Sometimes we forget how extraordinarily valuable the homes we live in really are; we just live in them, sleep in them, eat in them and laze about in them if we haven’t got anything better to do at the weekends.
Well actually, we have got something better to do at the weekend; we can dedicate at least a part of every weekend to improving our homes. Don’t get me wrong; R&R is as necessary and productive in its own right as it has ever been,if you think of the increasingly chaotic lives we lead nowadays, and so is socialising and getting out of the house to enjoy the great outdoors.
But some of these activities may not necessarily be mutually exclusive if you consider, for instance, that you can devise enjoyable and relaxing projects for your yard and garden which will improve the value of your home and, just as importantly, improve your home pride.
Your yard is, after all, an outdoor area and there’s no reason why you can’t make it great; inviting friends and family over will be that much more rewarding if you’ve got a pleasant yard to entertain them in.
Good projects for your yard
It’s not so much exactly which projects you should be doing as which type of projects. If you aren’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon and you want to turn your home in a personal oasis, then you can really do anything that tickles your fancy, I guess.
However, if you’re not the only one sharing the house or you’re thinking of selling and moving on some day, then you should stick to small scale building projects or less permanent projects that improve your yard without radical alterations.
This is why I wouldn’t recommend wholesale landscaping projects or installing an in ground pool. Not only will they incur significant time and expense, but these improvements, which can by all means be personally very satisfying, generally do not represent very good returns on investments and may indeed discourage future buyers who do not share your tastes or have other things in mind for the yard.
A better project would be building a pergola, for instance. You can easily find numerous free design ideas, scale drawings with full specifications, and handy construction and maintenance guides to help you successfully build improvements at your own pace with a little help from your spouse, friend or neighbour.
They really require little more than preparing the base with gravel, concrete and some form of pavement, and the right timber for your columns (which can also be in cement or fiberglass), main beams and crossbeams.
Similar projects which I really love include greenhouses, tool sheds, adventure playgrounds, trellises, car ports, garden paths, picket fences, decks and anything else that you can generally put together with supplies from your local timber and hardware store and a good circular saw.
These kinds of improvements represent far better returns on home investments than anything requiring earth moving equipment and large quantities of concrete, and they are also features that you can potentially disassemble and take to your next dwelling, transportation costs permitting, that is.