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Your Money Monday: Backyard Makeover

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — We all love eating outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather during the summer months, but for many of us our backyards might need a little sprucing up. So from pools to patios, decks to trimming flower beds, our Your Money Monday: Backyard Makeover has you covered.

First it’s all about cooling down in the pool, but what’s better in ground or above? According to Rod Willard of Teddy Bear Pools and Spas, chances are the pool you choose will come down to the dollars and cents.

“To say the least the above ground market is much more market friendly as far as retail pricing on the front side,” explained Rod.

Once your pool is in, you’re going to need to keep it clean. Willard reviewed how different types of filters can save you money on your energy bill and still keep that water sparkling clean. Plus wouldn’t it be nice to go to bed with the pool needing to be vacuumed and the job being done when you wake up? It’s not just a dream! Rod explained how one machine can make that dream a realty.

“A lot of people in today’s world, with everything going on just don’t seem to have the time to go out and vacuum their pools,” said Rod. “At this point in time we have all kinds of automatic stuff that can actually do the vacuuming for you.”

When it comes to technology we all think about smartphones and tablets, but technology can extend to our backyards too. Rod Willard went over some of the newest pool technology on the market, including an alarm system that could save lives. Plus he’ll share some incentives to add that pool to your yard this year!

“We always have sales going on,” Rod said. “At this point now, pretty much any of the above ground pool that we have in stock is discounted down quite well.”

And more than that, according to Rod, from point of sale to installation you could be swimming in your new pool in less than 3 weeks!

If you decide on an above-ground pool, you’ll probably want to get a deck too. Stephen Roberts told us you should to consider the furniture you’d like on your deck before taking on the project yourself.

“Pre-purchase or at least study the type of furniture you want to put on the deck first. And then draw it out on the landscape with some marking paint or even with garden hoses so you can start to get the feel of the proportions, because the worst thing that could happen is that you build a deck and find out that it’s not quite big enough,” warned Stephen.

Plus, with so many different types of materials on the market, the options are seemingly endless. Roberts gave us the lowdown on the decking that’s best for you, plus give you some ideas on ways to save that you may not have even known about!

Then it was all about patios! Stephen Roberts told us to consider a square or rectangular patio if you plan to take on this project yourself. Plus he tells us the number one mistake people make when putting in their patio.

“The number one important thing to do is to make sure you put a proper base in. You want to remove all the top soil because that’s what freezes and thaws and moves around a lot through the winter months. So you remove all the top spoil and put in a nice sandy, gravel base and compact it really well. That’s the most important thing you can do,” explained Stephen.

Finally Stephen Roberts shared a few ways to make our flower beds more impressive without emptying our wallets, and it’s not all about the plants you pick, properly edging your beds can help keep them weed and grass free, and keep you enjoying your yard instead of working in it! All you need is an edging machine which according to Stephen you can rent.

“You can usually rent these at a Taylor Rental or a Home Depot and for $70 you can get your property edged with a lot of work done with the machine instead of your back!” said Stephen.

We would like to thank our experts for joining us:

Rod Willard, General Manager
Teddy Bear Pools and Spas
41 East Street, Chicopee
(413) 594-2666

Stephen Roberts, Owner
Stephen A. Roberts Landscape Architecture & Construction
1160 Bay Street, Springfield
(413) 214-6990

HELPFUL LINKS:

Pools:
FAQ about Pools
In-Ground vs. Above-Ground Pools
Picking the Right Filtration Pool Safety

Decks:
Material Options for Decking
Recycled Materials to Buy or Sell

Patios:
Material Options & How To
How to Install a Patio

Landscaping:
Edging Your Beds
Choosing the Right Plants