Author Joe Ryan once wrote that “There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house.” Unfortunately after that last page turns and the book closes, the task at hand is still there. And depending on the nature of the task, it quite possibly got worse while you were slacking off.
One time that you can’t put off repairs is when you’re preparing to sell your home. And sadly, too many homeowners are so focused on the inside of their home that they forget to take care of the landscaping. However, cleaning up the landscaping around the outside of the home can add nearly 15% to the resale value of the property and cause it to sell up to six weeks quicker than homes with shoddy landscaping jobs.
Sprucing Up the Yard
Even if you’re not planning to sell your home, you don’t want to be “that house” in your neighborhood. You know, the one with the front yard that looks like an abandoned lot. Fortunately you can take care of even the worst lawn problems in just a few weekends. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Contain Your Gardens – Container gardening has so many benefits. They’re perfect for planning a wide range of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. It’s easy to move containers indoors during cold-weather months. Best of all, they become dynamic focal points in otherwise hard-to-plant areas on your property.
- Spruce Up the Mulch – Decorative mulch now comes in hues other than brown. Try subtle tones of blue, pale grey, or green which offer a nice complement both to the plants growing within that area of your property as well as the siding and foundation of your home.
- Add Some Annuals – Annual plants might seem like wasted effort because, let’s face it, they only last one year. Consider buying large flats of annual plants in bulk which is much less expensive than buying them in smaller quantities. Even multiple plants of the same type can offer splashes of different colors to create a bright, welcoming atmosphere.
- Trim Those Tree Limbs – Nothing crashes a good yard party like a dead tree limb falling down into the middle of your guests. If you aren’t able to trim tree limbs back safely or aren’t sure how, it’s worth investing in a professional who is licensed to do the job. While you’re at it, also prune the shrubbery so that it bears nice, even shapes.
- Tending to Bulbs – Perennials are useful because they come back every year. Some bulbs do well by being buried once. They go on multiplying until you’re forced to thin them out. However, others are more finicky and require special treatment. Ask your local nursery or garden center before putting them in the ground to be sure you see the blooms in future years.
- Don’t Waste Water – If necessary, replace your garden hose with one that resists kinks and provides an adequate flow of water when being dragged around the yard. Consider investing in a rain barrel to help conserve water. Some newer ones are repurposed wine barrels that add volumes to the curb appeal of your home. Look up websites for more information. For instance, if you live in the Sunshine State you might just Google rain gutter installers, Tampa, FL and see what results rank highest.
- Clean the Bird Baths – Bird Baths filled with stagnant water that is heavy laden with algae aren’t appealing to either the birds or the humans visiting that corner of your yard. Once every few weeks, empty out the water features in your yard. Scrub them down with baking soda and white vinegar before rinsing with cool water.
- Power Wash Everything – Your home’s siding, foundation, windows, deck, front porch, sidewalks, driveway, and garage doors all get dirty over time. Power wash as much as possible for a quick, efficient, and Eco-friendly way to clean up the grime.
Every day try to take at least one walk through your yard. Pick up debris like small sticks, rocks, and pine cones that could interfere with mowing. If necessary, rake up leaves and use them in your compost bin. Even if you ignore all the tips above, then just keeping your yard neat alone will go a long way towards adding some much-needed curb appeal to your home.
Updating Sidewalks and Flower Beds
If your sidewalks are cracked and outdated but you can’t afford new ones, then you aren’t alone. Sidewalk repair can be a costly venture. Your local home improvement center likely sells products to help repair cracks that could cause someone to trip and fall. But for hairline cracks and stains, consider buying some concrete stain and painting a design that camouflages the offending areas.
Square flower beds are, as kids from past generations would say, square! Recreate rectangular flower beds by adding a curved border, rounding corners, or butting half-circle flower beds right up next to one edge to add interest and variation. The important thing is to tackle the job sooner than later. Putting off chores that add curb appeal to your home only turns today’s small jobs into bigger ones tomorrow.
Freelance writer Melissa Cameron uses a variety of sources to research the articles she provides for her clients. For example, when researching home maintenance she used sites like www.RainControlAluminumInc.com out of Florida along with ones in Michigan, California, and even her native Texas to get the best tips to add to her articles. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, and practicing yoga.