Great front yard landscaping creates curb appeal and helps your property retain maximum value. Here are a few tips and tricks for sprucing up your outdoor spaces yourself.
Beautiful front yard landscaping is a head-turner, no doubt about it. The good news is that even if you can’t tell a tulip from a turnip at the garden center, you can still create eye-catching curb appeal by paying attention to the basics of good landscaping. Ignoring your yard — or doing something that’s out of character with the neighborhood — can jeopardize the assessed value of your home.
“We have several categories for design and appeal,“ says Frank Lucco, an appraiser in Houston. “That’s where we make those adjustments. Poorly maintained landscaping can be as much as a 5% or 10% deduction.”
Although many appraisers praise good-looking landscaping at sale, they say it’s difficult to assign an uptick in value to upkeep. However, landscape economist John Harris, say good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house and cut its time on the market 10%-15%.
But don’t landscape merely to flip a house. You won’t get your money back, says California appraiser Sandy MacCuish.
Here are the top suggestions from real estate agents, appraisers, and landscape designers for boosting the curb appeal of your yard:
Green Up the Grass
If your house has a front yard, make sure it‘s neat and green by following a lawn maintenance calendar. You don’t want bare spots, sprawling weeds, or an untrimmed appearance.
Add Colorful Planting Beds
Flower beds add color and help enliven otherwise plain areas, such as along driveways and the edges of walkways. In general, annual flowers are a bit cheaper but must be replaced every year. Perennials cost a bit more but come back annually and usually get larger or spread with each growing season.
Add Landscape Lighting
For homeowners who have made a sizeable investment in landscaping, it makes sense to think about adding another 10%-15% to the bill for professional outdoor lighting. After all, buyers aren’t always looking at houses on a Saturday afternoon.
Read more about front yard landscaping at houselogic.com
No matter what time of year it is, you want your yard to look excellent. And if you can do the task yourself, that’s fantastic. But if you want it done and done right, then a landscape design company is who you must call. Check out 5 advantages of doing so.
If you wish to help your yard stand apart, it’s a good idea to consider flowers. Even if you do not have a green thumb, you can still delight in the look of a wonderful and colorful yard. That’s due to the fact that a landscape design company can suggest the perfect flowers for you along with program of ways to upkeep them. And if you do not wish to do that, plenty of landscapers will carry out upkeep concerns for you so that your yard stays looking fantastic all year round.
Unless you’re just a huge fan of backyard work, you will not want to go out in the heat and work on the yard. Although you want your place to look excellent, there’s never a great time to do the task. Luckily, you don’t have to stress over such information if you decide to have a professional service look after it. These specialists will come out, assess your property and talk with you on a variety of ideas that can be brought to life outside your home. The work will be done and you can concentrate on taking pleasure in the view.
Flowers are a big part of a good-looking yard. Yet, nice, lush trees can likewise include a striking look for your yard. Your landscape design company can help you position trees in the right place so that you can get the shade along with beauty you want. There are different trees to choose from and a professional can assist you make the very best choice for you needs. Whether you want smaller trees planted in certain places or you are imagining something bigger, a pro can aid you.
Do Away with Bugs
In addition to enhancing your yard, many landscape design companies likewise can help in helping eliminate bugs on your property. If you’re sick of pesky mosquitoes and other irritating insects, call a pro so that you can start taking pleasure in going outside once more. This way, you won’t need to fret about bug spray or hanging up mosquito netting. Having the ideal system set up will permit you to stop seeming like a prisoner in your own home. Plus, these systems are safe for pets along with your family.
A Landscape Design Company Can Create a Better Outdoor Experience
When you have a gorgeous yard to look at, it can be tough not to wish to get out and have a few individuals over. That’s why getting landscape design is such a smart idea. You can imagine a certain feel and look you desire, and then have a professional make it a fact for you. Best of all, you can be a part of the procedure and feel confident that you’ll get the results you’re wishing for. Family and friends won’t have the ability to get enough of visiting your home.
