radio program "Today's Homeowner With Danny Lipford."

"In the majority of cases, regular maintenance takes minimal time and expense. But gone unchecked, minor tasks quickly turn into major headaches that could be avoided with a little regular attention."

Tap into that seasonal surge of enthusiasm by completing these simple spring chores.

Check Your Yard for Low Spots

Task: April is known for its numerous spring showers. After a bout of rain, examine your yard for puddles that indicate low spots. These lower points will kill your grass and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Shortcut: Mark these low spots with a short stake, then fill a wheelbarrow with high-quality soil and make the rounds. You don't need to worry about burying grass—it can grow through a few inches of soil cover.

Call in the pros: A landscaping service can complete this job for approximately $10 to $25 an hour. High-quality, clean soil free of weeds and debris costs $8 to $15 a cubic yard.

Check Soil Drainage

Task: It's essential to ensure that soil slopes away from the foundation walls. This will prevent water from soaking the soil around your home's foundation and causing leaks and cracks.

Shortcut: Use an 8-foot-long stud (two-by-four) and a level to determine your land's slope.

Call in the pros: For $20 to $50 an hour, a Kansas City landscaping service can check slope and grade where necessary.

Clean Planting Beds

Task: Prepare flower and veggie beds for spring planting by removing debris, trimming back last year's dead perennial growth, and adding compost and mulch.

Shortcut: Avoid extra labor by placing a compostable bag on a wheelbarrow or garden cart and filling it with weeds and spent plants as you work through the beds. Disease-free bags can be emptied into your compost pile, but if you see fungi or bugs, tie the bags and toss them in the trash.

Call in the pros: A KC landscaping or garden service crew will charge a monthly flat fee of $25 to $50 to weed and maintain beds.

Check Sprinkler System

Task: Prepare your sprinkler system for summer by inspecting each zone to make sure it's working, then covering each zone properly. Find dry spots? Straighten and re-aim any crooked sprinkler heads and replace broken or worn parts.

Shortcut: Draw a quick property diagram with sprinkler heads and supply line locations sketched in. Turn on each zone one at a time, note any problems on your sketch, and then turn off the system and water supply to make corrections and repairs where noted.

Call in the pros: Kansas City prices can vary depending on the system's complexity. On average, hiring a landscaper or sprinkler installer to check and tune up your sprinkler system costs $40 to $150.

Tune Up Lawn Mower

Task: Regular spring maintenance secures a long life for your mower and avoids costly replacement. To keep your mower ready, sharpen the cutting blade, add a new spark plug and air filter, and change the oil.

Shortcut: Warm oil runs out faster than cold, sluggish oil. Before draining it, run your mower for a minute or two, then disconnect the spark plug before servicing.

Call in the pros: A professional KC lawn mower service tuneup costs about $85.

Check Foundation and Eave Vents

Task: To prevent mold and mildew, your home has vents that help air circulate through crawl spaces and roof framing. These vents have screens to keep out debris and critters, so it's important to check and clean clogged vents along the foundation walls and under eaves, as well as to repair any broken or missing screens.

Shortcut: Look for premade vent screens at hardware stores and home improvement centers for an easy repair.

Call in the pros: A handyman will cost $30 to $60 an hour in the Kansas City area.

Spot-Chipped Exterior Paint

Task: Inspect your siding and exterior trim for small cracks and chips, and repair spots before moisture can penetrate.

Shortcut: Extra paint can be stored in airtight containers so you can spot-paint as needed. Make sure to label correctly and keep paint identification numbers on file to replace paint if you run out.

Call in the pros: It can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour for a Kansas City pro painter to scrape, sand, and spot-paint.

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