Whether you expect to sell your home this spring or just want to make your outdoor space more appealing, these comparisons can help you narrow down your options for popular home renovation outdoor projects. We’ll take factors like overall cost and potential return on investment (ROI) into account so you can decide which option is best for you.Build a Patio or a Deck?
Patios are paved spaces that create a more hospitable seating and lounging environment than bare ground, while decks are structures that, while they can be on ground level, provide an elevated perspective. When efficiency is your goal, patios are the better choice, but when you want to create something really spectacular in your backyard, a deck may be the better choice. This is especially true if your home is at elevation as you can get views and easier access to your outdoor space with a deck.
This efficiency breakdown is borne out in the cost breakdown for both renovation projects. If you want to build a patio or a deck, the patio is a much more affordable option, maxing out at about $4,000 on the high end. A high-end deck can cost $20,000 or more. In terms of return on investment, a patio actually does provide pretty decent returns of about 47.6%, which could make it a good last-minute project for homeowners who want to do some quick upgrades in preparation for a sale. When it comes to decks, it’s best to opt for wood rather than composite materials when you’re concerned with ROI.Build an In-ground or Above-ground Pool?
In-ground pools are permanent outdoor projects, and while they are typically associated with a more elegant look, some smart styling, including a raised deck around the pool’s perimeter, can make an above-ground pool look just as inviting, making this an impressive renovation to your backyard. When it comes to the cost difference of an in-ground vs above-ground pool, the difference in construction and permanence does make a big impact. With concrete sidewalks, safety fences and covers, the cost of an in-ground pool ends up being about $31,500 on average, while an above-ground pool with similar features will average just $8,300.
As far as a pool contributing to resale value is concerned, the climate and housing market where you live could be the biggest factors in determining whether you could recoup some of your cost. If your house is the only one on the block without a pool and you live in a very warm climate, it may well be worth it.Fence Renovation: Install a Wood or Vinyl Fence?
When it comes to fencing, vinyl is often the better choice because it doesn’t require nearly as much maintenance as wood and is a more durable material than wood overall. However, the initial budget could make the decision for you in the wood vs vinyl fencing debate, as wood is generally half as costly, with max prices for both averaging out around $10,000 and $20,000 on the high end for 209 yards, respectively.
Homebuyers’ budgets can also have an impact on which material is most likely to provide you an ROI. Vinyl fences tend to stay looking fresher and in better repair, and they’re also easy to fix when they become disconnected, which means you can quickly increase your curb appeal. However, if the list price of your home is low, it may not make sense to install an expensive fence.Install Pavers or Concrete?
When deciding between pavers or concrete, aesthetics may come into play. Brick-paved driveways and walkways are an elegant choice for exterior landscaping, but there’s a reason they aren’t more common: cost and upkeep. Concrete is not only less expensive but also more durable and easier to maintain. On the low end, you can spend $865 for concrete or $1,310 for pavers to cover 120 square feet. Though this is a project you could DIY in either case to save some money, it would take a whole lot of effort, especially if you’re paving over uneven terrain.
Like pools, the potential ROI for these outdoor projects could depend on your individual circumstances. A $5 million estate in a gated community would likely benefit from the addition of some elegant paver-lined paths rather than from plain concrete, while homebuyers looking for a bargain may not be willing to pony up enough to match your initial investment.Lay Sod or Plant Seed?
Planting a lawn is one of the most popular outdoor projects, but is sod better than grass seed? It depends on what you need. Sown seeds take time to bear their fruit or, in the case of glass, their blades. Sod, on the other hand, is green and fresh from the moment you buy it. Since all the work of watering and waiting is already done with sod, it’s a lot more expensive at about $1.29 per square foot, while seed only costs about 24 cents per square foot.
The ROI difference between these two depends a bit on your timeline as the grass is a major factor in curb appeal. If you don’t plan to sell anytime soon, choosing a variety of grass seed that works well for your climate and light conditions is the better choice. However, if you plan to sell within the next month or two, sod is the better choice because a sod lawn quickly looks established and lush.
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From Source Article: moneypit.com
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A tree in your landscape can be a thing of beauty. But after it’s gone, the stump left behind is not so beautiful. It’s a tripping hazard, can damage your lawn mower as you try to mow around it, attract insects, and let’s face it — sawn-off trunks just don’t look great! Stump removal is your only option.