Pergolas and patio covers plus other shade structures are the perfect way of enjoying the outdoors even when the conditions outside are less than appealing. In the heat of summer, you can relax and entertain outdoors without being overwhelmed by the beating sun. Shade structures also extend the season through fall and winter. If your structure is built with a solid roof or even insulated sides, you can enjoy a peaceful winter morning sipping tea, untouched by rain or snow.
Pergolas and other types of shade structure
Pergolas are a freestanding structure usually placed within the landscape. They can cover a pathway and define the walking space, or can cover a patio or entertaining space outdoors. A pergola usually has open sides, and either a slatted or solid roof.
Patio covers are similar to pergolas, except they are attached to the house. This can be an advantage, because the patio cover can use the home for support and thus may cost less to build than a freestanding structure.
Gazebos are an eight-sided structure with a solid roof, most commonly used in traditional garden styles like English or French. Gazebos have gotten a bad name since so many of them have been built from cheap kits and placed poorly within the landscape, yet they can be an attractive addition if the style of the surrounding landscape works with the structure.
Shade sails are a modern way of gaining relief from the sun. Fabric is stretched across specially-engineered poles to accent and cover a seating area or patio. Shade sails look great with the straight lines and simple geometry seen on contemporary homes, and do double duty as a decorative and artistic part of the landscape.
Screened porches are built directly onto your house, usually off the back door for easy access. Instead of glass windows, they have large screens that protect from insects. Screened porches are great for dining, since you get the experience of being outdoors without having yellow jackets landing on your burger.
Read more about pergolas and patio covers at Landscapingnetwork.com
Natural landscape design for your outdoors is a means to plan, manipulate and construct natural surroundings for year round pleasure. With natural paths, shading, and native plants that keep your outdoor space beautiful and are the essential elements of natural aspect of the landscape design.
Hire Professionals for Natural Landscape Design
Imaginative issue solving and thoughtful application are exactly what make natural landscape design excellent. The business or group of professionals that you decide to work with your space most likely concentrated on either industrial or domestic “curb appeal”. Their backgrounds allow them the understanding to recover, deal with, and keep the quality of soil, turf, plants, and trees that add lovely foliage to your exterior. These experts combine their knowledge of what each living plant needs and their understanding of your vision for your space. Whether you are looking for a low upkeep or abundant blossoming garden that is both inviting and visually attractive, they can create the landscape design of your dreams with the critical elements of soil, light, and watering.
Before your landscape designer can complete the first drawing or computer mock up of your future outside beautification task, they have to understand exactly what you have to work with. First, the quality of soil that you have in your backyard is a huge determining consideration whether or not anything will sprout or flourish there. You may have sand, silt (mud), or clay. When that has been identified, native plants can be chosen to accommodate your local soil quality. Second, the level of your yard space is vital. You might have a small or considerable slope, or several levels that receive various quantities of light and water throughout day. The levels in your yard will likewise influence the quality of soil in one location over another. The soil at the end of the slope will be richer than higher elevation areas that have experienced significant runoff. You may have noticed these problems in your lawn(s) throughout the years but natural landscape design specialists will rescue any lawn by compensating for exactly what it is lacking.
There is a method to accomplish your perfect yard with astute planning and layout that makes improvements to your natural space while making it sustainable. The specialists get all types of request for certain colors, structures, and levels of foliage display, and they are all possible as long as the three thriving elements (sun, water, food) exist. Landscape design build specialists may need to bring in healthier soil or cut down a few of your trees in order to expose more natural light. You might take pleasure in the half day of shade every day, so your landscape design can involve lawn and plants that grow in the shade too. All of the approaches utilized to supply you with the backyard space that you need are a part of the procedure of landscape design that keeps each plant healthy year round whether it is inactive or in full bloom.
