Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 7/9/2018

Most homeowners can get by just fine without a backyard shed, so it might be a stretch to call it a "necessity". However, when your yard does not have a shed, you may be missing out on many advantages ranging from convenience to being more organized and efficient. There's also a lot to be said for being able to store, protect, and quickly find the right tools, gardening supplies, or pool chemicals when and where you need them.

If you're a serious gardener, swimming pool owner, or do-it-yourself landscaper, a backyard shed can make your life a lot easier and your maintenance work less of a chore. Since a small shed can run you as little as $300, affordability is usually not an issue—especially when you factor in the long-term benefits.

Whether you decide to build your own shed, hire a carpenter to do it, or buy a prefabricated one, it's an expense that's not difficult to justify. Here are a few of the many ways that a shed can serve your needs for years to come:

  • Reduces clutter in your basement and garage: As all homeowners know, it doesn't take long for basements and garages to get cluttered and disorganized. By designating a separate space for things like tools, small machinery, gardening supplies, and pool chemicals, you'll make it a lot easier to maintain order in your home (and other storage areas).
  • Good solution for storing riding mowers: The typical garage gets filled up pretty quickly with two vehicles, several bicycles, trash barrels, barbeque grills, golf clubs, tires, and other miscellaneous items. Squeezing in a riding mower among all those other things can be difficult, if not impossible! The solution: A large-enough shed with a sturdy ramp for driving your rider mower in and out.
  • Protecting tools from the elements: Metal tools sometimes get left outside when there's not a convenient place to store them, and moisture can wreak havoc on their condition and usability. By having a dry, protected place to store your gardening and landscaping tools, they'll last longer and provide more long-term value for you.
  • Other uses for a shed: Depending on the size of the shed and your family's needs, that extra space can be used for everything from firewood storage to woodworking projects, painting, and other activities. If you own a swimming pool, a nearby shed can be a convenient and relatively safe place to store sanitizing chemicals, pool maintenance equipment, inflatable toys, ladders, and pool games.
Although most people use sheds for storing tools, yard supplies, and equipment, a decent-sized shed can also be used as an art studio, a home office, an exercise area, or a game room. As the expression goes: The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and your budget)!

Categories: yard maintenance  

Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 5/28/2018

If you're considering buying a new home in the near future, you've probably come up with both a "wish list" and a "must have" list. However, there may be certain property features that you feel ambivalent about because of the amount of maintenance involved. An example of that would be getting a large back yard. Some people hate the idea of having to mow their lawn every week during the hot summer months. On the other hand, they also want to have lots of outdoor space for family picnics, neighborhood football games, badminton tournaments, and children's birthday parties. Seems like you can't have your cake and eat it, too! Or can you? If the prospect of having to mow a large lawn puts a damper on your enthusiasm for a big property or lots of backyard activities, here are a few possible solutions.

  1. Hire a professional mowing service. At first glance, this might seem like a pricey option, but it can be an affordable way to avoid having to push that noisy mower around the yard for an hour or two. By scheduling the yard maintenance service to cut your grass while you're at work, you can come home to a freshly manicured lawn, every week. Then on weekends, you can relax and enjoy the results -- not to mention the fragrance of fresh cut grass -- without that tedious chore hanging over your head. If you have a neighbor who uses a lawn mowing service, ask them what it costs and if they're satisfied with it. By comparing prices, you might find a budget-friendly service that keeps your property looking great -- with no effort, on your part! Checking references and making sure the lawn service has the necessary insurance coverage can help avoid potential problems down the road.
  2. A combined approach: If three or four months of mowing the lawn seems like a daunting task, but you don't want to spend all that money, you might consider hiring a service for just part of the summer -- maybe July and August. By cutting your own lawn at the beginning and very end of the grass growing season, you could reduce the cost of hiring a mowing service by 30% or more. You would also, in effect, be giving yourself a two-month vacation from mowing your lawn. That approach could save you money, time, and sore muscles.
  3. Riding mowers are a popular alternative. While the cost of a new riding mower could set you back by $1,000 or more, this method of lawn maintenance is much easier and faster than pushing a lawn mower. You'll also be less likely to work up a sweat on those hot, summer days.
This may be hard to believe, but some homeowners actually like mowing their own lawn -- at least until the novelty wears off! They view it as a chance to get some light exercise, fresh air, and take a close look at their property from all angles. That bi-weekly inspection can allow you to spot a variety of potential problems before they get worse. Things like storm damage, hornets' nests, loose siding, cracked windows, overgrown bushes, or broken fencing are all things that could escape your notice until you walk around the house and take a close look. Mowing your lawn creates a regular opportunity to do that. It's also a good excuse to say hi to the neighbors!