Owning your own home is something of a mixed blessing.

On the one hand, home ownership offers a degree of fiscal and personal security that renting can never hope to compete with. As an investment, you’re almost assured of making money if you own your home long enough. And, of course, there’s nothing that quite compares with being the king of your own castle – even if it’s a three-bedroom ranch house in the suburbs.

There is, however, a downside to home ownership and it’s called, “home maintenance and improvement.” Home improvement projects can be messy, expensive; and quickly outpace your abilities as a handyman.

If you’re at all interested in protecting your investment you’ll want to choose those home improvements carefully. The good news here is that the right projects can not only add a lot of value to your home, they can also reduce the amount of time you’ll be spending on ongoing maintenance.

Here are a few projects that fit that bill.

Vinyl Fencing
Who amongst us doesn’t just love spending hours and hours in the hot sun painting and staining wood fences? Oh, that’s right; no one likes that back-breaking misery. If you’re interested in having a great looking fence that’s virtually maintenance-free, you’ll want to check the world of vinyl fencing.

Vinyl fences are every bit as sturdy as wooden fences but won’t flake or show any signs of weathering. That means you can put them up and forget about fence maintenance for the next few decades or so.

And if you’re wondering how strong the vinyl really is, here’s something to consider. Vinyl fences are also referred to as, “horse fences,” because they’re strong enough for a horse to run into at full steam without breaking or splintering the fence. This might be a bit of overkill for the average suburban homeowner; it’s also great news for ranchers who don’t want to stare down expensive vet bills when a runaway horse slams into the fence.

Xeriscaping
Lawn and garden maintenance is something that plenty of homeowners find incredibly relaxing. But if you’re one of those folks who’d rather spend a sweltering afternoon in an air-conditioned living room than pushing around a gas-powered lawn mower, you might want to look at xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping is just a fancy term for, “landscaping that doesn’t require much in the way of ongoing maintenance and water.” The whole concept relies heavily on low-water plants like cactuses and landscaping features like rocks and boulders. It’s nowhere near as stark as it sounds and can actually be quite colorful if done correctly.

Finally
Low-maintenance home improvement project offer an incredible return-on-investment for homeowners who just aren’t all that handy around the house. Not only do they improve the overall look and feel of the home, but they also free up hours of precious weekend time that can be better spent doing something that’s a lot more fun than yard work.

If this sounds like your kind of project, xeriscaping and vinyl fencing could be just what the doctor ordered.