Building a custom home or remodeling the one you have is an exciting time. It’s fun to design the layout, choose fixture and furnishings, and imagine the happy times you’ll enjoy inside with family and friends. It’s also satisfying knowing you’re doing something to increase your home’s value. There’s another home improvement project that increases value, but it’s one that often gets overlooked: landscaping. Proper landscaping has a direct influence on curb appeal and, besides the house itself, is the first thing potential buyers notice about a property.
What is proper landscaping? It’s merging a home with its natural surroundings to create a sense of place. Whether you want to create outdoor entertainment areas, install a formal garden, or plant evergreens for privacy, your home’s exterior should be just as inviting as its interior. With this in mind, there are a number of landscaping steps you can take to increase your Great Falls home’s value – and make it as appealing and functional as possible.
The Essentials of Great Landscaping
Remember that great landscaping is first and foremost for your family’s enjoyment. Here are the top three essentials:
- Trees are important for every landscape and can add a lot of character to both your home and the surrounding neighborhood. Don’t be intimidated by the number of choices. Nearly every yard has room for some trees, which are well worth the investment. Shade trees help cool you home in the summer while windbreaks help warm it in the winter. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, just several strategically placed trees can save you up to $250 per year. To find out which trees will benefit you the most, use the National Tree Benefit Calculator for your neighborhood.
- Native Plants thrive without your having to spend more time and money, and they’ll save you money as well. In Fairfax County, new initiatives have been introduced that promote the use of native plants: a native plant campaign, an on-line native plant guide, and a statewide campaign to promote more plantings. Northern VA native plants are appreciated for their shade, beauty, environmental benefits, and wildlife habitat they provide.
- Outdoor Lighting can truly transform your home. Besides functional benefits such as lighting the way to the front door, strategically placed lights highlight your landscaping choices and give your home a warm and inviting look. Done right, lighting makes the best of what you have, drawing attention to your custom home’s unique architectural features. On the backyard patio, try a handful of tree-mounted lights to grill by and set a mood-setting glow.
The Little Extras
Fencing, retaining walls, winding paths, and terracing are all features that will add individuality to your landscaping. Fences create privacy, set boundaries and keep pets and intruders out. Retaining walls and terracing are ideal for heavily sloped lots that would otherwise be planted with grass or ground covers. They’re a great way to add color and texture to large lots with expansive lawns, and they also help control erosion and surface runoff. Finally, whether you choose a solid stone path, pavers, or stepping stones, walkways are a charming and attractive way to welcome guests into your home.
Landscaping adds warmth, color, and texture to the place your family loves to live. From blooming shrubs, to trees, or even deer-proofing your garden, there are many beautiful ways to make your Great Falls home inviting and appealing, while adding value at the same time. To learn more about how landscaping can add value to your home, schedule a conversation with us today.