When Making Home Improvements, Think Outside the Locks

Gardening supplies

Most homeowners dedicate most of their maintenance time and budget to the inside of the home. But taking care of the outside of your home is just as important — if not more so. Here are some things to take into consideration when thinking about your landscaping.

If you want to make improvements to your home that will increase its value, you likely will be tempted to do something to your bathroom or kitchen or to finish unfinished space, such as an attic or basement. While those are all good projects that will add significant value to your home, they can’t hold a candle to landscape improvements. Landscaping can increase your home’s resale value by as much as 14% on average, and investing just 5% of your home’s value into landscape improvements can bring you a 150% return on investment. By contrast, the average kitchen or bath remodel will get you less than an 80% return on average.

When thinking about your landscape improvements, you have to think about whether you are mostly going to stick with organic improvements, such as planting trees and flowers and sprucing up the grass, or are you also going to make improvements to the hardscape by adding things such as crushed concrete walkways, retaining walls and pavers. If you are going the organic route, the kind of gardening supplies you choose is important. With gardening supplies, it’s important to choose plants and trees that not only look good, but that are durable as well. You also want to be sure you choose the right soil for gardening and planting, to give your plants, trees and shrubs the best chance to prosper.

When it comes to hardscape improvements, you have a lot of choices, and it’s not all just about looks. Many hardscape improvements have utility as well. For example, a one-inch layer of small rocks placed in a flower bed can provide good weed control — much better weed control than mulch. Putting crushed shell or using fill dirt can help with drainage.

Whatever landscape improvements you make, keep in mind how much they will contribute to value and also whether or not they are making a positive change to your land. You don’t want to make changes that divert water into your basement, for example.

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