A beautiful landscape improves curb appeal and can increase your home value by as much as 17%, so investing in yard care is a smart financial decision. But an amazing summer yard also helps homeowners and their families enjoy time outside, destress, and extends valuable living space to the outdoors.
The right lawn equipment makes yard work pleasant and efficient, and should be chosen based on your yard’s needs and your interests. With a refocus on staying home, now might be the time to invest in new equipment, which is more efficient, quieter, and more ergonomic than ever before. In addition, more power options are available including solar, battery/electric, propane or gasoline-powered equipment. There even are autonomous, robotic options available for mowing your lawn.
To help decide on whether or not to update your yard equipment, here’s a checklist from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines and battery power, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars.
- Plan your yard needs. Draw a sketch and include any major features like trees, bushes, a garden, flower beds, lawn furniture, play or sports equipment, or a patio. Note where maintenance is required. Will bushes need to be trimmed back? Do you want to install more flowering bushes or trees? Are you planning to add a fence and more grass for your pet and games?
- Consider equipment needed. Visit your garage or shed and find those forgotten lawn and garden tools. Make a list of what is needed or could be upgraded. Repair anything that needs attention or identify where a new or different machine is required.
- Consider upgrading or adding equipment. If you have a large garden, you may need a cultivator or tiller. If you have a large lawn, an upgrade to a riding or zero-turn lawn mower makes mowing easier. Or, consider a robotic lawn mower that mows autonomously. A string trimmer makes caring for bushes or trimming grass near a fence line easier. A pole pruner trims back limbs that are too high to reach safely with a saw, and a leaf blower clears leaves faster than a rake. A wood chipper turns branches into mulch. Mower attachments can aerate your lawn or collect leaves.
- Research online before buying. Think about efficiencies of scale. Equipment may be sized to handle a smaller job or a massive one, and can be a little easier with some of today’s ergonomic, super-charged equipment. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your needs. The right equipment can mean more time for other activities, and make doing yard work more enjoyable for you, too.
- Ask questions. Talk with the staff at the store or ask online about the equipment. In the store, ask to pick up and hold equipment to determine its “fit” for you. Discuss safety features and ask about manufacturer fueling and care instructions. Find out how often equipment may need to be serviced.