20 Aug Add value to your property with our landscaping ideas
Do you want to add value to your property and personalise it at the same time? In this blog we look at cost-effective landscaping tricks to improve kerb appeal and get a better return on your investment.
I’ve just been watching “homes under the hammer”. That TV programme people buy a tired building at auction, do some renovations and increase its value accordingly. I wonder if I ought to contact the producers to see if they’d like to do a similar program highlighting how landscaping adds value to a property and speeds sales. I could call it “Gardens Under The Gavel”.
Which landscaping ideas will add value to a property?
Estate agents use the term “kerb appeal” to describe the first impressions created by a property. It refers to the way the building looks from a distance. Its proportions, how it fits in to its surroundings, what state of repair it’s in – that sort of thing.
Craig Tarbett of Gallant Richardson Estate Agents in Colchester says of kerb appeal “when viewing a property, people tend to form their first impressions within the first 7 seconds of seeing it. If in that time, they form a negative impression I can almost guarantee that they’ll not put in an offer for the property. ”
Before and after: How landscaping can improve kerb appeal and add value to a property
Stong kerb appeal can add 5-10% on to the value of a property and it can certainly help it sell quicker – especially in Essex and Suffolk where busy folks want to move straight in without doing any decorating or repairs
So what can be done to improve kerb appeal?
Fencing and hedging
There is an old saying that “Good fences make good neighbours” and I think there’s quite a lot of truth in it. No matter how well you get on with your neighbours, it’s good to have boundaries.
Imagine approaching a property that you are thinking of buying and seeing that the boundary line is a mess. Your first thought is “what is the rest of the place like?” and then “how much will I have to pay to fix that?”
A well presented and well maintained fence adds kerb appeal
A neatly trimmed hedge or a well maintained fence say “welcome to my sanctuary, you’ll be safe here”. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a low picket fence or a high hedge with electric gates. A good strong, clearly delineated boundary offers instant kerb appeal.
Paths and Driveways
Off street parking is a plus point for any property. But not so much if it amounts to little more than a patch of concrete with weeds growing through the cracks. Likewise an uneven and unattractive front path can have an almost hostile feel.
A neat drive or a broad and tidy path made using materials that complement the building give a feeling of accessibility and consideration for visitors.
This driveway in Sudbury is weedfree, well drained, well lit and roomy.
You might not take notice of it as you approach the building, but if it were muddy,rutted and unkempt, you would take note – but not in a good way.
Assuming that the front garden is the first thing you see once you are through the gate of the property, it can make or break the kerb appeal of a property.
For a property on an estate, the front garden, even if it is tiny can really set the tone of the whole property. It doesn’t need to be a cacophony of colour. It doesn’t need to be high maintenance, it doesn’t even have to have living plants in it. But it does need to have some sort of character to set it aside from every other property in the area, and it needs to look as though it is loved. There’s no crime in disliking gardening. Just design and build your outdoor space so that it requires as little maintenance as possible.
A good landscaper can work wonders with different materials in a tiny garden.
If you have a large front garden, celebrate that space. Make it welcoming, comfortable, safe, bright and a true asset to your property.
Technically, the back garden might not affect the kerb appeal of a property but that doesn’t mean that it won’t add value.
Just as a tastefully decorated living room helps speed up a sale, a well designed, well built and well maintained back garden says to a potential buyer “move in tomorrow, I’m ready for you”
Decluttering and returfing can instantly make a well-used garden look inviting and attractive
If you are thinking of putting your property on the market and want to get the best possible price for it, you won’t necessarily need to do a whole re-design for a back garden. A few tweaks can make a huge difference
- Clear out all of the junk you’ve accumulated
- Make sure fences and gates are freshly painted and in good condition
- Ditto for sheds and summerhouses
- Pressure wash the patio – or – if it’s particularly dated, replace it
- Returf the lawn – it’ll give the whole garden a lift
- Refresh the planting. For the real wow factor, ask a garden designer to create a planting plan for you.
The importance of doing a professional standard job
DIY is great – at least it can be – but for a really high-end finish to any job – even if it’s “just” turfing you can’t beat getting a professional on board. It certainly frees up your time for decorating indoors or for house hunting. Just be careful to avoid “cowboy” landscapers who might even lose value for you. The Association of Professional Landscapers has a directory of qualified and trustworthy garden builders and we’re proud to be one of them.