The front porch welcomes guests and provides a comfortable space and relaxation for homeowners. A front porch that displays the owners’ ideas of style and aesthetics while fitting in with the neighborhood is largely achieved through landscaping. Choosing and arranging plants that mature to contribute to the architectural style, comfort and value of the home will lead you to a successfully landscaped front porch.
Plants and Preparation
Climate suitability, including rainfall and sunlight exposure, largely determines planting success. A walk or drive around the neighborhood can reveal which plants thrive and which struggle in a given locale. Consider native plants wherever practical, because choosing natives minimizes the need for soil and irrigation adjustments. The plants’ sizes at maturity should also influence plant selection and determine placement, especially near the structure and under eaves. Installing necessary irrigation, soil and structural amendments before planting saves on future expense and labor. Choices made beforehand will determine maintenance requirements, aesthetic appeal and property value for decades to come.
Style and Basic Design of Front Porch Landscaping
The neighborhood’s general architectural style, and that of the individual home, ought to influence the choice of landscaping style. Different arrangements suit Victorian, modern, southwestern or ranch styles, with room for variations according to personal preference. A Japanese-style garden complements a modern-style home, but a cottage garden is not out of the question. While the homeowner’s pleasure reigns above academic correctness, a mishmash of even pretty plants generally pleases no one. Basic design principles of line, form, scale and utility apply to every style.
Foliage and Flower Color
Classic climbing roses (Rosa spp.) on porch supports or along balustrades colorfully frame entryways. Nearly thornless climbers include pink “Peggy Martin,” white or yellow “Lady Banks” and fragrant, deep pink “Zephirine Drouhin.” Brilliant clematis vines, available in species and hybrids for every temperate climate zone, complement climbing roses. Blooming “standards” or evergreen topiary, in-ground or potted, flank the front steps with importance; choices include roses and various conifers. Deciduous ornamental trees, such as Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), suited to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to 8, visually meld the porch and surrounding garden with spectacular seasonal foliage color.
Read more about front porch landscaping at homeguides.sfgate.com
Water gardens or garden pools have become one of the most popular water features of landscape design in the United States. Water gardens are visually relaxing and seem to connect folks to nature. The aesthetic value of water gardens is enhanced by the almost limitless range of design and planting options that make each one a distinct and personal creation.
The place of the water garden is important to its ecology and maintenance, as well as to your enjoyment of it. Sunlight is needed for plant photosynthesis. Plants are important to the water garden’s ecology due to the fact that they produce oxygen, get rid of and recycle nutrients, and offer shade and concealing places for fish and other aquatic residents. A water garden needs to be placed in a location that will receive a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine each day.
However, direct sun at mid-day throughout the warmest months can cause overheating in shallow pools. Locating the water garden so that it can be seen from your house will enhance your enjoyment and enable you to monitor it. You will be able to manage access to the water garden to make sure of the safety of children. An great view of the water garden will likewise help you identify undesirable visitors such as predators.
Water gardens must not be located over utility services. Contact energy bill companies for the location of underground lines. Water gardens should not be located directly under trees since roots hamper excavation and may cause structural damage later.Also leaves foul up the water and over-hanging branches might drop hazardous compounds into the water garden.
The depth of a water garden depends on design and local climate. Many year-round outdoor water gardens have an area a minimum of 3 or 4 feet deep that does not freeze in the winter and offers fish a cool retreat throughout hot weather. Big koi carp, in particular, have the tendency to lose color and end up being stressed out if they do not have a cool location to stay during heat.
Constructing Water Gardens
Building of a water garden can be easy or complex. Water gardens built of fiberglass or concrete take considerable design ability. Earthen and plastic liner pools need less building skills or experience.
Many commercial companies selling water garden equipment offer consulting services on design, building and maintenance. Use your own knowledge and imagination to design a water garden reflecting your creativity and taste.
Water gardens can be fairly expensive to construct and maintain. The cost of design differs with size and the products that are used, however it can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Design plans should be reviewed by local government agencies to guarantee that the proposed pool abides by all building regulations.
Water gardens may be irregular or geometric in shape. Irregularly shaped water gardens have a natural appearance, while the geometric shapes appear more formal. Prior to you beginning construction, try setting out possible water garden designs using a garden hose or rope.
Whether your water garden is a plastic tub or a visual marvel, excellent water quality is important. Poor quality water makes the water garden less attractive and can damage fish and plants. Once the essentials of water quality are known, maintenance will be reduced to a minimum.
The first consideration is a supply of good quality water to fill the pool. The most common sources are city water and well water. Surface area water from a creek or pond is not recommended as it might include contaminants, sickness and wild fish, any of which might damage the water garden’s ecosystem. If city water is utilized it has to be dechlorinated before adding fish and plants.
One common error is stocking a lot of fish. A water garden is suitable for fish just as long as it can provide sufficient oxygen and disintegrate the wastes produced. The variety of fish the water garden can support depends upon factors such as the size of the water garden, size of the fish, temperature level, amount of sunshine the water garden gets, whether or not aeration is supplied, and how well the natural or artificial filtration system removes wastes.
A water garden is a remarkable way to take pleasure in the natural beauty of water plants and animals and acquire a better understanding of the complexities of aquatic environments. Designing the water garden and its environments is an outlet for creative expression and enables metropolitan dwellers to add a peaceful, natural environment to their yards.
Creating truly outstanding small space landscapes is a specialty of certain well known designers. Their fame is based on a firm grasp of three valuable techniques that your designer can exploit just as easily. When you hire a company to help design your outdoor living spaces for the condo, the townhouse or just a not-so-large yard, here are the basics for getting it right in cramped quarters.
Concept #1 Small Space Landscapes Need Many Small Focal Points
The single biggest problem of small space design is that there are no grand views, nor is there enough space to create an outstanding focal point. This results in limited visual appeal. The solution is to create many tiny focal points throughout these spaces that can become surprises when unexpectedly discovered. Gathering them is a great opportunity to shop for delightful objects of art that are weatherproof enough to live outside. Whether they are stone, ceramic, glass or metals, these are for you to choose and your designer to arrange them in the most optimal place.
Keep in mind that you need not have all these objects at the start of the project. Opportunities will arise both during and after the design process. Avoid mass produced items that may be seen elsewhere. Make your small space landscape uniquely yours by searching for one of a kind architectural salvage, antiques and original works of garden art.
Don’t make the mistake of putting all these focal points front and center. Certainly one or two may be outstanding in the garden as a basis for surrounding spatial or planting design. The others are best sequestered amidst the plants, looking as though they have always been there. Remember, it’s about visual discovery, so when a guest suddenly spots one there in the green or amidst the blooms, it offers the joy of surprise. Imagine dining in a garden where these carefully composed surprises positioned for the guest to find throughout an evening compared to a space featuring just a single focal point.
Read more about small space landscapes at LandscapingNetwork.com
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Once you’ve decided to implement a landscape design for your lawn or garden, the next step is deciding whether or not to hire a landscape design contractor. Depending on the difficulty of your landscape design, a design contractor can save you time, trouble, and money.
Choosing a landscape design contractor can be a difficult and confusing process. Researching local landscape design contractors and relying on recommendations by your friends, family, and neighbors can help you decide which contractors are reliable and affordable. Preparing yourself with questions for your potential landscape design contractors and educating yourself about local rates and operating standards can help you select a design contractor with confidence.
Look for Experience in a Landscape Design Contractor
The first question to ask your potential contractor regards education and experience. Find out how long your contractor has been landscaping and if he is certified with any nationally recognized organizations? Find out if your potential landscape contractor can supply references from previous clients.
Check out your design contractor’s credentials and company history, as well as previous work. Ask about his design process and what designs he envisions for your lawn or garden. Make sure you ask your designer what his timetable estimates are. How long will your landscape contractor take to finish your lawn? How long were you expecting the project to take to finish? Are your timetables compatible? Make sure to ask about what is included in the contract.
