Whether you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future or keeping it in your family for years to come, landscape design services can boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home. With the help of a professional landscape company, you can create a gorgeous landscape that will enhance your lifestyle and the beauty of your Northern New Jersey home.
Landscaping is the first thing that guests and potential buyers see. It can create a lovely, inviting entrance to your home or an eyesore for other homes in the neighborhood. According to real estate experts, good landscaping can add up to 28% to overall home value, even with minimal landscaping improvements. Here are eight ways to increase your home’s value with landscape design services.
1. Renovate Your Lawn
If your lawn has lost its lush, green curb appeal, or you’re noticing weeds, brown spots, bare patches or dead grass, new turf can give your home a beautiful, refreshed appearance. If you have provided regular lawn care and maintenance, chances are your lawn is still healthy and just needs some attention. If your grass has been planted for years and you don’t have a regular landscape professional, it may be time to replant new grass. As a general rule, if 50% of your lawn is grass, you may be able to re-seed, but if it’s full of weeds or brown spots, it’s best to dig it up and re-sod.
It takes considerable time and effort to keep a lawn green and healthy year-round. Even if you have the time to do your own lawn maintenance, chances are you don’t have adequate landscape knowledge to keep your lawn healthy. Over time, lawns often deteriorate from improper lawn care and maintenance, weed invasions, outdoor pest problems, inadequate drainage, heavy foot traffic or simply because the wrong grass species was initially planted. With professional landscape design services, a knowledgeable landscape company can address and eliminate all of these problems so your lawn will stay green and healthy year-round.
2. Plant Trees and Shrubs
Did you know that planting new trees and shrubs in your landscape can actually increase your home’s value? Well, according to real estate and landscaping experts, they can. A few simple trees can make an enormous difference to the sale price of your home. Real estate studies show that homes on tree-lined streets can sell for as much as 15% more than homes in neighborhoods with fewer trees. In an analysis of over 2,600 real-estate transactions over a 10-month period, researchers found that homes with trees sold for approximately $7,200 more than homes without trees, and also sold several days sooner. Trees and large shrubs provide numerous benefits for your landscape and your home:
- Absorb rainfall and prevent soil erosion
- Reduce carbon dioxide in the air and provide healthier outdoor air
- Promote energy savings with shade trees that cool your home in the summer
- Prevent wind damage to your home by buffering high winds
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, just three properly placed trees could save you between $100 and $250 a year in energy costs. Planting shade trees and windbreaks can reduce winter heating bills by 15 percent and air conditioning needs by as much as 75 percent. A landscape professional can provide expert landscape design services and help with planting the right trees.
3. Create Colorful Garden Areas
Planting garden beds or large garden areas will add wonderful color and texture to your landscape and create lovely focal points that attract attention. Beautiful flowers and blooming plants will create instant curb appeal for your home. Whatever the style of your home or size of your property, garden areas will create visual appeal and give your landscape a well-maintained appearance. Blooming flowers and plants can provide a rainbow of stunning color year-round if you use plants that bloom at different times throughout the seasons. Flowers and plants will soften the hard edges of architectural materials on your house and hard surfaces on driveways and walkways. Lush green foliage will add texture and visual interest while trees and shrubs will add depth and scale. If you plant aromatic flowers and plants, they will add wonderful scents to your landscape and invite beautiful birds and butterflies to your garden areas. With landscape design services and the right variety of plants, you can create a landscape with garden beds that create vibrant colors, interesting textures and stunning curb appeal.
In addition to colorful blooming garden areas, a landscape professional can also help you create unique specialty gardens that provide landscape and environmental benefits:
- Butterfly Gardens – Butterfly gardens are not only beautiful to watch, but they add benefits to your landscape. By growing plants that caterpillars and adult butterflies like to feed on, you can promote a healthy and natural eco-friendly outdoor environment.
- Zen Gardens – Zen gardens create a private area that promotes serenity and calmness. Professional landscape design services can provide soothing water sounds with an outdoor waterfall, fountain or in-ground Koi pond where you can relax and enjoy nature.
- Edible Gardens – Edible gardens provide a great way to grow healthy, inexpensive food right outside your back door. Cooking with fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, berries, herbs and spices from your own garden is a wonderful way to enjoy your meals.
4. Plant a Native Landscape
Native plants and trees are becoming a plus for properties that are subjected to extreme climate and weather conditions in certain seasons. They help to filter and distribute runoff water underground and prevent storm water from seeping into your basement and foundation. With professional landscape design services, plants that easily adapt to local climate and soil conditions are carefully selected. By planting a variety of plants native to Bergen County, you will provide seeds, pollen and nectar that serve as a natural food source for native birds, butterflies, insects and wildlife.
