Posted by: JLS
on Dec 26, 2012
Increase Your Curb Appeal with Creative Landscaping Designs
Good landscaping can be a pleasure for homeowners. It makes your home more attractive and can solve problems like drainage and soil erosion to boot. But perhaps the biggest boon of good landscaping is the financial one - Angie's List estimates that good landscaping can boost your home's value by 7 to 14 percent.
So if you're looking to sell your home, you might want to think about how the outside of your house reflects on your home's condition. But how do you know if your yard is adding to your house's value, or taking away from it? And how can you tell what you should try to do yourself, and when to hire a pro?
The first thing to consider is when you're looking to sell. If you want to be out by next month, now is not the time to start a huge project. You should focus on cutting back shrubs and trees, properly applying mulch, and maybe adding some blooming flowers to your garden spaces. Don't go overboard, and don't spend too much. Just make sure your lawn looks cared-for and loved, not neglected.
If you have time, though, a good landscaping project can return most or all of its investment. Additions like patios, decks, fences and firepits can create an "outdoor room" for your house that is both appealing and valuable. Remember that if you're planting, the vegetation will need time to grow and space to flourish in. Don't think this is going to be instant gratification.
And if you're wondering whether to go DIY or to hire a service, again, consider your time and your goals. You can probably handle some trimming and minor planting yourself. But if you're doing a major project, pro landscapers can help create landscaping designs that are engaging and that feel like a natural extension of your home.
If you live in Chevy Chase, Bethesda, or Northwest DC, and you want to know more about how landscaping projects can increase your home's value, contact us and let us help you.
Posted by: JLS
on Apr 16, 2009
Want a yard with curb appeal? Not ready to invest in a full-fledged landscape design just yet? The most efficient and cost effective way to spruce up your curb appeal could be a Spring Clean Up. It is labor intensive, and unless you have a compost area in your yard, will require some hauling of debris and materials. Still, the Spring Clean Up can add sparkle to a previously dull landscape.
The Spring Clean Up usually requires a step-by-step process. First, work in the beds, pruning back dead wood, pruning and trimming shrubs as needed, clearing out the leaves and debris left over the winter. After this, loosen the existing mulch with a soft rake. You may want to apply a pre-emergent in the beds to minimize future weed growth. After hauling the debris away (or composting the debris), you will want to cut a sharp edge to the planting beds with a spade. This helps define the bed, and is an important aspect in making the Spring Clean Up a success. Next, clear out the grass and dirt disturbed by the edging, and make sure that the edge of your bed remains defined. If desired, fertilize the plants with Hollytone or another accepted product making sure to follow the directions on the bag, and making sure no fertilizer makes its way to the lawn. Finally, mulch the plant beds to a standard 2 inch depth. Be careful to lightly mulch around the plants as too much mulch at the base of the plant can cause disease and prevent proper growth. Remember to keep your edges defined, so do not mulch directly to the edge, but allow the mulch to thin out as it reaches the edge of the plant bed. Clean all lawn areas of debris and mulch with a soft rake.
If you would like to include your lawn area in the Spring Clean Up, mow the lawn areas to 2.5 – 3.0 inches. If you have a thatching machine, dethatch the weeds from the lawn area, and mow again (to the same height as before). After dethatching, overseed (using the instructions on the bag) in spot areas, apply a 1/8” layer of peat moss on top of the seed, and water regularly (read instructions on the bag). If desired, add a starter fertilizer to the seed to ensure proper growth.
It is a lot of hard, physical labor, and doing all of this will ensure your yard takes on that Spring look, giving definition to your plants, beds, and lawn.
Posted by: JLS
on Mar 17, 2009
As the economy continues to decline, many area residences have seen their home values decline. A number of homeowners are hesitant to invest money in enhancements to their home's interior or exterior. Still, home improvement projects produce the monetary returns that homeowners expect. For example, a kitchen remodel project will provide a 75% to 125% return on an investment according to the realtors association of America. Also the return of a pool installation is in the range 20% to 50% according to a Penn State study.
Money Magazine writes that "an investment in a landscape project can produce a 100-200% investment recovery at time of sale". In addition, a study by the American Nurseryman's Association demonstrated that "properties with trees sold for 7-14% more that equivalent lots without trees".
Not only is the sale price affected by landscaping, the days on the market are less for houses with "curb appeal." When potential buyers arrive at a house for sale, their first impression is the landscaping. Even a simple clean-up and replacing damaged shrubs can go a long way to improve "curb appeal".
Johnson's Landscaping Service's designers stand ready to assist you in your landscaping project to help improve your home's appearance. Even if you plan to sell in several years, installing plantings now will provide time for the landscape to mature and look well established. Johnson's maintenance services can provide a manicured look and ensure that your landscape matures without any issues.
Johnson's is your partner in building a better tomorrow for you, your family, and your home.
Sources for this article:
Penn State study
American Nurseryman's Association