6 Tips for a Hassle-Free Backyard

Maintaining a stunning backyard shouldn’t feel like a full-time job. Luckily, with a few savvy strategies, you can transform your outdoor space into a low-maintenance haven. We have a few tips to help you achieve an envy-worthy backyard without the constant hassle: 

Reduce Your Lawn Size

Grass can provide a lush and inviting backdrop, but managing extensive turf can become overwhelming. Traditional grass varieties demand frequent mowing, watering, and care to stay beautiful. While you can certainly opt for more drought-tolerant grass varieties such as Bermuda grass or Zoysia grass, consider converting areas of your lawn into landscape beds filled with low-maintenance plants, shrubs, and ground covers. This not only reduces mowing but also adds visual interest and biodiversity to your backyard.

Go Easy on the Annuals

While annuals certainly have their place in garden design, especially for providing seasonal color and filling gaps between perennials, they demand regular replanting and care. Perennials, on the other hand, offer lasting beauty with minimal effort. These resilient plants return each year, reducing the need for constant maintenance and saving you time and money in the long run. With deeper root systems and adaptability to local climates, perennials effortlessly thrive, ensuring your garden remains vibrant year after year.

Avoid Rubber Mulch 

Don’t fall for the marketing hype of rubber mulch as a low-maintenance alternative to traditional mulches. Though it may sound like a good idea, it can hinder soil health and plant growth due to poor drainage and heat retention. Instead, opt for organic mulches like wood chips or shredded bark. These natural alternatives suppress weeds, promote healthy soil, and decompose over time, enriching your garden’s ecosystem. 

    Choose Native Plants 

    Incorporating native plants into your garden is another smart way to achieve a low-maintenance landscape. These plants are well-suited to your local climate and soil, so they need less water, fertilizer, and pest management compared to exotic varieties. Once they settle in, native plants are resilient—they handle local weather swings (looking at you, Ohio) like champs and won’t demand much TLC. In addition to conserving resources, native plants also local wildlife and promote biodiversity, making them a sustainable choice for a vibrant and hassle-free garden. 

    Embrace Xeriscaping 

    We know, what is xeriscaping?! Xeriscaping, a landscaping concept that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation, isn’t just for dry regions; it’s a sustainable landscaping solution for all environments. By incorporating drought-tolerant plants, gravel pathways, and rocks, you can create a water-efficient and low-maintenance landscape that thrives year-round.

        Invest in Automatic Irrigation 

        Upgrade your watering routine with an automatic irrigation system. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses equipped with timers deliver water precisely where and when your plants need it, minimizing water waste and ensuring consistent moisture levels. With customizable settings tailored to your garden’s needs, automatic irrigation promotes healthy growth while freeing up your time for relaxation. 

          Your backyard can be a much more relaxing space when you work smarter, not harder. At Vutech & Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, we are committed to making your home-buying journey as seamless as possible. Reach out to us today to discover how we can help you find and settle into your dream home.  

          Prepping for Spring

          As the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. This means now is the perfect time to prepare your home to sell in anticipation of a busy spring selling season in Central Ohio.  

          Although it may seem a bit overwhelming to get your home ready to sell, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your home gives a great first impression to potential buyers.  

          Curb Appeal

          Spring is the ideal time to spruce up your home’s exterior. Start by giving your lawn a fresh mow and trimming any unruly bushes or trees. Consider adding pops of color with seasonal flowers or potted plants to enhance curb appeal. A well-maintained exterior sets a positive tone before buyers even step foot inside. 


          Create an inviting atmosphere by decluttering and depersonalizing your space. Clear countertops, shelves, and closets of excess items to make rooms feel more spacious and allow buyers to envision themselves living there. Pack away personal photos and belongings to help buyers focus on the potential of the home itself. 

          Let There Be Light

          Welcome the natural light of spring into your home by opening curtains and blinds during showings. Replace any outdated light fixtures or bulbs to brighten up rooms and create a warm, inviting ambiance. Adequate lighting can make spaces feel larger and more inviting to potential buyers. 

          Deep Clean and Organize

          A thorough cleaning is essential to showcase your home in its best light. Pay attention to often overlooked areas such as baseboards, light switches, and ceiling fans. Consider hiring professionals for deep cleaning, including carpets and upholstery. An organized and sparkling clean home speaks volumes to buyers about the care and maintenance of the property. 

