Original Post at Realtor.com
Most homeowners spend an average of $1,784 to $3,168 per landscaping project, and the good news is that they’ll usually make back a good chunk of that cash.
According to landscape economist John Harris, keeping up your grounds can contribute to a whopping 28% of your home’s overall value (which makes sense, because a beautiful yard is the very definition of curb appeal). That’s why, for this fifth installment in our series Renovations That Really Pay Off, we highlight all the ways you can make your yard more inviting—and financially rewarding—than ever.
- Mix it up- Sure, you want pretty flowers to make your yard pop. But these plants are typically annuals, meaning they live only one year. So unless you want to repeat the process (and payment) each spring, you’ll want to mix it up with plenty of perennials, which survive for years.Be sure to pick a variety of flowers that not only bloom at different times, but also showcase different textures, heights, colors, and shapes.“Try adding a couple of bold, beautiful salvia bushes [around $10] for purple blossoms in the summer and Euonymus alatus [$40], also known as burning bush, for gorgeous red foliage in the fall,” Worthington says.
- Reduce your water bill- The ASLA calls drought-tolerant plants a top trend for 2016. “There is a huge demand for xeriscaping”—yeah, we looked it up, too, to learn it means no water needed—“and low-water-use renovations,” says Early. She points out that these environment-friendly choices cut water bills, since one-third of all household water use typically goes to landscaping. Installation costs range from $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot, but they add up to a savings of 36 cents per square foot annually by lowering water usage and overall maintenance. Not a big deal if you’re selling, but it can be a big deal to a buyer who doesn’t have a green thumb.
- The outdoor living room- Fire pits and permeable paving are right after low-maintenance landscaping on the American Society of Landscape Architects’ top 10 list of the outdoor elements consumers desire. Adding permeable paving to a 100-square-foot area will cost about $600, and you can make your own fire pit if you’re feeling handy. If you’re not, prices start at around $70.
- Planting trees- Trees are one of the few things that truly appreciate over time. After all, you can buy a sapling for just $10 at the nursery. Meanwhile, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can add $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your home. The technical term for this: an “awesome return on investment.”“Planting small trees is a better [investment] over the long term,” says Dianna Worthington, vice president of operations for The Grounds Guys, a full-service commercial and residential grounds care franchise. On the other hand, if you’re planning to sell in three to five years, plant larger trees. They may be more expensive, but you’ll wait less time to see the full effects in your yard. As for what you should grow, that depends on what will thrive in your area. Do your research.
- Work with what you’ve got-Chances are your yard is running a little wild already, so cleanup comes first. In addition to pruning trees and trimming shrubs, “the most inexpensive and important way to update your yard is to keep it weed-free,” says Stephanie Early of Timberline Landscaping in Colorado Springs, CO. Be sure to whack those weeds before they go to seed, to avoid larger infestations, she says. Early suggests applying a gluten pre-emergent herbicide, which kills weeds before they form roots, in the spring.Yes, gluten may be exiting many a (human) diet, but it works wonders killing weeds.
Another easy way to spruce up your yard is to flip and fluff your existing mulch using a rake. It’s simple, and it gives the area a fresh, earthy look.
Posted on May 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm by Adam Silk