But unfortunately, removing that stub of a tree that’s left is more difficult than you might think. It’s connected to a root system that once anchored a tree, keeping it upright in all kinds of wind and weather. In fact, the root system of most trees roughly mirrors the size and height of the tree itself, spreading as far out and down as the branches reached out and up.
After the tree is gone, those roots are still attached to the stump, clamping it firmly in place in the ground. The roots will eventually decay, returning nutrients to the soil, but the stump itself can take as long as 10 years to break down. Do you really want to work around that eyesore for the next decade?
Unless you lead with your checkbook, there’s nothing “easy” about stump removal. But if your willing to trade-off waiting time for expense, there’s a number of ways to eliminate the stumps for very little cost. Here are a few different methods to choose from.
The most common method of stump removal is grinding, but that job is about as far from DIY as you can get. You’ll need to hire a tree service who’ll use a specialized stump grinder, a machine resembling a torture machine from the scariest horror movie you can imagine. The toll features a spinning circular grinding blade that is plunged into the ground again and again to chew up the stump and reduce it to sawdust.
It happens fast, but the average cost for having a stump ground is $300, and prices can go as high as $900. If you have several stumps to deal with, you can pay an hourly rate, but at $150 or more an hour that can add up quickly.
Manual Tree Stump Removal
For the hearty do-it-yourselfer, digging out a medium-to-small sized stump can be done in an afternoon. Here are the steps.Dig around the stump with a pointed shovel to expose the roots. Extend the hole a few feet out from the stump to give yourself room to maneuver. Cut through the exposed roots. It helps to have a variety of tools on hand, to get through compacted soil and different sizes of roots. Good tools for this part of the project include a lopper, pruning saw, ax, and digging bar. Continue to work your way through roots and soil until you can rock the stump back and forth. Push the trunk to one side with a pry bar and cut through the exposed roots. Repeat, making your way around the trunk to get at the roots on all sides. Continue until the root ball is cut free. Remove and fill the hole with soil.
Chemical Tree Stump Removal
Stump removal chemicals are sold online and in home improvement stores. They generally contain potassium nitrate, which speeds up the microbial process of decomposition. They may be in liquid form or a powder, to which you add water. You will want to keep kids and pets away while the chemical is doing its work.Purchase stump removal product. With a chainsaw, cut off the stump as close to the ground as possible. Drill multiple 1′ holes 10′ deep in the top of the stump. Drill a few more holes slanting inward from the side of the trunk. These will provide air to help fuel decomposition. Pour the chemical in the top holes, according to directions. Cover the stump with a tarp and wait 4-6 weeks. The wood will become spongy. Chop out the softened wood with an ax and fill the hole with soil. Depending on the size of the stump, you may need to repeat the steps. Burning Tree Stump Removal
This is particularly effective when used as a second step after the chemical removal method. Instead of chopping out the remaining wood, burn it! If you’re starting your removal with fire, you’ll find that it works best on older, drier stumps. If yours was cut very recently or it is still putting out shoots then it’s still fairly green and won’t burn as well. For obvious reasons, follow all safety precautions, have a properly rate fire extinguisher handy, and keep kids and pets away from the stump as it smolders. The process is as follows:Check with local authorities for fire burn restrictions. With a chainsaw, cut off the stump as close to the ground as possible. Drill multiple 1′ holes 10′ deep in the top of the stump. Drill a few more holes slanting inward from the side of the trunk to intersect with the holes drilled down from the top. Pour kerosene or fuel oil into the holes. Do NOT use gasoline! Wait 2 weeks to let it soak through the wood. For a large trunk, repeat and wait another 2 weeks. Clear away debris from around the trunk and lay down bricks or rock to create a fire ring. Have a hose at the ready, as wel as a large fire extinguisher rated to work on fuel oil and wood. (An ABC rated extinguisher covers all types of fires). Using sticks and kindling, build a fire on top of the trunk. Once lit, the fire will burn out as the sticks are consumed, but the trunk will ignite and start to smolder. The trunk will continue to smolder for days. Check on it a couple of times a day, and stir up the embers if needed. Once the fire is completely burned out and the area is cool, rake out the ashes and fill the hole with soil.
There’s no reason you have to trip over an ugly stump in your yard for the next decade. Just pick your plan of attack and evict that memory of a tree gone by.
From Source Article: moneypit.com