          Neutralize Color Palettes

          While you may love bold colors, potential buyers might prefer a blank canvas. Consider repainting walls in neutral tones to appeal to a broader range of tastes and make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves in the space. Neutral colors also help rooms feel more spacious and allow buyers to focus on the architectural features of your home. 

          Showcase Outdoor Living Spaces

          Take advantage of the warmer weather by highlighting outdoor living spaces. Clean and stage patios, decks, and backyard areas to showcase their potential for entertaining and relaxation. Invest in outdoor furniture or accessories to create inviting outdoor vignettes that inspire buyers to envision themselves enjoying the space. 

          Make Necessary Repairs

          Address any lingering maintenance issues to ensure your home is in top condition for potential buyers. Fix leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and any other minor repairs that could detract from the overall appeal of your home. Investing in these repairs upfront can prevent potential buyers from negotiating down the asking price later. 

          Once your home is prepped for sale, it’s time to find a real estate agent to help guide you through the selling of your home.  Your agent should be knowledgeable about the market, know the listings on the MLS in your area, as well as what is coming soon, and be familiar with recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.  

          From pricing the home to suggesting minor updates and fixes around the house to get it ready for selling, your agent can guide you through the process to closing. 

          At Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, we stand ready to offer our expertise. We consistently rank among the highest-producing teams in Central Ohio. Explore our qualifications or initiate the home-selling process by reaching us at 614-897-0618 or contacting us online today. 

          10 Home Maintenance Tips: When to DIY and When to Call a Pro  

          Maintaining your home is a crucial aspect of homeownership, but knowing when to tackle a project yourself and when to hire a professional can save you time, money, and potential headaches. Here’s a guide to help you navigate DIY tasks and those best left to the experts.  

          1. Hanging Wallpaper: Hire a Pro  
            Hanging wallpaper requires precision to keep it straight and lined up. Avoid potential mishaps and extra expenses by entrusting this task to a professional.  
          1. Tile a Backsplash: DIY 
            With proper preparation and attention to detail, you can enhance your kitchen or bathroom without the need for professional assistance. Ensure you have the right tools, adhesive, and tiles, and follow step-by-step guides to achieve a polished and personalized backsplash. If you encounter challenges or prefer a complex design, consulting with a professional tiler may be beneficial. 
          1. Painting the Exterior: Hire a Pro  
            The scale of painting your home’s exterior, involving tall ladders and sometimes roofs, calls for professional expertise and safety considerations. 
          1. Fixing a Clogged Garbage Disposal: DIY  
            Use a small specialty wrench to clear the clog in the disposal, a manageable task for most homeowners.  
          1. Sealing Windows and Doors: DIY  
            Reduce your heating and air conditioning bills by sealing drafty windows and doors. Start by removing the old caulk and cleaning the area. Apply a thin line, run a gloved finger over to smooth, and let dry.  
          1. Installing a Light Fixture: Hire a Pro (Probably)  
            While low-voltage projects can be DIY, electrical work above 50 volts is best left to professionals to avoid safety risks.  
          1. Patching a Hole in Drywall: DIY  
            Small holes are manageable with spackle and primer, but larger holes may require professional attention.  
          1. Cleaning Gutters: Try to DIY (If Comfortable on a Ladder)  
            Regular gutter cleaning is essential; if you’re comfortable on a ladder, this is a task you can handle. Otherwise, hire a professional for safety.  
          1. Re-grouting Tile: Try to DIY  
            Choose the right grout, clean the area, and follow manufacturer instructions for a successful tile re-grouting project.  
          1. Installing Molding: Hire a Pro  
            Precision is key in installing molding, and unless you have experience and the necessary tools, it’s best to hire a professional.  
          1. Fixing a Sticking Window: Hire a Pro  
            Various issues can cause a window to stick and fixing it may involve tools and skills best left to professionals. Avoid potential damage by seeking expert help.  

          Other great DIY projects include: 

          • – Replacing faucets 
          • – Painting doors 
          • – Building shelves 
          • – Framing mirrors 
          • – Lining cabinet drawers 

          Knowing your limits and understanding the complexity of each task will ensure your home maintenance efforts are both effective and efficient.