Friday, March 9, 2012

Adding Value To Your Home Through Landscaping

Adding value to your home through landscaping

In a unstable real estate market many overlook the importance of curb appeal. The first impression potential buyers have, is your yard. Statistics show that a professional landscape can add up to 30% value to your home. Depending on the size of your home and area, of course. But to many it can be an overwhelming task. Where do I start? How do I way out my options?

First things first, you need to get outside and evaluate your existing landscape, if any. Take note of plants that are not serving their purpose or have out grown their current space. Inspect the soil level around your foundation. Make sure the soil level is at it’s highest at the foundation and slopes away from the house. Also make sure there is no separation between the soil and foundation, as this can cause water to seep into your house. Now that you have inspected your current landscaping it is time to develop a plan. You will do this by creating a design. This is the most crucial part of the process. A great landscape starts with a well thought out design and plan. Don’t just go out and buy what ever you see at the local nursery, then throw it down. If your going to pay for anything through out this process, at least get a professional design.

Start by mapping out your home. Next layout the shape of your new beds, stay away from straight edges. The goal is to soften all of your homes straight edges, by creating beds that have soft curves that flow. Don’t forget to add your compass so you can determine where true north is. After all of that is done, it’s time to pull together a plant list. If you are not an expert gardner I suggest you utilize Monrovia’s website. This will allow you to search by your zone, type of plant, light needs, water amount, size, growth rate, foliage, flower color, flowering season and landscape use.

The goal is to create a good mix of evergreens and flowers that bloom at different times. You will now place the plants in your design. Try to work with odd numbers and once again stay away from straight lines. Staggering the plants will add more depth to the landscape. One last element to consider in your design is hardscapes. Which would be utilizing rock, boulders, pavers, flagstone, retaining walls etc. Don’t be scared to get creative. Are you ready for the fun part? It’s time to put your plan into action and install your new landscape. Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. It’s perfectly fine to do it in phases.

Written by : Michael Candillo, owner of Garden Gate Landscaping

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