The first impression of your home may be the determining factor in selling it now or in the future. Smart landscaping projects can have a huge return on investment (ROI) — up to 400 percent. Some small additions such as flashing tape may not show from the outside but can add years of life to your outdoor structures.
How can you increase curb appeal for selling and long-term durability for your home? How can you make a great first impression, whether it’s for potential buyers, your neighbors, or your in-laws? Consider these nine outdoor improvements that can add value and beauty to your home.
1. Go for green.
Your lawn reflects the care and maintenance of your home. You don’t have to have golf greens, however, to have a neat and green lawn.
If you’re caring for your own lawn, a few keys to more green include:
- Watering deeply, but not necessarily daily. Consider a drip irrigation system set on a timer.
- Controlling weeds. Learn when and how to remove weeds and apply herbicides. Consult your local nursery or turf expert to properly identify the weed in question, so you can treat it with an effective spray.
- Testing your soil PH to determine the right fertilizer.
2. Repave or repair the driveway.
Whether you have crumbling concrete or cracked asphalt, your driveway may be not only an eyesore, but also difficult to drive or park on. If you have the money to upgrade, consider slip-resistant cobblestone pavers. Derived from an old English word meaning “pebbles in a riverbed,” these rounded stones became an ideal material for surfacing roads thousands of years ago. Today, they add classic beauty and rugged durability to any setting.
3. Create a clear entrance.
Some homes have multiple ways to enter, but a home with a focal point stands out. Welcome guests into your home with a clean, freshly painted door. Pick a fun new colour for your door. Also, be sure to clearly display your house number near the door and install a doorbell. If you have the money to invest, add a porch or veranda to create an appealing place to spend time outdoors and invite neighbors in.
4. Trim the trees and bushes.
Sprawling tree branches are not only unsightly, but potentially dangerous for your home or vehicles. Unruly shrubs can crowd walkways and driveways, cover windows, block views, and even tangle with electric lines, causing a safety hazard. You may need to hire a landscaping company to prune your trees, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
5. Build on a deck
Make the most of outdoor living by adding a deck, which provides flexible space with a huge return on investment. There are many designs and colors to choose from, especially if you use composite decking boards. However, moisture is the number one enemy of your deck, as it creates the perfect environment for mildew, mold and fungus. To stop rot, install a flashing tape such as Trex Protect at the time of construction. With a new deck in place, you can add an outdoor kitchen or pizza oven, or waterproof entertainment system.
6. Fix broken windows
A broken window can detract from your home’s value and energy efficiency. According to Australia’s guide to energy efficient homes, up to 40% of a home’s heating energy can be lost and up to 87% of its heat gained through windows. If you’re replacing a single window, try to match the style of your existing windows. If you’re doing a full-house replacement, you’ll have more flexibility with your choices, but also greater expense.
7. Welcome with plants.
Whether or not you have a green thumb, you can add a few touches to your landscape to improve your home’s curb appeal. A few flower pots by the front door can make a big difference. Consider all seasons as you choose any permanent trees or shrubbery to enhance the front of your home.
8. Build an outdoor fire pit
Fire pits range widely in looks and costs. To begin planning, determine how you want to use your fire pit and choose the right spot. Be mindful of your location in relation to your neighbours. Choose a look and feel for your new fire pit by getting inspiration for your options.
9. Add outdoor lighting
Adding a little light to the night has never been easier. Whether you install some solar lights along the path to your front door, add wired lampposts or light fixtures or simply string up some party lights over your deck, you’ll make your home more inviting and safer.
Whether you’re selling your home now or in the future, these nine home improvements can add value to your sale and your life. If you’re not selling, you can enjoy these upgrades now and in the future — when selling might be on the horizon!