How Residential Landscaping Offers A High ROI

Residential Landscaping

It is well known that quality,?professional residential landscaping?can offer a much higher return on investment (ROI) compared to other home improvements. In a recent Society of Real Estate survey of appraisers, 99 per cent of the respondents agreed that landscaping enhances the curb appeal of residential real estate, making it likely to sell faster. Ninety-five per cent of the respondents also agreed that buyers had no problem paying 10 to 20 per cent more than the original value of the home before landscaping.

The home improvement that keeps improving

Residential landscaping not only increases your property?s value and selling price, but also keeps the price going up as the landscape matures. It is extremely satisfying to know that your investment will continue to increase the value of one of your biggest assets over time. And when you decide to sell, purchasers will pay a premium for mature and well maintained landscape.

This is because well-tended landscapes ? that are not overgrown ? give potential homebuyers the impression that the sellers are responsible, and that the inside is also likely to be well cared for. Real estate agents agree that most homebuyers get more excited when visiting homes that look inviting than those that seem dreary, with the exception of flippers.

It extends your living space

Transforming your yard into an attractive space gives you extra square footage you can enjoy instantly and for years to come. Hardscaping, which includes adding firepits, seats, fireplaces, and patio pavers, among other things, allows you to do anything that you would do inside your home outside and in the comfort of your compound.

To continue enjoying your landscape without detracting from it, consider:

  • Keeping the garden tidy: Trimming shrubs, pruning trees, and keeping the yard weed-free are all inexpensive ways to keep your landscape looking neat. You can manage weeds by using pre-emergent herbicides (dependent on what province you?re in) that kill weed seeds before they grow, or by applying mulch and raking it periodically to maintain a fresh, earthy look.
  • Planting many trees: The value of trees increases over time. In fact, landscape appraisers claim that a $10 sapling can be worth between $1,000 and $10,000 when mature. This is a huge return on investment, and the more trees you have the greater your ROI. If you plan on staying in your current home for more than five years, plant small trees. But if you plan on selling sooner, buying larger trees will be better so they mature just before selling.
  • Adding an outdoor entertainment area: Among the most desired outdoor elements among homebuyers are firepits and permeable paving, along with low-maintenance landscaping, which add the most value to your landscape. You can make your own firepit as a DIY project, or purchase one for a few dollars. Permeable paving is also quite affordable at about $600 per 100-sq.-ft.-area.
  • Drought preparedness: Installing an automated sprinkler system promises potential homebuyers a virtually maintenance-free yard. But with longer drought spells, you can have an even bigger impact on potential buyers if you landscape with drought-tolerant plants. Considering that nearly one-third of household water goes to landscaping, opting for environmentally friendly plants can mean a huge reduction in your water bills. Xeriscaping ? low-water-use-renovations ? is a worthwhile investment that will reduce your water costs in the short term, and pay off with higher home value when you decide to sell.
  • Add some seasonal plants for beauty: Although low-maintenance landscape offers the best ROI, you can take advantage of perennial flowering plants to act as a backdrop. Most flowers are annuals, but opting for more perennials will reduce the workload for replanting (redoing the landscape) each spring as they can survive for years. Options for perennials include lavender, rosemary, catmint, and sage, which add colour, scent, and can be used in recipes. Other less thirsty landscaping plant options include succulents, such as aloes and agaves, and vines, such as wisteria, grapes, and honeysuckles.
Safeguard your investment: Hire professional landscape contractors

Quality, low-maintenance residential landscaping projects typically cost about 10 per cent of the home?s value. Assuming that the improvements increase the value of your home by 15 per cent, it means that you get back 1.5 times your investment, or a 150 percent ROI. Seek professional help to identify responsible landscaping choices that will increase your ROI, such as those that add beauty and comfort, require minimal maintenance, and are economical.

When done right, investing in landscaping can make you feel good even in tough economic times. But this requires coherent, sophisticated design that can only be achieved with a skilled and experienced contractor. So, homeowners looking to increase their property?s value should protect their investment by working with the right licensed, professional residential landscape contractors. Otherwise you risk ending up with a disorganized space that detracts from your home?s curb appeal.

Shade Planting

Shady, damp areas are often a difficult place to maintain a garden. Coniferous (cone bearing trees) tend to create a rather acid soil environment making plant growth difficult. The soil can be amended with calcium sources. It is better to use decorative mulch, rather than plants under trees. Mulch will prevent root damage to the trees. Under deciduous trees (broad leaf trees) it is not necessarily a desirable place to plant, because of potential root damage to the trees. When you go outside of the drip line (the edge of the branches) the roots are deeper and the soil is less acidic making planting desirable.

Often by looking at a plants foliage, you can tell if it will do well in a damp shady area. Shade plants have large leaves to maximize photosynthesis.

