Lawn Care: A Hidden Cost Of Owning A Home
Do you own your home or are you planning to purchase one in the near future? If so, it is essential that you create a budget for maintaining your residential property. While many folks think about the mortgage, utilities and insurance, this is only a partial list of expenses related to ownership. Sadly, lawn care is often at the bottom of the list, if it even makes it to the outgoing expenses list.
When a home goes on the market, several things are done to make sure it is ready to be viewed by potential buyers. This includes interior maintenance and repairs, as well as improving the aesthetic of the yard itself. It is great to get an idea of what the lawn and garden can look like year-round. However, you need to understand that the responsibility for upkeep and changes falls directly on your shoulders. If you haven’t yet bought a home, take this into consideration when looking at residential properties.
In order to determine how much to allot for your lawn and garden care, you need to work out an annual list of needed services. Begin with a master list that includes the tasks you can handle, as well as those that will require a lawn and landscaping expert. Consider the following when creating your master list:
Basic Lawn Care – The grass should be cut regularly to prevent unruly overgrowth. Edging around driveways and walkways is an important aspect of basic care to keep the lines sharp and attractive. The expenses associated with basic mowing and edging services vary based on the terrain, grass type and obstructions. If you have a lot of inclines and curvy barriers, you are going to pay more than someone with a flat yard and squared off gardens.
Fertilizer – Grass fertilizing schedules are based on the local climate, your soil and grass type. If you put off this task, you will have a splotchy, unattractive lawn. A landscaping company can test your soil and advise based on the results and their experience with lawns similar to your own.
Pesticides – Unless you live in the Arctic Circle, insects are going to be an issue for you as a home owner. These little creatures can ruin your grass, flowers and garden edibles in a small period of time. Waiting until you have an infestation will only make it more difficult and time consuming to get under control. With regular pesticide applications you don’t have to worry about waking up to find half of your favorite flower bushes ravaged by some local bugs.
Trees – An attractive yard generally includes at least one well-groomed tree. Broken or weakened branches must be properly removed, and the tree should be shaped according to type to keep it looking great for many years. You need to have an experienced professional inspect your trees for diseases and other problems so you can nip the problems in the bud, so to speak. Although you might think that you can trim the trees yourself to save some cash, your tree will pay the price. It can take years to fully correct one really bad trim session.
Bushes And Shrubs – You can use bushes and shrubs to add more visual interest to your yard, create borders and more. Like your trees, these pieces of greenery should be professionally trimmed according to the specific shrubs and your intentions. For instance, you might decide to have one or more topiary designs incorporated into your landscaping. Sometimes the transition period can be awkward, particularly in DIY situations.
Gardens – Garden areas are one of the ways that a residential lot is transformed into a home. Whether you opt to grow food in your garden or prefer one based on aesthetics alone, the expenses for establishing and maintaining your garden areas are important to calculate into your budget. From a small area by the front porch to a multi-tiered design with added features, gardens should be inviting. Skimping on your garden can detract from your other lawn care efforts, and not in a positive way!
Retaining Walls – Residential property is rarely flat. Small inclines and declines are usually fine, though you might want to create a smoother surface for entertaining and enjoyment. Retaining walls are an excellent way to keep your soil from eroding away and to clearly establish property boundaries. (Make sure you have the property surveyed to ensure your know the exact location of the boundaries.)
Water Features – Though not every lawn has one, water features are growing in popularity. You might want a small koi pond or a large waterfall. A professional landscaping artist can ensure that your water feature has been properly installed. Once erected, the feature will need servicing to keep it looking fabulous.
Seasonal Treatments – Your yard has different needs throughout the year. Your lawn and landscaping expert can assist with these seasonal needs, such as the removal of fall leafs or preparing your lawn for the winter. Fertilizer and pesticide treatments are often included in the seasonal services offered by lawn and garden companies.
Extras – If you want additional features to enjoy outdoors, you will need to calculate for them as well. Perhaps you want to set up a small basketball court or set up an area for meditation. Do you like the idea of having a fire pit with appropriate seating that you can enjoy when the sun goes down? Maybe you want a zen garden just for you. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and budget.
Ask for quotes from several Dayton Ohio lawn companies and landscaping professionals in your area before making your choice. You should compare their presentation, reputation and cost. Many companies offer discounts if homeowners sign a service contract for the entire year. You can inquire about this when you speak to their representatives.
Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed and stressed out by the expenses associated with lawn care. Instead, find a qualified professional to handle it, and calculate the costs into your monthly household budget. Doing so will allow you to relax and enjoy the property you have worked so hard to acquire.