Landscaping can increase the value of your home by 15% to 20% at the time of resale, Bankrate reveals. A beautiful and well-manicured outdoor space can create a memorable first impression, as well as make your home a more enjoyable space to spend time — both for your family and guests. However, it’s important to think carefully about which landscaping projects are right for your property, and can be expected to deliver a good return on investment. You’ll also need to weigh up whether it’s worth DIYing a project, or if it’s ultimately more time- and cost-effective to call in a professional.
The best landscaping projects for improving home value
If you’re looking for landscaping ideas that add the most value, you can’t go wrong with installing a deck. In addition to looking good, a deck creates additional space that can be used for entertaining, alfresco dining, and to show off flowers, plants, and other decorative features. A wood deck costs around $17,501 on average, and generates a 50% return on investment, Remodeling.com reveals. Although recent soaring lumber prices have generally decreased the ROI of wood decks, they still perform better than composite decks — which cost around $23,430, with an ROI of 39.8%. Although natural wood looks and feels nicer than composite materials like vinyl and PVC, a composite deck is easier to clean, which can make it a more attractive option to homeowners.
Xeriscaping: a low-maintenance alternative to traditional perennial gardens
Xeriscaping — landscaping that revolves around water conservation — can also be a beneficial move. Although xeriscaping is expensive upfront (anywhere between $16,000 to $18,000), it can help reduce maintenance costs and water bills in the long-run — adding around 10%-12% to overall property value. And, as climate change becomes an ever-pressing issue, the American Society of Landscape Architects also note a 10% increase in client demand for drought solution-orientated landscaping. So, for example, you can incorporate drought-tolerant plants into your garden. Moss rose, stonecrop, and lavender are some beautiful varieties that require little watering to thrive. You can also reduce the square footage of your lawn by increasing your hardscaping with stone and pavers, for example.
On the other hand, if you have a big lawn that you’re not ready to give up, a sprinkler system can also be a smart addition to boost property value. A sprinkler/irrigation system generates an 83% return on investment, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features. It also ranks as 9.4 out of 10 in their “joy score” for homeowners. The exact cost of a sprinkler system can vary depending on the size of your lawn — anywhere between $1,600 to $10,000, with around $2,500 being standard. In addition to reducing water waste, a sprinkler system takes the stress and hassle out of lawn care.
Mature trees: creating a sophisticated garden
Larger trees and mature greenery are another surefire way to add value to your property. For buyers, these features are indicative of the sophisticated design they’re looking for. Planting a shrub will cost you between $25-$50 on average, while a tree will set you back more — around $150-$300 on average. That said, trees may be worth the extra cost. You may need to plant less trees compared to shrubs, and they also generally need less maintenance. Trees also offer the benefit of providing shade, natural beauty, a wildlife habitat, and windbrake. Alternatively, if you have damaged or sick trees on your property, removing them will instantly spruce up your space, while also avoiding the potential for accident and injury,thetreecareguide.com explains. An experienced and professional tree removal service can remove trees safely as needed, while avoiding damage to your landscape, driveway, and property.
On a budget? Here’s how to make your landscape look expensive
You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to make your landscape look expensive. Choosing a theme and sticking to it throughout your yard can instantly make it look luxurious. So, for example, you may want to choose color as a theme. In this case, you can carry your chosen color theme through to your soft textiles and planting choices. Also, take your outdoor furniture into consideration. While it doesn’t have to all be the same color or made from the same material, there should be some element or detail that ties all the pieces together. And, rest assured, as long as your chosen furniture goes well together, and is well-taken care of, it’ll easily look more expensive than it may really be.
It’s also wise to simplify your softscaping. Although having a garden brimming with a variety of flowers looks beautiful, this planting choice lends itself more to rustic and romantic gardens. If it’s luxury you’re looking for, it’s best to stick to just a few varieties and plant them boldly and repeatedly throughout your garden. If your garden’s already packed with plants, remove as many as you can, while leaving a few nice-looking shrubs or dwarf trees. You can then fill the space with low-maintenance ground cover plants. A nice mix of succulents can work well as ground cover, while also creating a bold, high-end look full of interesting colors, shapes, and textures. Succulents are also low-maintenance and require very little watering.
DIY vs. hiring a professional
You’ll also need to decide whether to DIY your landscaping projects, or hire a professional. If your project involves heights, electrical work, or digging, always bring in a professional as these tasks are potentially dangerous. And, you also don’t want to risk damaging water, phone, or cable lines, or buried wiring in the process. You’ll also need to consider how much time you’re willing to dedicate to DIY landscaping. A professional can accomplish tasks quickly and reliably if you’re short on time. If you have small cracks in your driveway, for example, you can easily fix these yourself with sealant. However, if your driveway is severely damaged and needs replacing, going with a contractor is a smart option. It’s best and more cost-effective to ensure the job’s done right the first time.
Even if you think you’re equipped with the necessary skills to DIY a project, it’s still beneficial to consult an expert for advice. For a small fee, a professional can assess your ideas and help devise a workable plan of action, with a realistic budget. By consulting a professional, you can ensure you carefully think through each stage of the project before acting, and save yourself from making mistakes that’ll need to be rectified later down the line. You can also always go for a mix of DIY and using a professional. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, and end up calling in a contractor for help.
Landscaping can be a great way to improve the value of your home. By taking the time to weigh up your budget and needs, you’ll be able to determine the right landscaping projects that can successfully boost curb appeal and add value to your property.