If you think the most cost-effective home improvement involves installing wiring and the latest technology for audio, video and data technology, think again. Landscaping can add thousands of dollars to your property’s value. While interior improvements and design concepts regularly become dated, landscaping can add lasting value to your home and increase its value by as much as 20%.
When planned and installed correctly, the addition of trees, shrubs, plants and hardscape elements such as patios, walkways, decorative lighting and even water features will significantly enhance your home’s curb appeal. That translates into higher value when the time comes to time to sell your residence. A landscape with attractive trees often produces the highest return on investment as home buyers are more apt to buy a residence with mature, attractive trees. After all, the exterior and its surrounding grounds are the first thing that prospective buyers see. First impressions count.
Planning and Budget:
Proper landscaping is much more than simply placing a few trees and plantings in the ground. It starts with a good design and a well thought-out budget. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends that homeowners spend 5% to 10% of your home’s value on landscaping design and installation. For a $1,000,000 home this translates to $50,000 to $100,000. While that figure may seem high, an upscale home requires quality elements that will enhance and not detract from the exterior.
When planning landscaping on this scale, one of the most important tips that homeowners should remember is to work with a landscaping architect who will consider not only your needs and personal preferences to develop a detailed plan, but will also consider how all plantings will look and interact with other elements such as fences, lighting, garden paths, ponds, fire pits, swimming pools and more. By hiring a degreed landscaping professional with knowledge of horticulture, engineering and design, you’ll receive a design that takes elements such as soil, property grading, microclimate and irrigation into consideration that will ensure success. Developing an overall plan will result in a cohesive look instead of a hodgepodge of softscape and hardscape elements that can actually detract from your property’s value. Think of the plan as another investment in your property.
Importance of Proper Assessment:
Assessment of your property is the first step in landscape renovation. This will include distinguishing between dying trees and those that need minimal care and attention, along with looking at plantings that are overgrown, obscuring windows or otherwise needs attention. Assessments will also look at areas that will benefit the most from enhancement to recommend elements such as patios, decks, decorative walkways and exterior lighting that calls attention to architectural features and landscaping elements, provides safety and extends enjoyment of your backyard at night.
While attractive trees, bushes, pavers and other masonry details will add to curb appeal out front, the hottest trends in landscape architecture occur in the backyard. Outdoor family rooms, dining and relaxation areas that often begin as terraces adjacent to the house are becoming increasingly popular. Outdoor kitchens with built-in grills, cooktops and even refrigerators are just some of the elements that can make outdoor life more enjoyable while also extending the entertainment area of your home.