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Tips for Planning Your Backyard Paradise
You don't need to spend a fortune on a backyard project. You don't even need to be a master carpenter. In fact, with a small investment, you can be a do-it-yourselfer and dramatically impact the appearance of your back yard - and add to its long-term value. To finish a project as large as adding a new backyard deck or as modest as window box planters, Lou "Mr. Fix-It" Manfredini, a professional builder and author of the new book "House Smarts," suggests concentrating on just one project at a time. "Crossing just one item off your to-do list gives you an attractive, equity-increasing accompaniment to your home," Manfredini said.
No matter whether the budget is less than $1,000 or more than $10,000, wood projects add enjoyment and value to any backyard paradise. "Wood is a building material that always looks more expensive than it costs," Manfredini said. "It is also very easy to work with and can adapt to any project plans." Backyard improvements using wood also are appealing to potential homebuyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers of existing homes always look for special touches in the back yard.
Start with a project that is both uncomplicated and inexpensive but will add immediate curbside appeal. Manfredini recommends building a window box planter. You can use it to grow everything from tulips to your own personal herb garden, and it can add instant warmth to your back yard. They are so easy to build that even a beginner should be able to construct a box in one to two hours, and for around $15. "Window box planters are a great starter project because it let's you gain confidence in your wood working skills," Manfredini said. "You can also add decorations to the window box to make it more elegant. Additionally, the only tools you really need are a circular saw, drill, tape measure and screws." Once you build confidence in your woodworking skills, it's time to move on to more advanced projects. There are a variety of projects that could be completed for under $200. One project that Manfredini recommends is a wood garden bench.
There are many different wood options that you can consider to match the décor of your back yard, including cedar, redwood or even some of the newer treated woods. Or, by investing a little more time and money, you can frame out projects that add space and storage to your back yard. An outdoor storage shed will cost around $2,000 in lumber and other supplies. It makes an efficient area to store the lawnmower, garden tools and seasonal items. If you own a deck, also consider a deck box. "A deck box is a great storage addition to any backyard deck," Manfredini said."From sporting equipment to pool toys to barbeque tools, a deck box is both functional and beautiful.
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