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It’s easy to forget how much fun a great yard can be, especially if you haven’t had the time to put in much work on yours yet. However, not only is a well-designed and maintained yard a huge quality-of-life boost for you and your family, landscaping is also a home improvement that often has a positive return on investment. If you ever plan to sell, upgrading your yard and making it somewhere that everyone can spend time and participate in some recreational activities is an attractive feature to potential buyers. As we continue to work through the global pandemic and spending even more time at home than usual, the value of a large and outdoor space has never been higher. If you think you’re neglecting your outdoor space, read on for some advice on what to do if you’re not making enough use out of your backyard.

How to Improve Your Backyard

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Where to start when improving your yard depends entirely on your needs, your living situation, and your budget. It’s important to set a firm budget before you start any home improvement project, expensive upgrades and renovations often don’t hold their value when it comes time to sell the house. Creating opportunities for recreational activities that you and your family enjoy is one of the best ways to motivate everyone to get outside. Adding something like a basketball net or a small swing set won’t break the bank, and if you’re looking for a more complete overhaul, the sky is the limit. Pools are often desirable for homebuyers, in addition to providing a great source of exercise and entertainment.

It’s easy to overlook, but pest control is also a necessary part of creating a positive backyard environment. Mosquitos, ticks, fleas, and other common nuisances can ruin your fun and your hopes of a bite-free yard quickly. Depending on which bugs, insects, and pests are common in your area, the best solution can differ. You also want to be careful about sticking to solutions that are safe and non-toxic, especially if you have kids or pets.

Luckily, the pest control industry understands this problem and offers many solutions, like a natural mosquito treatment, as well as many other different treatment options. There are also various types of traps you can utilize, in addition to other fixtures like nets and torches. If you’re unsure what the best pest control solution is for your apartment, have a technician evaluate your space for you. Be aware of what botanicals live in your vegetable gardens and what type of pests those specific plants and shrubs attract, so that you can prepare accordingly.

The Importance of Outdoor Safety

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Having a well-designed and comfortable yard to enjoy is the first step, but you want to ensure your family, friends, and pets are always safe while they’re having fun. If you do choose to add something like a pool, you’ll want to take extra time to consider all possible safety options. Any surface that can become slippery when wet is a potential hazard, as are poorly maintained trees that are in danger of falling, and even appliances like grills can create danger for children. There’s nothing wrong with talking to an expert and having them inspect your set-up to see if it’s adequate.

If you’re a dog owner, outdoor safety is especially important in order to protect your pup. A fenced-in yard is always the best option when it comes to letting your dog play in the backyard, no matter whether you have a large dog or a small dog. Proper equipment should be your first purchase. If you have any concerns about your dog being able to escape, a dog harness is never a bad idea. If your pup isn’t protected by a fence, avoid taking them off-leash. When purchasing a harness, it’s important that you know what to look for. A snug fit around the dog’s chest and dog’s body is key, to ensure that they can’t slip out, as is a durable leash that won’t break or pull at your dog’s throat if your puppy starts to run. Talk to your vet if you need recommendations for dog harnesses or other pet products.

Ultimately the way to guarantee you spend more time in your yard is to create an outdoor space that’s inviting and that offers things to do that motivate you to get out the door. That can be as large of an investment as a pool or fencing in the yard to something as simple as adding some life to your garden and a cozy area where you can lay down a picnic blanket every once in a while. Whatever your taste or the scale of your plan for your yard, as long as you take the time to research your project carefully and talk it over with your family before making any major changes, you should be enjoying the great outdoors in no time at all.

Jennifer Miles