3 Weekend Projects That Will Pay Off Now and Later

As temperatures start their teasing transition into autumn most of the country starts thinking about making the most of their backyards. We’re officially into fall now, .

For some it’s simple (although not always easy) tasks like pruning bushes and shrubs, edging the sidewalks, aerating the lawn, or setting out some pansies or mums.

But the more ambitious folks among us may be looking at this time of year as the ideal time to upgrade their outdoor living space in ways that provide enjoyment now, and increased value later.

3 ideal September projects that will pay off in the short term, and the long haul:

Trees and shrubs

Fall is actually the perfect time to plan trees. If they’re in the ground while soil temperatures are moderate (say mid 50’s) they’ll put down a good root system before they take their winter’s nap. Trees not only provide beauty and shade, they can also help soak off storm water runoff, and offer a wind break.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy says that three properly placed trees could save you between $100 and $250 a year in energy costs due to their ability to shade your home from direct heat or winter winds.

Retaining walls, fencing, and pathways

If your yard has issues with run off, or it becomes a bog or mud pit after the snow melts, putting in retaining walls or raised stone or brick pathways may not only make your fall a lot prettier, but your winter more low maintenance. And of course correcting those issues will increase property values as well.

Fencing doesn’t necessarily improve curb appeal because it’s usually to the back of the house. But if you live in a neighborhood that is appealing to families you should assume that your buyer, when you do eventually sell your home, is likely to have children and or pets and will value a fenced yard.

Lighting

One improvement a lot of people miss, but which can make your home safer both in terms of you being able to move about without a fall and in terms of security from burglars or vandals, and will also make it more visually attractive.

In fact, outdoor lighting tends to be at the top of the National Associate of Home Builders “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey with 41% of respondents rating it as “essential” and 49% rating it as “desirable.”

Of course, there’s so much more you can do. Adding firepits, outdoor kitchens, covered decks, or more extensive landscaping may not be a job for a three-day weekend, but they will all make you fall in love with your home all over again.

On the other hand, if the romance is really dead and you and your home are ready to call it quits we know some fantastic realtors. And we’re always here to find the financing that works for you. Just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll match you up with your personal, licensed loan officer.

Photo: Getty Images