Some good plant choices for shade include:

  • Lily of the valley ? Convallaria majalis
  • Hosta lily?s ? Hosta crispula/elata
  • Bergenia ? Bergenia crassifolia
  • Large rooted geraniums ? Geranium macrorrhizum

Annual Planting

Landscaping ideas about planting your garden

Gardeners look forward to the bright, instant flash of colour annual flowering plants bring to their planters and flower beds. The number of cultivars available to the home or commercial gardener is truly abundant.

To ensure the success of your newly purchased planting materials, it is important to keep them well watered before and after planting. A cool overcast day is ideal, when transferring young ornamentals to their new environment. A hot sunny day will cause additional shock to transplants, leaving plants wilted or scorched. Soil should be tilled up and moist prior to planting. If the soil is excessively heavy or sandy, compost or peat can be incorporated.

These pre-planting additions will aid in the development of new roots. Slow release granular fertilizers can be added at this time. When it comes time to remove plants from their cell packs, loosen or slightly score the roots, this will stimulate growth and spread. If roots are not stimulated they will grow and continue to circle them selves causing reduced over all vigour.

Transplants should be planted level with the soil. If annuals are planted too deep rot can occur and if the root ball is left slightly exposed then plant will dry out excessively. The soil should be lightly tamped and watered throughly.

Water soluble fertilizers can be added after planting, if pre-planting fertilizers have not been previously added. Fertilizers for flowering plants should be high in phosphorus, this is represented by the middle number in a fertilizer ratio. These ratios are always printed on the packaging of any fertilizer.

The single most important factor to ensure the survival of annual plantings is to keep them well watered during their initial establishment. Annual transplants have to be watered daily unless it is raining adequately.

When to Time your Tree Pruning

Landscaping Calgary Tree Pruning

It is a general rule to prune trees while they are dormant to minimize damage and stimulate new growth.

Fruit bearing trees are pruned during dormancy to reduce crop quantity, but increase the fruits quality. This timing will also aid in new bud formation the following year.

Spring pruning should be complete before the buds begin to open. However diseased or damaged branches should be immediately removed. Evergreens do well if pruned right after the wood has had a chance to thaw. To achieve a compact effect on pine trees, pruning should be put off until late June.

Pruning has a dwarfing effect on all trees but more so if it id done in June and July. Flowering trees should also be pruned during the summer after the trees have flowered. If a tree is particularly late flowering it can be pruned in the spring just before active growth begins.

Trees such as Maple or Birch are considered bleeders and should be pruned in the summer, when the leaves are fully formed. Summer time pruning will minimize excessive sap loss.

Late summer and early fall pruning should be left for dead wood only. Any extra pruning at this time before dormancy can stimulate new growth, this growth will not be able to harden off adequately before winter. Damage usually includes cankers and excessive die back. Deciduous trees thrive with a late winter early spring pruning.

Beautiful Garden Beds

Calgary Garden Beds

If you have taken on the task of building your own bed, you should keep in mind to have at least 12? of top soil. This will be optimal for your plants root systems to grow and flourish. Be sure you use ?Garden Mix? and not just loam to help your plants the proper nutrients for the transition from pots to the ground. Raised beds are recommended because they look beautiful and a good edger will help prevent annoying grass from growing in your beds.

Timing your Turf Fertilizers

Timing for your yard fertilizers

Now that the frost is slowing coming out of the soil, it is time to start thinking about fertilizing your lawn.

How often you fertilize a home lawn depends on your soil type. Most of Calgary has very rich clay soil. Clay based soils hold nutrients very well, unlike sandy soils that naturally leach fertilizers. Properties in the river valleys tend to have sandy soils.

Ideally lawns in Calgary should be fertilized 2 to 3 times a year. The regimen for two applications a year, is late spring and early fall. The greenest lawns are the ones that had a early September fertilizer application. It is a common mistake to fertilize in early April rather than the fall. If you have missed the fall application it is best for the turf to wait until late May.

If you choose to do 3 applications a year, the first should be in late summer. The next application should be late fall, followed by a May application.

If a lawn is in need of repair from neglect or weed problems, 4 applications a year can be used. The first application should be late summer, followed by a late fall application. The third amount would be late spring and the final fertilizer is added in early summer. Add a cool day and irrigation to these application dates and success shall be yours.

Your Extended Living Space

Extending your living space into your backyard.

When you build a home, you know that you are going to be putting in a kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms. Often people get so caught up on the interior, they forget about the exterior. Your backyard is truly an extension of your home (a phrase you will hear me say over and over again) and it should be treated as another space. Would you forget to put couches in your living room? A counter in your kitchen?

Now what you can add to your outdoor space will depend on your needs and budget. A general rule of thumb is your backyard budget should be 10% of the value of your home. If you entertain often, an outdoor kitchen and large patio is a good choice. If you have a hectic work schedule and enjoy your time alone, a small work area, zen garden and a hammock would be an idea. If you are a nature lover fill your yard with tall trees, privacy screens and beautiful gardens to fully benefit from your yard. A yard is as unique as your home and it should reflect you and your family.