If you plan to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend improving your home and garden, or you're talking time off from work soon, here are some ideas

1. If your garden needs an injection of colour, flowers won't last, but a DIY makeover will. Glazed garden pots are often costly, but you can save a lot of money by painting inexpensive terracotta pots and troughs - restrict the paint to below the rim or paint the rim a different colour for a two-tone look. Ronseal Garden Paint (£15 for 2.5 litres until September 21, B&Q) is ideal for this because it can be used on terracotta, but also on wood, brick, metal and stone, so you can coordinate your garden without having to buy different paints for different surfaces. Ronseal Garden Paint is rainproof in just an hour, perfect for use on showery days, and comes in lots of lovely colours.

2. Spending the long weekend painting your garden shed an eye-catching colour is a fun thing to do, but first check if it has glass or Perspex window panes. If it's the latter, be careful not to get paint on the Perspex, or if you do, wipe it off straightaway because you can't scrape and clean dry paint off Perspex, like you can glass, without ruining it. If you use the shed for storage, insulating the walls internally will help to protect anything you store in it when the weather turns cold. Also make sure it's watertight - take a look inside when it's raining to see if water's coming in, and do any necessary repairs.

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3. Warm, sunny days are the obvious time to do exterior repairs and painting, although painting in strong, direct sunlight and high temperatures isn't necessarily a good idea, as it can affect the finish. If your home's exterior walls are painted, a fresh coat or two will protect them ready for winter, as well as smartening them up. As always, do any prep thoroughly first, such as scraping off loose and flaking paint.

4. There are always things to fix, so tackle all those little DIY jobs you never get around to in your home and garden. Take the new Gerber Center-Drive Multi Tool (£124.99, www.gerber-store.co.uk) with you instead of carrying around different tools. The Center-Drive folds right down and fits in a compact carry pouch that can be mounted on a belt, but has 16 fold-out tools, including pliers, blades, wire cutters and strippers, a file and a screwdriver and bits.

5. If the kids' rough and tumble during the school holidays has taken a toll on your home's walls, you can start repairing holes and cracks safe in the knowledge that the new school term starts soon. Deep holes can sometimes be packed with kitchen roll, or something similar, to save on filler and time, or use a filler that's ideal for big repairs, such as Toupret TX110 Expert Rapid Drying Interior Filler (£11.99 for 2kg, Screwfix). This powdered filler is exceptionally good - it dries quickly, is easy to shape, and can be nailed and screwed into when set but, unlike some tough fillers, is easy to sand.