Professional Landscaping: Is it Worth the Investment?
Have you ever driven through a neighborhood full of perfectly cut grass, beautiful gardens and manicured hedges? You may think to yourself, I could do that! Maybe you can, but landscape architecture is a profession backed by a four year degree and extensive knowledge in botany, horticulture as well as engineering and design. So, what can these professionals bring to your yard and is it worth the investment?
The rule of thumb for landscaping is that by spending 10% of your homes value on landscaping can add up to 20% to the selling price. This is not an immediate return on investment however. It takes about 5 years for plants to fill in, trees to put down strong root and everything to meld together to create a lush gardenscape and lawn. After 5 years you can expect a 75-100% return on investment plus the value it will add to your home in a sale.
Yards can also mean a lot to potential buyers. As the first thing they see when they pull up, a well kempt yard gives a great first impression and sets expectations on the inside of the house as well. All factors equal, it is possible a buyer will choose one house over another simply due to the landscaping. Knowing that landscaping has already been done also may draw buyers because it is an investment they do not have to make in the future. Maintaining an already landscaped yard is much easier than starting from scratch.
Once you decide to use a professional landscaper there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Certifications for landscape architects do exist. Alongside a four year degree, the American Society of Landscape Architects provides certification to landscape architects. “The Society’s mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.” Members obtain certification, continued education and professional support and can be trusted for any landscaping project, large or small.
- There are lots of options when it comes to landscaping. From simply sprucing up your yard to a complete overhaul, landscape architects are trained and qualified to provide any level of assistance. On a smaller scale adding new gardens, laying sod and planting trees can do wonders for your yard. Other trends include adding terraces, arbors, pools, paving stones along plants, trees and sod. A landscape architect can help assess your property and make suggestions based on your expectations.
- Maintenance is required. From mowing and pruning to watering and weeding, landscaping takes commitment. You can always build a plan with your architect for upkeep on your own. If that seems a bit overwhelming, landscaping companies generally have teams of people that will come to your house as often as you like to help as much or as little as you wish.
Landscaping can seem like just one more thing to do on your property but, the investment is well worth it. From the increase in your property value, to the compliments from your neighbors and homegrown bouquets around the house, landscaping can bring more than just a monetary reward. By doing your research, requesting the guidance of a professional and keeping up with maintenance you will surely see the fruits of your labor for years to come.