The term “xeriscaping” refers to creative landscaping that helps to promote water conservation. Although it was originally developed for drought-affected areas of the country, it has created popular landscape design services for Northern NJ landscapes as well. Xeriscaping provides homeowners a way to conserve water, reduce home expenses and create garden areas with native plants that require low maintenance. It can provide a natural looking landscape that’s formal and well-manicured, or a casual landscape with rural, country appeal. Xeriscaping provides many landscape benefits:
- Conserves Water – Reduces water use up to 75%
- Less Maintenance – Requires little maintenance other than trimming and weeding
- No Pollution – Small grassy areas don’t require gas mowers that need fuel
- No Pesticides – Native plants can survive on healthy organic soil
- Promotes Wildlife – Native plants and shrubs offer a natural habitat for local wildlife
5. Install Landscape Lighting
According to the National Association of Home Builders, landscape lighting consistently tops the list of homeowners’ most desirable outdoor features. Landscape lighting provides a warm, inviting ambiance that creates a comfortable outdoor environment. It creates mood and atmosphere and adds visual interest to your home and yard. Landscape lighting is one of the most important aspects of night time curb appeal, and one of the easiest ways to create a beautiful landscape with landscape design services.
Proper landscape lighting allows you to highlight focal points and interesting features on your home and in your yard. It provides an inviting entrance to your front door, and a pleasant atmosphere for entertaining in your back yard. Landscape lighting enhances home safety by preventing slip and fall accidents and protects against unwanted intruders. That added security can reduce burglaries and homeowner’s insurance claims. Some insurance companies offer up to 15% in discounts for homes with landscape lighting.
Landscape lighting comes in a wide variety of low-voltage, LED and solar fixtures in beautiful outdoor finishes. Fixtures like uplights and downlights are great for accenting trees, plants, garden beds and architectural features on your home. Pathway lights provide extra light and safety for walkways and pathways and create an inviting entrance. Motion detectors provide home safety alerts for unsuspected or unwanted visitors. Talk to a Bergen County landscape professional who provides landscape design services about landscape lighting and installation for your home.
6. Build Stone Walkways
Paving stone walkways are a beautiful accent for any Northern New Jersey landscape. They will quickly enhance your home’s curb appeal and increase your home’s value. When installed in the front yard, they will provide a safe, inviting entrance to your front door. In the back yard, they can be used to create a non-slip passageway between the house and the pool, spa or outdoor fireplace.
Stone pavers are available in a variety of beautiful colors and textures. You can create walkways or pathways that blend quietly into your landscape or stand out with contrast and visual impact. Pavers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be laid to form straight, long walkways or winding pathways with intricate patterns. Since stone pavers are usually installed over natural soil and gravel beds, you don’t have to worry about cracking from poured materials when they settle. Individual stone pavers are resilient, so cracking and chipping over time with normal wear is minimal. Professional landscape design services can provide outdoor stone walkways that quickly boost landscape appeal and home value.
7. Install Outdoor Water Features
Nothing adds an inviting, comfortable atmosphere to a landscape more than the soothing sounds of running water. Outdoor water features like waterfalls, fountains and streams or ponds can boost your home’s value by up to 20%. Depending on the size and layout of your back yard, consider some unique water features that will create a spectacular focal point in your landscape:
- Natural Rock Waterfalls – Create a natural rock waterfall in a quiet corner of the yard surrounded by lovely trees, shrubs, plants and landscape lighting. With professional landscape design services, you can create a two or three-tier waterfall with trickling water that falls into a stream below or recycles itself with a hidden pump.
- Free-Standing Fountains – If you have a small yard, a fountain is a great way to provide water sounds while conserving space in the landscape. In the front yard, it can provide a welcoming entrance. In the back yard, it can provide a comfortable atmosphere for guests. You can make it a captivating focal point, or surround it with plants for a more natural setting.
- Outdoor Ponds – If you want a great landscape feature that family and guests will love, consider an outdoor pond with underwater lighting, plants, flowers and colorful fish. It will create a peaceful area in the yard where your can relax with your morning coffee or gather with friends for quiet conversations. To create running water, add a small ledge with a trickling waterfall.
8. Create Outdoor Entertaining Areas
An Outdoor Patio
An outdoor patio will create a lot of new opportunities for family activities and entertaining friends. It will expand your interior living space and give you a comfortable area to enjoy your back yard year-round. You can build a patio adjacent to your house, or in a more remote location within the landscape. If you have a large yard, consider terraced levels that can be used for larger gatherings and more privacy. Whether you locate your patio next to the house or further away, consider adding an outdoor kitchen for endless outdoor dining and entertaining possibilities.
An Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit
An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will create a warm, inviting gathering place for family and friends. Whether it’s a warm summer night or a chilly winter evening, a cozy fire provides a great spot for relaxing, conversing or roasting marshmallows. A fireplace will be more expensive to build, but it may provide more flexibility for entertaining. A fire pit is typically built in the yard, but it may offer more privacy away from the house. Talk to a landscape company who provides design/build landscape design services for outdoor features about an outdoor fireplace or fire pit for your back yard.