When it comes to increasing property value, landscaping is one of the easiest ways to get the most bang for your buck.
The main advantage of landscaping is curb appeal. When it comes time to sell your home, curb appeal will help catch the attention of buyers. Everyone wants to buy a cute home with an established landscape. Few people are likely to see a drab home as a “diamond in the rough” worth investing in.
But what if you aren’t planning to sell your home? Should you worry about curb appeal? Yes. For one thing, your neighbors will thank you. A landscaped home not only increases your property value, but the value of your neighbor’s homes. Moving in across the street from a house that is pretty to look at is actually a factor that many people take into consideration. And when your neighbors’ property value increases, yours is bound to as well. It’s a win-win situation.
Here are some important features to keep in mind when designing a landscape for your home.
Hardscape Versus Softscape
It’s tempting to just plant as many shrubs and flowers as you can and call it a landscape, but there are so many other options to consider. Anything you plant is called “softscape,” and other features are known as “hardscape.” Hardscape includes things like a sidewalk, patio, porch railings, lamp posts, fountains, ponds, swimming pools, retaining walls, fences, trellises, gazebos, swings, bird baths and more. Mix and match whatever makes sense to you.
The hardscape is often the main feature of a landscape. It is the focal point around which you can plant attractive flowers. Think about what kind of hardscape features would be logical to include in your landscape. For example, if you have a naturally sloping yard, a stone retaining wall would be an attractive addition, and a flower garden would look perfect at the top.
The materials that you use in your hardscape will lend a certain tone or atmosphere to the overall landscape. Brick, for example, is very traditional and looks nice with colonial style homes. You may want to lay brick as a walkway or patio, or use it in a retaining wall. On the other hand, stone walkways look natural and rustic, perfect for a cottage-like feel.
A landscape is an investment, but it’s one that will need proper upkeep to continue looking its best. Easy maintenance should be part of your overall landscape plan. For example, choosing plants native to your area means that you won’t need to be quite as hands-on in order to keep your garden healthy and thriving. Native plants are adapted to the water availability, weather conditions, soil conditions, pests and diseases of your area. You can save money in the long run by not having to water the garden excessively, buy expensive soil amendments or apply pesticides.
When planting flowers, a common mistake people make is to put the flowers in a line or to otherwise be too linear and symmetrical. This might look nice in some cases, but for a stunning visual display, it’s better to group flowers together. One daffodil won’t look very attractive standing on its own, but placing ten daffodils together will look decadent.
Outdoor Living Spaces
Increase the square footage of your home by treating your deck or patio like another room of your home. Decorate it, choose a color scheme, give it the same lighting considerations, and generally make it as comfortable and appealing as possible. Find plush furniture, install a fire pit, decorate with potted plants or even screen in the area to keep away flies and mosquitoes.
Any amount of landscaping is better than no landscaping at all, so even if the idea of fulfilling all of your landscape dreams is daunting, start with one space at a time. However, to avoid a disorganized feel to your landscape over time, develop a very concrete plan and stick to it as you work in stages.
This article was written by Cathy Habas for Hutbay Blog. Cathy is a professional freelancer who loves writing informative and interesting articles on interior design and home renovation.