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  1. #1
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Saw that house. Anyone have a BIG yard?

    Finally got a chance to see that house I was interested in. It needs a lot of updates like bathrooms, kitchen, updates to 1960s paneling in the gamer room. The really big ticket items is that it is going to need a new roof and insulation. But overall the house is basically beautiful.

    It has a very unique brick. The original owner built the house. He wanted brick but could not afford new brick. He found an old church that was being demolished, cleaning each brick by hand.

    There is a 3 season room that looks out into the huge backyard. I can just see myself sitting out there, working from home, rather than sitting in my stuffy office.

    The yard is wonderful because it is so huge. I have a ton of privacy. It is probably the largest yard in the township in that price range. It is 1.8 acres but there are trees, the driveway and house that take up some of that. But there is a road right of way, a grassy area that the old owner would maintain.

    The yard is fairly flat when it comes to western PA yards. There are a couple of dips here and there but really no big deal.

    I am coming from zero maintenance on yard work. I currently live in a townhouse where I do nothing outside. I have lived here for 30 years so I have no idea how hard it is to maintain any size yard.

    So for those with big yards, how much of a hassle is it really?
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  2. #2
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Wow that's a big yard. My front yard is about normal and the back is a little over twice that. It is the one thing that usually takes up one weekend afternoon every two weeks, not including the watering. Personally I don't think I'd want to have to take on anything larger after having had this one for 18 years.....Not with my 22" Snapper push mower anyway.

    Now my sister I envy for her backyard in her Dallas home. Not only is it smaller but it's concrete.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Kactus's Avatar
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    A yard that size is a huge task. Figure 1-1/2 to 2 hours to mow the grass with a riding mower (if you bag the clippings, how will you dispose of them?) twice a week. Add in all of the time needed to pick up leaves from the trees, fallen limbs, clear the snow, etc. Plan on spending one day each weekend to do yard work and at least one afternoon during the work week.

    I use to have a comparably sized yard and now live on a small city lot that takes me 20 minutes to mow with a non-power mower; you couldn't pay me enough to go back!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    OTOH my house sits on 2 acres and I don't feel oppressed by it. Much of it depends on how you envision a "yard." If you think every inch of land that doesn't have a building on it needs to perfect grass then yes it's a pita. I've mowed with a riding mower but don't really care to seed, feed and water every bit of it. I'm happy to have the back land just remain natural. I've also had someone come mow at $50 a throw. It all comes down to how you want to approach it.
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  5. #5
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    OTOH my house sits on 2 acres and I don't feel oppressed by it. Much of it depends on how you envision a "yard." If you think every inch of land that doesn't have a building on it needs to perfect grass then yes it's a pita. I've mowed with a riding mower but don't really care to seed, feed and water every bit of it. I'm happy to have the back land just remain natural. I've also had someone come mow at $50 a throw. It all comes down to how you want to approach it.
    Yeah the place does have a rider. and no it does not need to be perfect. No way am I going to water any of it. We get plenty of ran and if it is fry then so be it. My grass will be brown so big deal.

    The place does have a rider that I am foing to try and get her to throw in on the deal.

    My problem with this is the obligation of getting it done. I am single. I live in a townhouse so there is almost nothing, I HAVE to do. Pretty much take out the garbage is about it. Even if I skip cleaning the house, I just don't have anyone over.

    How often do you HAVE to cut the grass? What happens if you skip a week every now an then?
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Will G's Avatar
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    Got 1.5 acres. I do minimal watering on part of it. Lots of low maintenance shrub beds with low water requirements. A riding mower takes maybe 45 minutes. Weed trim every other time. Mowing frequency varies based on rain. No rain, I can go a week+ in the summer between mowings. With rain, a little less. If I was single, I would probably let it get go a little more. Every couple months, I'm doing some sort of shrub/tree cleanup/trimming and end up with stuff I throw on a burn pile that gets burned once or twice a year. What helps is having quality equipment that works every time and is big enough to get the job done.
    Flying a jet is no different than riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post

    How often do you HAVE to cut the grass? What happens if you skip a week every now an then?
    If you don't cut it it gets long. That's about it. Our guy cuts once a week but really you can get away with less. I'd guess we would be fine with 2 or 3 times a month depending on how much rain we get which affects how fast it grows. Our guy says we have to cut once a month for a variety of bull **** reasons. My GF hates conflict so she won't let me tell him he's full of it. Owning a home requires some attention on your part for sure but I don't think a backyard is anything to worry about. It's all the other stuff like roof, siding, furnace, water & sewer, snow plowing, etc. that will either cost money or time. As for the clippings you can always compost and start a garden.

  8. #8
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    You need to buy this house...
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  9. #9
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I know this will seem obvious but it bears saying.......Do not buy a house without having a qualified person do a home inspection. A good inspector will can save you tons of money and heartache.

  10. #10
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will G View Post
    Got 1.5 acres. I do minimal watering on part of it. Lots of low maintenance shrub beds with low water requirements. A riding mower takes maybe 45 minutes. Weed trim every other time. Mowing frequency varies based on rain. No rain, I can go a week+ in the summer between mowings. With rain, a little less. If I was single, I would probably let it get go a little more. Every couple months, I'm doing some sort of shrub/tree cleanup/trimming and end up with stuff I throw on a burn pile that gets burned once or twice a year. What helps is having quality equipment that works every time and is big enough to get the job done.

    45 min for 1.5 acres? Really? Are you cutting the whole thing?

    Yeah I plan to have a compost pile. Actually a few, Even if I don't actually use it. Beats bagging it an tossing it out. I am sure I could spread it out somewhere.

    I might also compost the grass instead of bagging, Maybe every other time. More if I can get away with it.

    It would be nice to get some goats but something tells me that is not allowed in my township. Then there is what to do with them in the winter and more important what to do when they drop over dead, though I guess you can have a barbecue.
    Last edited by spinnaker; 09-01-14 at 08:59 AM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    If you don't cut it it gets long.
    So if I miss every once in a while, I don't end up screwing myself by it being harder to cut?

    The other thing I thought was to just cut near the house frequently then for the places further away from the house and out of site, less frequently.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    My lawn is considerably smaller. Yet the time and cost of maintenance is pretty extensive. Trees, get diseases and insect infestations. The ash bore recently cost me thousands of dollars to first treat and then remove just two large trees. Riding mowers aren't cheap to run or maintain. Compose piles... aren't just piles. A compose pile requires time and effort and can attract rodents.

    Does the property have a well? The well is another matter for maintenance and expense... but it will also limit some of your lawn maintenance choices (you don't want to poison yourself).

    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    So if I miss every once in a while, I don't end up screwing myself by it being harder to cut?

    The other thing I thought was to just cut near the house frequently then for the places further away from the house and out of site, less frequently.
    Mowing grass (2 1/2 tall frequently cut grass) requires a mower. Infrequently cut tall grasses require a tractor.... not just a riding mower.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 09-01-14 at 09:23 AM.

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    I have two acres, but keep most of it as unmaintained woods. With all the trees, there isn't much sun and I only have to cut the lawn every 6 or 8 weeks.

  14. #14
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Yes, I had one...including a horse barn and a 4000 sq ft old house. I spent pretty much a full day every week taking care of that monster property - why I didn't hire a gardening service, handy man service and cleaning service I don't know - perhaps because they would have charged me a fortune. I probably put 10,000 miles on that riding mover. The guy that bought it thought he found a slice of heaven 20 minutes from the city, what he got was a second wife.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    ...... There is a 3 season room that looks out into the huge backyard. I can just see myself sitting out there, working from home, rather than sitting in my stuffy office.

    The yard is wonderful because it is so huge. I have a ton of privacy.
    I am coming from zero maintenance on yard work.................. I have no idea how hard it is to maintain any size yard.

    So for those with big yards, how much of a hassle is it really?
    To paraphrase a very wise person..... You have no idea how hard it is to maintain that size yard. It is a lot of work and expense. It will be a part-time job that will take increasing more time as you age.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    My lawn is considerably smaller. Yet the time and cost of maintenance is pretty extensive. Trees, get diseases and insect infestations. The ash bore recently cost me thousands of dollars to first treat and then remove just two large trees. Riding mowers aren't cheap to run or maintain. Compose piles... aren't just piles. A compose pile requires time and effort and can attract rodents.

    Does the property have a well? The well is another matter for maintenance and expense... but it will also limit some of your lawn maintenance choices (you don't want to poison yourself).



