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Landscaping that is Easy to Maintain

Whether you have just bought a new home or your landscaping just needs a facelift there are a couple of things that you need to consider including what you want it to look like and how much it is going to cost you.  You also need to take into consideration just how much time it will take you to maintain the look of your landscaping.  You’re busy, most homeowners are so here some tips for landscaping that is easy to maintain and won’t cost you a fortune.

Buy Good Materials

Budget is always a concern so you may be tempted to buy cheaper materials.  Saving money is always good but only if you get material that is high quality, unfortunately good doesn’t always come cheap and it can cost you in the long run.  Get good materials right from the start, these are the things that you don’t want to change year after year such as fencing, decking materials, gazebos or any hardscaping element.

Use Low Maintenance Plants

You may think rose bushes look beautiful, but you’re going to spend more time maintaining them than you might want to.  There are long lists of other plants that are also delicate and require plenty of TLC.  Rather look for shrubs, perennials and trees that work well in your climate.  Find plants that can handle drought conditions, cold, insects or whatever Mother Nature can throw at them.  Here are some low maintenance plants for your landscaping.

No Big Rolling Lawns

You may think that lots of grass is easy to maintain, you just mow it every week or so and that’s it.  Lawns are actually a lot of work to maintain.  In addition to mowing you will also have to trim, rake, watering, fertilize and keep all the different pests away.  The other option is using moss or clover instead of big swaths of grass.  You can also add some plants, shrubs or trees to cover the area.

Put Plants Together

Planting a bunch of plants together actually makes maintenance easier.  If you have a lawn as well it is easier to mow around them or trim the edges.  You can use bunches of plants to hide less flattering parts of your landscaping.

Be Careful Where You Put the Plants

Be careful where you put shrubs and trees, if they are too close to your house, your neighbor’s property or power lines then they are going to need to be trimmed regularly.

If all of this still sounds like more work than you want to do then you can always go with a rock garden instead, it has absolutely no maintenance at all.

Home Renovations that Add Value

There are dozens of TV shows that show you how easy it is to renovate your home and turn it into something that belongs in a magazine.  However renovating your home isn’t that easy not all renovations will add value to your home.  Let’s take a look at what renovations provide the most bang for your buck and will increase the resale value of your home when the time comes.

Adding More Living Space

One of the best returns on your investments is to add more living space to your home.  You can do that in a couple of ways such as finishing off the basement, putting on an addition or adding a separate apartment, usually in the basement.  A small apartment, complete with a bathroom and kitchen can add rental income helping you to pay down your mortgage.  This also makes your home appealing to a potential buyer if you look at selling down the road.  Check with your local municipality about zoning and permits before adding an apartment.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, just ask any realtor.  They are also the most expensive renovation projects that you can undertake so proceed with caution.  Renovations can include everything from completely gutting the kitchen or bath or something as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint.  When it comes to the kitchen adding islands or breakfast bars offer great returns.  In the bathroom a new vanity or installing a tub surround may be all you need to give the room a makeover.

Flooring

Ripping out ugly, stained old carpets and installing some rich hardwood floors can add sophistication to your home.  There are tons of option available ranging from fairly inexpensive to very high end.  To get the best value for your money look for a combination of durability, easy maintenance and of course something that looks good.

Changing the Fixtures

This is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to update your home.  You can start by changing easy things like light fixtures, hardware on the cabinets, faucets, switch plates or even the toilet.  Most of these projects you can do yourself and will cost you less than $100 dollars.  You don’t necessarily need a contractor and it can make your home look fresh and polished.

Get a New Door

Your door is the first thing that anyone sees when they come to your home.  A new door is fairly inexpensive and provides a great return on your investment.  If you are planning on selling your home then a solid steel door can make a potential home owner feel safe.

These are some of the most common renovations that will help you get the best return for your renovation dollars.  If you are selling your home or just want a fresh new look then this is where you start.