A beautiful landscape can add tremendous value to your home. However, it’s important to make the right decisions when updating your landscaping, as a poorly maintained yard can kill your curb appeal.
1. Think about how you’d like to use your outdoor space
Do you wish you had a patio with seating so you could throw more BBQs? A firepit where you and the kids can roast s’mores in the winter? Or maybe you just want a prettier front yard to impress your neighbors. Visualizing your life in a new yard is important for making honest decisions about the best updates for you.
2. Set aside a budget
Because of the high costs of both materials and labor, landscaping can get pretty expensive. Simple changes, like planting a few flowers or shrubs, are more manageable. But major renovations, such as adding decks, patios, walkways, or mulch beds, can get pretty pricey. If you’d really love to transform your yard into a functional and beautiful outdoor space, then investing in these big updates can definitely be worth it. Just think about your budget before getting too carried away. Some landscape construction companies require a minimum budget of $5,000.
3. Hire a reputable landscape designer
Landscape design is both an art and a science. For homeowners who are serious about their landscaping, you should look to a professional who can evaluate your needs, design a beautiful landscape, and bring that design to life! Landscape designers generally work with a construction crew. When choosing a landscape designer, make sure to look at online reviews and pictures of their work. Also, read their warranty carefully and ask questions so you don’t run into any issues months or years down the road.
4. Use the winter months to your advantage
A lot of homeowners neglect their landscaping until the warmer months. However, fall and winter are the perfect time to think about hardscaping additions. Hardscapes are any of the nonliving features that add to your yard. For example, walkways, paver patios, retaining walls, sitting walls, even fire pits! The colder months are a great time to redesign your hardscape features, before you think about adding new grass or plantings to your yard.
5. Balance hardscapes with softscapes
In contrast to hardscapes, softscapes are features having to do with the living components of your yard (plantings, grass, mulch beds). A nice balance of hardscape to softscape can make your yard both beautiful, functional and easier to maintain. While it’s tempting to want to plant lots of colorful flowers, it’s harder to maintain these softscape features. On the other hand, hardscape features like paver patios are low maintenance. If you absolutely love greenery, think about balancing plantings with hardscapes to create a beautiful and practical yard.
6. Choose plants that are native to your local environment
If you work with a professional, they will likely steer you away from plantings that probably won’t make it. It takes about a full year for new plantings to establish their roots in your yard. Don’t be surprised if your rose bushes aren’t in full bloom during their first spring, as new plantings will go through a dormant phase while they get established. Choose native plants and follow the maintenance instructions to give your plantings the best chance of thriving.
7. Be strategic where you plant trees
If you decide to plant trees, think about how they will look in 20 years. Planting too many trees, or placing them near the driveway can cause major issues with roots overgrowing. If you’re unsure about where to plant new trees, talk to a professional who can help.
8. Understand your plantings and irrigation system
A good landscaper will give you clear and detailed information about maintaining your plantings and irrigation system. You will need to adjust your irrigation at the start of each season. Understanding your irrigation is important so you don’t over-water or under-water your plantings.
Overall, you may just be looking to spruce up your yard a bit, or opt for an outdoor renovation. As long as you understand your landscaping and keep up with maintenance, these upgrades can definitely increase your home’s value.