Creating eye-catching landscaping isn’t just a fun and active hobby for homeowners, it’s also a way to increase curb appeal and property value.
According to the American Nursery and Landscaping Association, improving your home’s landscaping can add 7 to 15 percent to your home’s value. Also, homes with an “excellent” landscape can expect a sale price about 6 to 7 percent higher than equivalent houses with a “good” landscape, while improving landscaping from “average” to “good” can result in a 4 to 5 percent increase.
In addition to the financial rewards, good landscaping can increase your satisfaction with your property and make it feel like “more of a home.” Well-positioned trees and other flora can reduce energy costs and mask bothersome street noise.
The first thing you should do when improving your landscape is draft a master plan. The master plan should take into account what effect you’re shooting for with the landscape improvements, such as providing more shade, a privacy screen or just brightening up the yard. The plan should also set a budget for your projects and a timeframe for completion.
An important question you should ask yourself when making your landscaping plan is, “How will my yard be used?” Do you plan on using the yard for exercise or athletics? Do you have children or pets? Answering these questions will help you make choices. For example, if you intend to have a lot of outside social gatherings or want to play ball with the kids you’re going to need some lawn space. However, if you’d like to turn your yard into an isolated retreat, lawn size can be reduced in favor of trees to provide privacy cover.
When drafting a landscaping plan, you should consider some basics of design such as unity, repetition, balance and consistency.
— Unity: A landscape design achieves unity when all design elements mesh together to form an attractive whole.
— Repetition: The principle of using similar elements throughout a landscaping design composition. Repetition can be created by repeating certain varieties of plants, colors, textures, or hardscaping elements.
— Consistency: An extension of repetition; using a constant type of plant, color or texture helps to create a landscape that works as a unified concept.
— Balance: Visually balance the weights of objects in your landscape. Think of dividing the landscaping in half. If both sides attract the eye equally, the landscape is balanced
The great thing about improving your landscape is that, unlike other home improvement projects, it can cost as little or as much as you choose. There are a variety of low-cost plants that can be used to spruce up your home’s appearance, as well as more expensive solutions. Landscaping is often a year-to-year process of steady improvements – this is good because it often means you don’t have to buy everything all at once!