According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, 71% of homebuyers believe that curb appeal is an important factor when choosing a home, and well-designed landscaping can increase a property's perceived value by up to 12%.
To get the best ROI (return on investment), any improvements you make to your landscape should make the space more visually appealing, add function and be something most people would actually use and appreciate.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when looking to invest in your yard to increase your home’s value — and what to consider to make the whole experience easier.
Taking the time to design your space will ensure everything goes smoothly and all the elements in your yard are aesthetically pleasing and built where they make the most sense. For example, adding a patio to your yard can increase your home’s perceived value… but not if it’s too big (or small) for the space, is in a poor location or fails to offer a great view or privacy.
Your design will be the masterplan that includes all the elements your landscape might need, now or in the future. This is especially important if you plan to build your landscape in phases. You need to make sure water and electrical lines are “roughed in” before laying your new patio, adding a pool or building an outdoor kitchen.
Landscaping is a significant investment, so choose the best quality materials your budget allows. You may pay a small premium upfront, but the improvements you make will retain their value over time.
When choosing the materials you’ll use to construct your landscape features, consider the following:
Aesthetics — Consider the overall aesthetic you're trying to achieve and how different materials will contribute to that look. Some materials, such as natural stone or wood, can create a more rustic or natural look, while others, such as concrete or metal, can create a more modern or contemporary look.
Maintenance — Different materials require different levels of maintenance, with some needing much more upkeep than others. If the features in your yard look like they’ll take a lot of time and work to maintain — like a deck that needs to be repainted or stained every year or two, for example — it could work against your property value.
Durability — Consider how well the materials you choose will hold up over time. Some materials, such as natural stone or concrete, are very durable and long-lasting, while others, such as wood, may be more prone to damage and decay.
Your designer can walk you through a quick cost-benefit analysis to help you make the right decision.
Working with a professional landscape company, like The Landmark Group, can offer several benefits over doing it yourself or hiring someone with less expertise.
Project management — Before construction can begin, a project manager will look at the design specifications, order materials and schedule time to work on your project.
They’ll also make sure all permits are in place and consider access when preparing the plan — if you’re going to do extensive work on the backyard, for example, the project manager will make sure the driveway is done last to protect it from heavy construction machinery.
Expert advice — A professional landscape company can offer more than expert installation… you’ll also have access to advice on the best plants, materials, and design elements to use, based on your budget and other factors.
Shorter timelines — Because they have the tools and equipment needed for the job, professional landscape crews can complete projects in a fraction of the time. Allowing you to enjoy your new landscape much sooner!
Quality guarantee — Professional landscape crews have a keen eye for detail, use quality materials and guarantee their work. At Landmark, we proudly back our service with a three-year, no-questions-asked warranty.
Safety — Landscape companies have the necessary insurance and licenses to ensure that you are protected in case of any accidents or incidents. Their crews receive regular safety training to minimize the risk of injury and prevent damage to your home or property.
You could have a beautifully designed landscape, but if the gardens are unkempt, the grass is brown and full of weeds and the patio is cracked and stained, your property’s value will suffer.
Maintaining your property takes time, but the tasks are simple enough.
Keep hardscapes clean and tidy — Keep patios and walkways swept, wipe up spills before they stain and watch for loose grout, replacing broken or cracked pavers when necessary. Each material has slightly different maintenance requirements, so check with the manufacturer for detailed cleaning instructions.
Mulch and edge garden beds — Mulching helps keep your garden healthy while making it look great! Edging creates clean, crisp lines between beds and other areas, helping define a border, a single tree or shrub or the transitioning from a patio to the surrounding landscaping.
Keep your lawn healthy and trimmed — Regular lawn maintenance, including aeration, overseeding, top-dressing, fertilizing, mowing and watering will keep your lawn green and lush… and add to your property’s value.
If you’re upgrading your landscape for the sole purpose of resale value, make sure the improvements make the space more functional and are visually appealing. This includes adding features such as landscape lighting and irrigation systems, patios or walkways, planting trees, shrubs and flower beds, erecting shade structures and more.
Be aware that adding features that need a lot of maintenance (like pools) can have a negative effect on your property’s value, deterring potential buyers.
While ROI is important, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor when designing your outdoor space. By considering both ROI and personal satisfaction you can strike a balance between smart investments and creating a unique space that reflects your values, lifestyle and interests — and transform your yard into an inspiring and enriching place to share with family and friends.
If you’re looking to upgrade your yard and need some inspiration, check out the featured properties on our website to see what others have done with their yards. Then, when you’re ready, you can schedule a consultation so we can sit down and discuss the transformation you want to make to YOUR property!