As Spring quickly approaches and we wave goodbye to winter, many homeowners eagerly await the sight of emerging landscapes so they may once again venture into their yards to dream of how to enrich their outdoor living spaces. For some, the enrichment comes in the form of a new lawn and shrub beds as the final stage of their new home construction project comes to fruition; for others, it is in the form of an existing landscape renovation. Whatever the scope of the project, homeowners today are becoming more keenly aware of the benefits of a well developed landscape surrounding their home.
The benefits of completing and enriching a home’s landscape begin with enriching the lives of the individuals who live there. A landscape is meant to provide an extension of the indoor living space and become an expression of one’s tastes and decorative style. Just as interior designers capture a homeowner’s traditional, contemporary or modern style in furniture, paint and accessory selections, so too can a homeowner’s style be captured in the outdoor landscape. Formal styles can be represented with a great deal of symmetry and structure not only in plant material selections and placement, but also with hardscape elements such as patios and walkways. Other “organic’ styles may include more unstructured elements such as perennial gardens, water gardens and natural stonework that weaves its way around the property. Many homes lend themselves to a combination approach in landscaping. Consider formalizing the front yard while allowing the backyard to have various elements of whimsy and freedom. Whatever your style, experiment with your landscape to make it truly a unique reflection of the people that live there.
Another more economic reason to consider the development and enrichment of your home’s landscape is in the resale value of the property. According to industry experts, a well designed and installed landscape can increase the value of a home by as much as 20%. However, keep in mind that it depends on how well the landscape plan was developed and executed. A landscaped home with drainage issues or improperly placed plant materials or hardscape items such as walkways and patios can provide a negative impression to a potential buyer. They do not see the home as a “turnkey” purchase and that will drag the resale value down. It is important to utilize the expertise of certified, professional landscape designers and contractors who will be able to help you maximize your home’s value with proper planning and installation of landscape elements beneficial to your environment. Look for companies which are members of the provincial landscape association and who have landscape industry certified professionals on staff. Spend your money wisely with a company that can help you avoid costly mistakes down the road. It will be well worth it both in the enjoyment of your property now and with the financial gains realized in resale value in the future.