February 18, 2017
Lawn Size – Is Bigger Always Better?
It’s a controversy as old as home ownership itself…how big should your yard be? When you ask that question to fifteen people, you’re sure to get at least a dozen different answers. That’s simply because homeowners have their own vision when it comes to the grounds that surround their homes. No one view is right or wrong – it depends entirely on what you want to get out of your lawn, and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into it to make it the perfect complement to your house. Most homeowners consider aesthetics first when deciding how much decorative space they want around their home. Do you picture rolling green vistas in your head, or a simple, chic rock garden out front, with the house taking up the majority of your land? Perhaps your vision is something in between, with spans of green grass accented by shrubbery, flowering plants, trees or perhaps even a birdbath or fountain. Knowing how you want your lawn to look is the first step when deciding if the lot a house sits on is the right size for you. Keep in mind that if you’re buying a home in a planned community, you may have to follow established community guidelines as to how you can accent your lot. When you’re buying a home, the house, of course, is the main focus. However, if you’re looking at several different new construction options or established properties, the size and shape of the lot may be a consideration that serves as a tie-breaker when it comes to making your final decision. This is when you need to take some time to think about: Do You Love Working Outside? If you envision happily spent weekends riding your new lawn mower around, digging your new flower beds, experimenting with a backyard garden or clipping your own topiary, a larger lawn is probably for you. However, if the idea of lawn work gives you hives, you may want to go as small as you can to reduce your stress level. How Much Time Do You Have to Devote to a Lawn? It doesn’t matter how much you love or despise lawn work, if your job requires 50 or 60 hours a week of your time, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re always running the kids back and forth to activities or are away from home often, a smaller lawn requiring less attention is the smart bet. Budget is Important… Effective lawn care can be expensive. If you decide to go the DIY route, you need to factor in the cost of plants, seeds, lawn care tools and ongoing care. Lovely lawns have a price tag. Hiring out to a service will add an additional bill to your monthly budget, so you need to weigh that cost against what you might want to use that money for somewhere else. So here’s a scenario…you find the perfect home, but the lot is much bigger than you wanted. Do you walk away from the house of your dreams? Not necessarily. There are great ways to reduce the size of an existing lawn to make controlling and caring for it more manageable. Create an “Extra Room” Outdoors A lovely rest area like the one above cuts down on lawn size by adding paved areas, a fire pit, lawn furniture and flowering trees and shrubs. Design your own expanded living space and decrease the amount of time and money you spend on your lawn! Build a Deck or Install a Pool Expand your home’s size by adding a deck. You’ll have more area for fun, and less yard work to do! A pool is another great idea for using lawn space. Pools do have their own expenses and time requirements, but if you love a dip in the water, it’s a trade-off that may work for you. Install Wide Flagstone Walks Chic, stylish and easy to care for, they give your home a unique look and cut down on lawn care worries. Bring in Native Plants and Trees By building a focused area of greenery, you can shrink the size of your lawn and still be green as green can be! Hedge Your Bets Create your own “privacy fence” by ringing your property with hedges. They do require some trimming to stay pretty, but the amount of time needed to accomplish this is significantly less than the time required to care for the grass they’ll replace. Pond-er Your Options Adding a pond to your lot is an unusual accent that will set your landscaping apart. If you don’t have small children who may accidentally tumble in, this may be the perfect way to individualize the look of your home. If you’re feeling ambitious, add koi for a special touch!