How to make your yard and landscaping investments last long

Tom Kraeutler

The daylight savings time switch is just a week away and a good time to think about outdoor improvements that will help you enjoy that extra daylight all spring and summer long. But with the economy in a spin, it's more important than ever to choose landscaping investments that deliver long life and good value to your property, without adding to the maintenance bills.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently did a study of the life expectancy of home components. The projections for exterior elements like decks, driveways, sprinkler systems and pools vary widely depending on age and maintenance history. Use this list to prevent surprise additions to your home maintenance budget and workload: