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
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
Maximize Your Curb Appeal with These Landscaping Tips
Curb appeal that makes a great first impression to not only you and your neighbors, but also potential home buyers, can increase your chances of selling your home. Maximize your curb appeal by upping your landscape game, to ultimately add value to your home. If you want your home to make a lasting first impression, landscaping is one of the easiest and most affordable ways.
Present a Clear Path
Curb appeal obviously begins at the curb and carries right to the front door. Make sure the entryway to your home is welcoming and clearly defined.
Create a Welcome Landing
Welcome visitors with a warm entrance by creating a comfortable landing. A sitting area, some statuary and even some water features will make your home look inviting and draw in potential buyers.
Don’t Forget the Front Door
Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Give your front door a blast of color with paint or by installing a custom fiberglass or wood door. Make sure the knob and door fixtures are polished and clean.
Keep Your Landscape Clean
Your landscaping will get dirty over time, and can result in an unkempt exterior. Keep your landscaping features clean and shiny by hiring a professional to pressure wash your sidewalk, driveway and hardscape.
Add Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting
Adding lighting is another great way to increase your home’s curb appeal. Use path lights to light the way, create stunning visuals by highlighting a tree or focal point, illuminate street numbers and mount wall lights to give your home an extra glow.
Make Your Entrance Colorful
Plants and shrubs can add instant appeal to a home’s curb appeal. Trees such as a crape myrtle are excellent for San Diego area homes. They love a hot, sunny climate, can withstand drought and bloom in summer when most trees have ended their show. Look for other plants that are drought tolerant and colorful.
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Make These Landscaping Mistakes and Find Out How Difficult it is to Sell Your Home
Clumsy, neglected, and hodgepodge landscaping not only hurts your home’s curb appeal, it can cut the value of your property and make it harder to sell.
“I’ve been with clients who won’t even go into a house because of the bad landscaping outside,” said Mack Strickland, a Chester, VA, REALTOR® and appraiser.
Even more important, bad landscaping is a downer that hurts the way you see and enjoy your home.
Don’t let bad landscaping happen to you. Here are the seven landscaping mistakes that bust, rather than boost, your home’s curb appeal.
1. Planting Without a Plan
Some landscaping choices, such as a line of begonias, will last a season; others, like trees, can last a lifetime. So, take time to plan and plot a yard that gives you maximum enjoyment and curb appeal.
For the design challenged, landscape designers are worth the investment ($300-$2,500 depending on yard size). They will render elevations of your future yard, and provide plant lists so you can install landscaping yourself.
2. Too Much Togetherness
Yes, planting in clusters looks way better than installing single plants, soldier-like, throughout your yard. But make sure your groups of perennials, shrubs and trees have plenty of room to spread or they will look choked and overgrown. Also, overcrowded landscaping competes with itself for food and water, putting the clusters at risk, especially during drought.
Google how high and wide the mature plant will be and then combine that info with the spacing suggestions on planting labels. At first, garden beds of young plants will look too airy and prairie-like. But within three years, your beds will fill in with room to grow.
Remember: First year it sleeps, second it creeps, third it leaps.
Read the other 5 Landscaping Mistakes at HouseLogic.com
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Want to increase your home’s value while adding greater functional and entertaining value to your home? Consider having an exterior or outdoor remodeling. A San Diego outdoor remodel can give your home and your entire property a whole new look and feel. You can even carry look of your interiors right outside. Our landscape design team at San Diego Landcare Systems can help you get the job done right. We have over 35 years experience in designing and completing remodeling projects. Meanwhile, here a few good ideas to get your juices flowing.
By Mary Cockrill, SF GATE
Your home’s exterior provides a hint of what’s waiting inside. An ill-kept or outdated exterior can be an immediate turnoff to guests and potential homebuyers. If this describes your home, then it might be time to make some needed changes. Exterior remodeling projects can make your home warm and inviting, improve curb appeal and increase market value. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on exterior updates. Small, budget-friendly changes can also make big improvements. Set a remodeling budget you can live with and get to it.
Clean and Repair: The Start of Your San Diego Outdoor Remodel
Updating your home’s exterior begins with cleaning and repairing. A neglected, dirty and cluttered exterior is an eyesore that needs immediate attention. Remove clutter from porches and decks, and clear leaves and other debris out of clogged gutters. Start up a pressure washer to clean the dirt and grime off of exterior walls, windows and porches. Repair any cracked and chipping sidewalks, broken windows, loose bricks and wobbly stair rails. Crumbling concrete and deteriorating bricks can cause safety issues, as well as possibly creating bigger problems if not repaired promptly.
Read the entire article at SF Gate
San Diego Landcare Systems is your one stop shop for landscaping projects. We take you all the way from landscape design to completion.