Trees in the backyard

Asked by Buyer2011, Plummer, ID Tue Oct 18, 2011

Thanks for providing valuable information on this forum. We looked at a house and liked it. But noticed that there are trees nearer to the house. Not that big but fairly grown up. My worry is with the roots of the trees damaging the house. Do you know who can help with making an informed decision? Is the home inspector a right person to advice us on this or should we ask some other specialist ( if so who it might be?). Also noticed that the backyard grass etc are gone and patches all over. Doe it cost too much to put grass and restore it a bit?

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Cory Trevor, Home Buyer, Aberdeen, OH
Mon Oct 27, 2014
The cost of grass can vary greatly, depending on the form. Sod is pricey, but it gives you an immediate lawn. Hydroseeding is much easier and less costly, but it will take a while to grow in. If you don't need grass right away, I would recommend hydroseeding.
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Kiara Jane T…, Home Buyer, Kansas City, MO
Fri Oct 24, 2014
When my husband and I did all of the landscaping for our back yard, we used hydroseed. I really like the way it turned out. It was pretty easy to do ourselves, we didn't even have to call a company.
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Sally English, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sun Sep 22, 2013
Some considerations
1. Neither fescue nor Bermuda grass grow well in shaded areas.
2. Cutting trees is expensive - get an estimate before you commit to buying a house
3. Yes to the inspector looking at the house for root damage - however this is highly unusual.
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Mark Laycock, , Alpharetta, GA
Wed Oct 19, 2011
A home inspector will tell you of any warning signs and will advise you if a more specialized inspection is suggested. Generally, the root system will match what you see above ground. If the leaves and branches are overhanging the home, then you may need to be concerned. Be careful - the root system can also breach septic and utility systems as well.

As for the back yard and growing grass you have many options. If there is too much shade, you may always have patches. Are you the do it your self type? You can seed it yourself. First, you will want to "sweeten" the soil. Buy a bag of lime then spread it and work into the soil. You can use hand tools, which work well for smaller areas. You will want to match the same grass type with what is growing in the yard. Some folks will want to just try over-seeding an area as well. Other options include hydro seeding or sod creates an instant yard.

Good luck to you in your home search. I hope you find your Dream Home.

Mark Laycock
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers
Call me on the Real Estate Help Line!
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Arthur Harris, Agent, Cumming, GA
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Landscaper will help you with grass problems and a tree specialist will give you information on the tree situation. Home inspection will only help you with any safety or defective issues etc. I would love to help you further in your home search and would like to extend to you an invitation to view my website below.
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Strom Thurman, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Your best bet is to get the advice of a professional landscaper.
My personal experience is, most of the time tree roots will not damage the foundation of a house if the trees' canopy is not hanging over the foundation line. Typically the root systems of the plants do not go much further than the canopy. Another concern is of course a tree falling or even large branches falling on the house damaging the roof or structure. You also need to know if the house has a septic system and know where the system actually is. Tree roots can invade the septic and cause damage.
If you are saying that there are lots of patches of dead grass and there are lots of trees, you've solved your own problem. Grass needs sunlight and shady areas do not grow healthy grass. A landscaper can take a look at the whole situation and provide you with an estimate and advice on how to best handle the yard. Good luck!
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Veronika Bar…, Agent, Roswell, GA
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Yes, it can damage the foundation drainage. You need to talk to the arborist, not the landscaper.
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FSBOsuccess, Home Seller, 28590
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Why not call a landscaper regarding the grass and a tree specialist about the trees? Home inspector will not be able to give you advice on it. How can he see all the roots?
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