If you want to get the most out of your outdoor space—as a lush oasis to relax in all summer, or a valuable amenity if you’re hoping to sell your home—it’s time to start thinking about going the whole nine yards on your yard with these landscape renovations.
Most homeowners spend an average of $1,784 to $3,168 per landscaping project, and the good news is that they’ll usually make back a good chunk of that cash back.
According to landscape economist John Harris, keeping up your grounds can contribute to a whopping 28% of your home’s overall value (which makes sense, because a beautiful yard is the very definition of curb appeal). That’s why we are highlighting all the ways you can make your yard more inviting—and financially rewarding—with these 5 landscape renovations.
Freshen up what you have
Chances are your yard is running a little wild already, so cleanup comes first. In addition to pruning trees and trimming shrubs, the most inexpensive and important way to update your yard is to keep it weed-free. Be sure to whack those weeds before they go to seed, to avoid larger infestations. Early suggests applying a gluten pre-emergent herbicide, which kills weeds before they form roots, in the spring.
Yes, gluten may be exiting many a (human) diet, but it works wonders killing weeds.
Another easy way to spruce up your yard is to flip and fluff your existing mulch using a rake. It’s simple, and it gives the area a fresh, earthy look.
Plant plenty of trees
Trees are one of the few things that truly appreciate over time. After all, you can buy a sapling for just $10 at the nursery. Meanwhile, a mature tree can add $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your home. The technical term for this: an “awesome return on investment.”
Planting small trees is a better [investment] over the long term. On the other hand, if you’re planning to sell in three to five years, plant larger trees. They may be more expensive, but you’ll wait less time to see the full effects in your yard.
As for what you should grow, that depends on what will thrive in your area. Do your research.
Carve out an outdoor living room
Fire pits and permeable paving are right after low-maintenance landscaping on the American Society of Landscape Architects’ top 10 list of the outdoor elements consumers desire.
Cut your irrigation costs
The ASLA calls drought-tolerant plants a top trend for 2016. “There is a huge demand forxeriscaping.” These environment-friendly choices cut water bills, since one-third of all household water use typically goes to landscaping. Installation costs range from $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot, but they add up to a savings of 36 cents per square foot annually by lowering water usage and overall maintenance.
Mix it up
Sure, you want pretty flowers to make your yard pop. But these plants are typically annuals, meaning they live only one year. So unless you want to repeat the process (and payment) each spring, you’ll want to mix it up with plenty of perennials, which survive for years.
Be sure to pick a variety of flowers that not only bloom at different times, but also showcase different textures, heights, colors, and shapes.
Don’t take the plunge
What’s not to love about a cool, refreshing, luxurious backyard pool? Well, there’s the dismal return on investment, for one.
According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, for every dollar you spend on a pool you will recoup only 39 cents. Still, all that said, if you’re dying for a pool, you can’t put a price on all that splashy fun, so consider it an investment for your soul rather than your future equity.