If you're like many American citizens, you're attracted to the idea of living in a gracious vintage home on a lovely tree-lined street. These properties possess abundant charm, and good deals are available on those that require some upgrades in order to meet the needs of modern families. Purchasing a fixer-upper provides an excellent way to create the home of your dreams, and naturally, you want the home and yard to be as safe as possible for your children.
Vintage properties generally have mature landscaping, which is a big part of their appeal. However, most could use a facelift in order to make them safe for children at play.
Following are three ways you can create a child-friendly outdoor living space on a vintage property.
Check for Abandoned Wells
Many old properties got their water from onsite wells at one point in their history, and old, unused wells post a significant safety problem, particularly if curious children are a part of the picture. If the home has changed hands several times during the course of the years, it might not even be known that there's an old well on the property. Visible signs of the presence of an old well include depressions in the ground and pipes sticking up from the ground. Going over the property with a metal detector may reveal the presence of an old well.
Have Trees Professionally Inspected
Mature trees provide shade as well as abundant aesthetic beauty, but they can also be safety hazards. They're more likely than their younger counterparts to have weak branches caused by age or disease, and many children have difficulty resisting the urge to climb a big tree. Weakened branches also pose a blowdown hazard during windstorms. You should also check the root area around the trees -- exposed roots on one side of the tree could be an indication that the tree has become unstable. Your local tree service will be able to perform a comprehensive inspection and evaluation of the trees on the property and make recommendations on whether any should be removed for safety's sake.
Remove Any Poisonous Plants
Many new homeowners don't realize how many old-school landscaping plants are actually poisonous. Castor bean, oleander, azalea, and foxglove are just a few examples of common garden plants that contain enough toxic compounds to cause severe illness or even death if ingested. Most parents choose to err on the side of caution and have these plants removed and replaced with nonpoisonous varieties.
Visit a site like http://www.prtree.com for more help.