Time or Money: You Can't Save Both When You Renovate Your Yard

Posted on: 17 August 2015

Once you have it in your head that you're going to redesign or renovate your yard, it's important to decide what kind of time and money you have to invest in each part of the project. Often, the cheap options aren't fast and the fast options aren't cheap, so be prepared to spend some of both throughout the course of your renovation. There are some specific areas you should carefully consider before making a decision, though, so you know what you'll get out of it for investing either your time or your money in the final result.

The Grass Should Be Greener

The foundation of any good yard is great grass, but great grass doesn't happen overnight, so before you get too deep into your plans, do some thinking about the lawn you want. You can either seed your lawn yourself or install pregrown sod instead. One will offer you an inexpensive way of growing the lawn you want, while the other will give you the final result you're looking for in a matter of hours. The big difference is what it will cost you.

Seeding your own lawn will require dedicated attention on your part, sometimes up to nine weeks depending on the grass species. You'll also need to ensure that your property has a gentle enough slope that water runoff won't wash away the seeds before they take root. With sod, the work has been done for you, but you should budget for a materials cost of up to $600-plus, less if you choose a lower grade grass and more if you choose a professional install.

Hold Back the Earth

While not every home is built on a significant slope, those that are can benefit from well-planned and well-built retaining walls. Whether it's just one or a series of benches for a very drastic incline, there are a number of payoffs. As with seed versus sod, doing it yourself is cheaper but may cost you more than time if you aren't prepared for the task at hand.

If you're only holding back a small volume of earth, building your own retaining wall is a simple matter of properly structuring the wall and using strong materials. For larger areas, more complex benching systems, or slopes close to your house, call a professional. Too often, enthusiastic homeowners take on more than they should, and the results of a retaining wall failing are simply more costly than you should risk. If you can't keep it small, or simple, save your time and call a professional landscaper.

There's a lot of work ahead of you, and no small cost to cover, so make sure you know where you can afford to spend your time and where you can't afford to cut corners. If you need advice, help planning, or just someone who knows all the right people to bring in, contact a local landscaping company like Greatland Tree Service to evaluate your property and your plan and draw up a quote.


Keeping Your Trees Healthy

About a year ago, I realized that our front trees were starting to look a little funny. Some of the leaves were wilted, but we weren't anywhere near autumn. The bark on the trunk also seemed to be rotting away, which was frustrating and disappointing. Fortunately, a friend of mine told me to call a professional arborist for help. He came out, inspected the trees, and injected some special pesticides into the trunk. Within a few months, they started to look a lot better. Our arborist also trimmed our trees to reduce the weight load on the branches and to improve their shape. Check out this blog for information about tree trimming.