Does your landscape design contractor collaborate with other professionals to complete the job if necessary or do you need to find your own electricians or other contractors? Does your landscape design contractor guarantee his work? What happens if you are not satisfied with the completed project? Does your landscape design contractor understand your ideas and vision for your lawn and garden?
Read more about questions you shoud ask a at EnlightenMe.com
The average residential swimming pool contains between 18,000 and 20,000 gallons of water and will lose about 2 inches per week solely due to evaporation. This can amount to between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons of water loss per year, depending on pool size and water features that increase or decrease evaporation.
But over a three year-period, the average California pool uses about 96,575 gallons of water, versus 116,813 to maintain traditional mowed grass, according to a study by the Santa Margarita Water Distinct. If the pool owner uses a cover, the water use over five years will be less than if the homeowner installed drought-tolerant landscape.
Benedikt Grob and Joseph K. Lee in 2013 used satellite computer imagery from Microsoft’s Bing Maps and Google Geocoder to publish the ‘Big Atlas of LA Pools’. They documented that there are 43,123 pools in the Los Angeles basin. The Atlas found the highest per capita concentration was in Beverly Hills, which has 2,481, and Brentwood, with 1,920. But more middle-class Long Beach has 2,859 pools.
The Los Angeles Times recently ran an article with anecdotal stories about more than 60 homeowners pulling permits for pool demolition in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, up from an average of 21 a year in 2010 through 2012.
The Times indicated that the California dream of a pool for the family was ending due to homeowners being so ashamed of their water use in the fourth year of the drought they were jackhammering them out and putting in drought tolerant vegetation.
Swimming Pool Construction is Booming
But nothing could be further from the truth. A year ago, California pool construction hit a five-year high and is still accelerating. The fastest growth for pool construction per capita is in the sweltering Central Valley, according to the Business Journal.
Orange County was the leading county for pool construction, as homeowners installed 829 new pools in 2014. The area is on track to install over 900 in 2015, according to the Orange County Assessor.
The OC growth was despite a Santa Margarita Water District ban on filling pools in the summer of 2014. But after completing a study of actual water use by its customers, SMWD found that pools and the surrounding hardscape require thousands of gallons of water to fill initially, but actually use about 8,000 gallons fewer per year. The water district lifted the ban, and pool construction boom times quickly returned.
Hardscapes make your outdoor area more accessible and inviting
Fall is the perfect time to start thinking about creating an outdoor living space and your hardscapes.
Adding a hardscape area to a garden will make it more inviting and will “lure you to lounge” outside during all of California’s beautiful seasons.
But what exactly is a hardscape? Hardscape is a term used to describe an area in a garden or other outdoor living space built from non-permeable materials. It is used to enhance the beauty and functionality of a natural space. A hardscape can be as simple and basic as a gravel path through a garden. It can also be an intricate patio made of stone that creates terraces that step down a hillside, and contains creature comforts like an outdoor kitchen, a hot tub, or a shady pergola with a dining table for outdoor dining.
1: Incorporate a path that winds through your garden to encourage you to walk through your plantings.
Gravel is inexpensive and does not break down like mulch or pine straw, but it is heavy. Use pre-bagged gravel available at home improvement stores for small projects and get gravel delivered directly to your house from a landscape supply company for larger ones.
A path is always more inviting if it leads somewhere, so consider creating a seating area in a small clearing with a bench, or add a birdbath or some garden statuary. A portly Buddha and dancing frogs are always welcoming.
2: Use decorative concrete block to edge pathways or flower beds.
Concrete blocks come in many sizes, shapes and colors. These are not your father’s old, gray, cement blocks. They can easily be stacked to form retaining walls or planters, or they can be used single-file to create a simple border or walkway.
Pay a visit to your local home improvement store to see the options.
3: Add a water feature like a store-bought outdoor fountain or create your own using natural rock, a small pond liner and a recirculating pump.
Read more at OutdoorLivingPlanet.com