Smart landscaping tips that can increase home value
It has been said, “You get what you pay for in life.” One similar question in regard to landscaping still lingers: When do you stop paying? The dreaded answer to this question is never. The truth is, in some form or another, the cost of this investment is much higher than its price.
A quality job, using higher quality grade materials, will cost more up front, but will cost less to maintain its value. You may be shopping to find the best price, but more often than not, the cost to keep up the investment will become cost-prohibitive. An overhaul or facelift will be needed in a few years. This mentality will cost you more than you can ever save.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends that homeowners invest 10 percent of the home's value in landscaping. Landscape architecture goes beyond just plantings, or “soft-scaping.”
It should also include structural features like lighting, fences, garden paths, fire pits, swimming pools and ponds. Outdoor rooms, terraces, and decks are also high-yield structural or “hard-scaping” investments. Proper planning and budgeting should be done prior to any ground breaking.
Planting trees can save you money on your energy bill. Trees provide wind breaks that reduce energy demand in the winter, and give shade to the property during hot summer months. Some trees will actually add value to your property.
The value is based on placement, type of tree, health and other factors. The trees can actually grow in value over time. Professional planning and installation will ensure the job gets done the right way the first time, saving you money from the start.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is a piecemeal approach to landscaping without proper planning. Homeowners start to clear areas and put in a mix of plants. They proceed without a plan, or without doing any research on the plants they are using.
The result is a hodgepodge of poor quality plantings and trees that give the property a jumbled feel. An implemented landscape design provides a polished look. Following a plan will lead the homeowner to a beautiful property, while remaining within a pre-established budget.
One step at a time
Do you have a job bigger than your budget? Thinking of scaling down that landscape design you wanted because of price? Don’t. Everything doesn't have to happen at once. Consider a five-year plan that has plantings maturing at varying rates, and adds various features each year, like stone boulders, rocks, and a lighting system.
By phasing the job this way, you can remain within your budget (time-wise and cost-wise) while still progressing toward a complete landscape renovation around your entire property.