We purchased our home in the suburbs last summer. One of the biggest surprises was just how much yard work there was to do. We owned a home before, so we should have been prepared. But we vastly underestimated the leaf production of our trees (prodigious) and the overall size of our garden beds (misleadingly vast).
Nonetheless, because I had previously discovered an unanticipated affinity for yard work I took it upon myself to handle all fall yard work activities by myself. Big mistake. I ended up spending almost every sunny autumn weekend hour laboring away - very little time with the family and triggering some lingering back problems.
Now that winter is almost over and we can almost taste spring, we can think about spending time outside again. Having learned from my autumn labors I was psychologically (if not physically) prepared to do my spring clean-up.
My wife, also, was psychologically prepared for the spring and she had other plans in mind. A few weeks ago she started dropping hints that she wanted to hire someone to do some of the clean-up work. At first, I was opposed. I wanted to take care of my property, I enjoy it (sort of) and I really didn't want to pay someone to do work for me that I felt I could handle. Of course, all that really is outweighed by wanting to spend time with family and preventing my back from acting up.
After indicating I was receptive to it, my wife went and got some bids to do a series of clean-up activities. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but what I received was sticker shock. Nearly $1500 for all sorts of spring stuff, with a little bit of summer maintenance built in.
That's a pretty penny for us, and while we might be able to make some adjustments and bring it down somewhat, its still quite a few shekels. I suppose if I just price it out as the cost of services it'll feel really high. But if I put a price on my time, activities with family and avoidance of back pain I guess its worth it. Instead of spending time doing yard work, we'll just have to spend our time entertaining in our well-kept backyard!
(photo credit: thisoldhouse.com)