Manage your spring chores in the Southeast
by Ellen Goff
Spring is a long, four-month season in the Southeast and people here celebrate its arrival by heading outside. For many, their high spirits sink into an endless drudgery of yard chores - but they don't have to. You can gain more quality time and relaxation outdoors.
Rethink how chores get done and make the best use of your time and energy. Try using the following criteria to determine which projects to take on yourself, then call in professional help to handle the rest.
- Time required - is it worth me spending my time?
- Skill level - do I know how to do it AND have access to required tools?
- Physical strength - do I have the stamina to work without injury?
- Affordability - can I afford to pay a professional to do part or all of it?
- Home value - what impact will the work have if it's done by a professional?
These questions will help you to be time-wise, especially for regular maintenance like cutting the lawn. This familiar chore can add several hours to your 50- to 60- hour work week, and you already need extra time for your spouse or the kids and their activities. Realistically, there's no time left to do it yourself.
"I do get calls to take over the grass," says Bryan Bennett, owner of highly rated Bryan Bennett Lawn Service in Kennesaw, Ga. "It happens especially with new movers, when their new yards take more time than they thought. They'd rather spend their time on other things."
Another consideration is cost versus the benefit of calling a qualified professional. People who specialize in a particular type of work generally produce better outcomes than homeowners who try to do it themselves.
Deana Abendroth, co-owner of highly rated Steve Morgan Pressure Washing in Casselberry, Fla., says she sees this happen frequently. "I get calls all the time from people asking us to take over a power washing project they've started," she says. "Along with the right equipment, we know the right surface cleaning products to use. Where a homeowner may get several months out of their cleaning job, our results can last more than a year."
Ellen Goff is a freelance horticulture writer and photographer. She's passionate about plants, water quality and protecting the environment. Aside from working with words and pictures, she stays busy with her home landscape and its inhabitants along the shores of Lake Wylie, S.C.