    Mowing grass (2 1/2 tall frequently cut grass) requires a mower. Infrequently cut tall grasses require a tractor.... not just a riding mower.
    It was the cost of of maintaining and storing our riding mower that convinced me to pay someone else. I didn't mind the actual mowing but the rest was a PITA. Agreed, if you have a well AND a septic system be prepared for additional cost over time. This is what we have. It's not constant but when attention is required it can be costly. And, of course, there is pruning involved if you have electrical wires running through trees to your house. As for lawn maintenance...I have it cut. That's it. No chemicals or anything spread on it. I don't really care if it doesn't look like Home and Garden and it hasn't seemed to bother my "lawn" at all. Then again I live in CT's largest agricultural town and I'm more concerned about horses and cows wandering into my yard than anything else. Oh, and the coyotes of course. Winter is when I like the lawn best.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    To paraphrase a very wise person..... You have no idea how hard it is to maintain that size yard. It is a lot of work and expense. It will be a part-time job that will take increasing more time as you age.
    It really depends on what you want it to be. Even when I was mowing myself I didn't feel burdened other than keeping the machinery going. I used to mow 2-3 times a month and that was fine. We, too, have an old house (1760's, 18" floorboards, 5 fireplaces) but it was rehabbed in the '80's and has vinyl siding and isn't that hard to maintain. That is our main fireplace in the pic. The box is 7' wide.
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    Arid Los Angeles checking in here. I've got a suburban house on a strange-shaped lot that requries the house to be set back on the property, giving me a 20 ft deep backyard and a 40 ft front yard. The backyard I maintain, but I got tired of the hassle of a big, useless front yard and only water about 15 ft out from the house; the rest has almost died, and I plan to make it a drought tolerant shrub garden next spring. As others have noted in the posts above, big yards are a pain to maintain.
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  19. #19
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    It really depends on what you want it to be. Even when I was mowing myself I didn't feel burdened other than keeping the machinery going. I used to mow 2-3 times a month and that was fine. We, too, have an old house (1760's, 18" floorboards, 5 fireplaces) but it was rehabbed in the '80's and has vinyl siding and isn't that hard to maintain. That is our main fireplace in the pic. The box is 7' wide.
    Where is Lebanon? Is that happen to be Lebanon, PA? How much ran do you get? Most of my fiends cut once a week here.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  20. #20
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    I have two acres, but keep most of it as unmaintained woods. With all the trees, there isn't much sun and I only have to cut the lawn every 6 or 8 weeks.
    Yeah I wish this place had a lot more trees. Some trees are OK but a PITA when it comes to the fall. Lots of trees really no need to mess with it.

    I don't know the previous history of the land. Maybe it used to be a farm?? Other than that I can't figure why you would want to clear the trees on property that size.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  21. #21
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Field of fire...
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
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  22. #22
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Yeah I wish this place had a lot more trees. Some trees are OK but a PITA when it comes to the fall. Lots of trees really no need to mess with it.

    I don't know the previous history of the land. Maybe it used to be a farm?? Other than that I can't figure why you would want to clear the trees on property that size.
    How about doing prairie restoration on a portion of the property? I have not done this but am intrigued every time I hear or watch a program on that topic.
    Establishing and maintaining a prairie garden : Garden : University of Minnesota Extension

  23. #23
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    Hedges and bushes that need trimming can take a fair amount of time and if you have to do some from a ladder Good Luck!

  24. #24
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    Well, having grown up with 3 acres including an acre of grass, 2 acres of trees (and 40 acres of with horses, cranberries, forest...I'm not including that farm). The yard and house work maintenance is about 3-4 hours a week, say a minimum of 200 hours per year but can be twice if you want a super manicured house beautiful look. Tree and shrub pruning, garden bed maintenance, driveway grading, lawn cutting, trim paint annual pressure washing, fence repair, weed spraying, etc.

    I've a 48" 24 hp lawn tractor, a pressure washer, big towable cart, 24 hp Ford tractor with scraper blade, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, weed whackers. I also live in a wet temperate area where plants grow rampant and storms are always dropping trees and limbs. Thus any Saturday morning is usually some sort of maintenance.

    Improvements are all designed to make maintenance easier. Mow up and under plants instead of having to come back and weed whack a pretty edge trim detail. Or have an edge detail you can mow over. Maintain a weed free zone of 1-2 feet from structures and then lawn out 10-40 feet to keep trees away. Mow to a fence line and maybe an annual weed spray under the fence line and around the the posts. Mow frequently to avoid bagging. Get a zero clearance mower if you have lots of tight radius trees, beds, etc to mow around. Grade a driveway with a crown so water sheds. Pressure wash with a mild moss/algae solution to save wood, concrete. Eliminate climbing plants near structures. Use a pole saw to limb trees and try to limit ladder time. If you need rock, bark dust, buy bulk and drop in a designated storage area. Irrigate beauty areas only, large areas aren't worth it. Keep sprinklers away from structure walls. Your basic plan should center around the house/structures (= more time) and farther away (= less time).

    Try any time saving method you can think of.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Where is Lebanon? Is that happen to be Lebanon, PA? How much ran do you get? Most of my fiends cut once a week here.
    Nope. Lebanon, CT...25 mi. southeast of Hartford. I live in a section called Liberty Hill. Lebanon was pretty active and important in the Revolutionary War.

    http://www.lebanontownhall.org/

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