Top 3 Landscaping Questions
Top 3 Landscaping Questions
Making an informed decision is important when it comes to large home projects. We compiled our Top 3 Landscaping Questions to help you make a better decision on your next big landscaping project.
1. What will it cost?
The main question we hear as a landscaping company is, what will it cost? Of course, this isn’t an easy question to answer! There are many factors that need to be taken into account before an estimate can be given.
When determining the cost, the Landscaping Network suggests to take the following factors into account: the size of your yard, the features you desire, the materials and plants you select, where materials are sourced from, your location, and the cost of labor in your area.
If you still have no idea where to start, HomeAdvisor has a great tool that can help give you very general estimates. Home Adviser Cost Landscaping Tool Don’t worry if you are starting your project without any idea of what you’ll need to budget. It’s very common for homeowners to not know what their project will cost. Getting estimates from landscaping companies can be the easiest way to determine costs in your area.
How Much Should You Spend?
The American Society of Landscape Architects suggests you estimate 5-10% of your home’s worth on landscaping. That means that if your home costs $300,000, you should plan between $15,000 and $30,000 on your landscaping project. This would cover the cost of your front and back yard. Don’t get too worried about this price because ultimately, your budget will determine what is done with your yard.
Know What You Want Before You Get an Estimate
Have a general idea of what you want to do to your yard to help determine the cost better. For instance, do you want to replace the edging around your yard? Add a decorative garden? Or are you thinking of adding an outdoor fireplace, patio, or deck? If you know what you want before starting your project, your landscaper can give you a more accurate estimate the first time.
I recently heard of a great way to think of the cost of your landscaping. Think of your landscaping the same way you would when you buy a car. Typically you start with a base model which is around $20,000. Then you decide you want to add the GPS navigation package, DVD players, and all the extras that go along with it. Suddenly your $20,000 is $42,000! The same applies to landscaping. The more “extras” you add onto your project, the higher the cost will be, so know what you want.
To Cut Costs, Focus on What’s Important (Landscaping Questions to Ask Yourself)
A good way to narrow down what you want is focusing on what’s important to you. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine what you want.
- How long do you plan to live in you home? If you plan to live there for a long time, it may be worth the investment to spend more money on landscaping.
- What do you plan to do with your landscaping? Are you adding an outdoor kitchen? Or a seating area? Or just simple edging around your house to make it stand out?
- Financially, can you do everything at once? Or could you split your project up into several phases to make it easier on your wallet?
- How much do you use your yard now? Do you plan on making this an extension of your home? Or do you simply want something to look at from the window?
- How much time are you willing to put into the upkeep? Do you enjoy trimming bushes or splitting hostas? A pond may look nice, but are you willing to clean it or pay for someone to help with the upkeep?
New Construction Will Cost More
A new construction, with no landscaping, will generally cost more. Retaining walls, and yards will need to be added. A yard that is established generally has lower costs. This, of course, varies depending on what you are doing but is a good rule of thumb.
To save extra money, check out our article on Landscaping Rebates to see what you qualify for in your area! Landscaping Rebates in Your Area
2. Will it add value?
The short answer to this question is, yes. Landscaping your yard will add value to your home. But, if our answer was that easy, we wouldn’t need to say anything else, would we?
American Society of Landscape Architects estimates that a good landscaping design can add as much as 15% to the value of your home. Other studies have estimated an increase in your home’s value from 7-19%. Not only does it add value to your home, but it adds value to your neighborhood as well. Just remember, when you are buying or selling a home, landscaping is the first thing prospective buyers see, regardless of the season.
A study done by Clemson University found that homeowners get a 100% (and sometimes more) return on the money they invest in landscaping. Another study done by the National Association of Realtors Research Department found that 99% of homebuyers believe curb appeal is important when attracting a buyer. Having a nice yard does make a difference!
Landscaping Shouldn’t be too Minimal
If you want your home’s value to increase, planting a few flower beds and having a green lawn isn’t enough. Buyers are looking for something more. Yards that are well landscaped and have mature trees and bushes sell faster. That means, if your lot is bare, plan on giving your landscaping 5-7 years to mature for added value to your home.
A multi-state study found that homes with very minimal landscaping (simple design and small plants) can actually decrease the value of your home. On the other hand, sophisticated landscaping and mature plants with color add to the value of your home. Remember, landscaping needs to offer privacy too. Most people are looking for things like rock walls, patios, and nice edging around houses and garden bed areas.
Overall, landscaping positively differs from other home improvements. The value of landscaping increases over time when plants, trees, and bushes start to mature, unlike other home renovations.
Plan Your Plants Carefully
A good landscaper will be able to advise you on what plants will fit best in your areas. If you plan on deciding on the plants yourself, make sure you are getting advice from an expert. This could be as simple as going to your local garden center and getting advice there or asking a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member.
Avoid planting plants in the wrong areas. Plants that grow over windows or tree roots that will eventually push up your patio pavers or driveway will detract from your home’s value. Bad landscaping can decrease your home’s value. Making sure you do your planting right the first time will save you time and money!
3. How Difficult is Landscaping to Maintain?
The amount of care needed to take care of your landscaping will all vary depending on what you do. Most of the care needed will be the plants that you decide to plant and managing weeds. Patios, rock walls, and even some trees are typically low maintenance when it comes to new landscaping.
Know What you Plant
Each plant requires a different type of care. Knowing what you plant is the easiest way to know how to take care of your plants. If you are unsure what you already have in your yard, take a picture and ask your local gardening expert. This will help you know if you need to prune, split, fertilize, or all of the above!
If you want something easy to take care of, let your landscaper know during the planning stages. If you are planning on doing the planting yourself, research plants that require minimal care. Make sure you are planting sun-loving plants in sunny locations. Plant shade-loving plants in shady locations. This will help with caring for your plants so they don’t need to be moved or replaced later on.
Prune Your Plants
Trees, plants, and shrubs grow! Plan on pruning some plants annually to ensure the best growth. Remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches as soon as you spot them on your shrubs or trees. Again, each plant requires a different amount of care, so make sure you are pruning your plants during the right time of year!
Decks and Patios Need Care
Decks and Patios will require maintenance on an annual basis. For decks, this may mean checking boards and repainting every couple years. Patios may need cleaning to remove dirt and moss, and weeding between the cracks. To keep your decks and patios looking nice, check on them on them annually and make minor repairs when needed!
Retaining Walls, Boulders, and Edging Care
For the most part, retaining walls, boulders, and garden edging won’t require much care. Over the years, some areas may need weeding for a cleaner look. With age, some areas may need to be replaced. Generally, newer landscaping should hold up for many years and require little maintenance with retaining walls, edging, and boulders.
Three Landscaping Questions Answered
In the end, is landscaping worth the cost, value, and maintenance required for your home? Simply put, yes and yes again! Start planning your next landscaping project today!`
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