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Time to Dig In: Why it pays to landscape your home

The value of professional landscaping goes beyond curb appeal. It actually puts money in your pocket, says Landscape Ontario public relations manager and former HGTV celebrity Denis Flanagan. Learn how you can see a return on your investment when you consider landscaping your home.

“Years ago people would drive down a street and pretty much tell you what each car cost but couldn’t tell you what the gardens cost,” says Flanagan. “That’s changed. People are doing more research and understanding the value of a nicely laid pathway, well-manicured lawn and good plantings.”

Real estate board statistics indicate that good landscaping can add as much as 14 per cent to the resale value of a home. While there’s nothing wrong with doing the work yourself, starting with a professional design removes the guesswork, helping you to avoid costly mistakes. Professional landscapers also help you to understand your property’s soil type, sun and shade exposure, and will ensure you make the right colour choices when it comes to matching exterior paint, siding or brickwork.

Time to Dig In: Why it pays to landscape your home

“I cringe when I go into a new subdivision and I see Japanese Maples and Rhododendrons stuck on the northeast corner and I know I’m going to walk by in six months and see them dead,” says Flanagan. “We’re all like kids in the candy store in garden centres. We go in and buy something in full bloom, take it home and want to show it off in front of our house, but have we really done the homework?”

Professional advice comes in many forms, from a visit to your local garden centre or botanical garden to an at-home consultation. If you decide to tackle an outdoor design project this season, Flanagan offers the following tips:

  • Think ahead. Consider putting conduits under pathways so that it’s easier to add lighting and irrigation at a later stage.
  • Dig once. If you are bringing in heavy machinery to dig a walkway or patio, it pays to do your beds at the same time, even if you won’t be planting right away.
  • Be patient. If your plan calls for bulbs that can only be planted in the fall, do what you can to prepare now and then wait. “Certain plants go well together … It’s worth waiting sometimes,” says Flanagan.
  • Put the right plant in the right spot. Be wary of over-planting and planting too close to buildings.
  • Take all sides into account. “A pet peeve of mine is that we always talk about the front and back but we never talk about the sides of houses,” says Flanagan. A side property is often its own “micro climate,” he adds, and a good place to grow herbs.
  • Look up. Vertical gardens are on trend this year. Consider using vines or hanging baskets to cover pergolas, fences and walls, or creating a hanging design of your own.
  • Start with trees. If you’re working within a budget and decide to spread your plan over 2 to 3 years, Flanagan’s advice is to “get those trees in first.”
  • Do your homework. Once you’ve decided on a contractor or designer, check their references and be sure to ask to see their liability insurance and WSIB coverage.

Time to Dig In: Why it pays to landscape your home

Landscaping ROI at a Glance

  • Landscaping can add as much as 14% to your home’s resale value.
  • A landscaped home sells faster.
  • Properly placed trees and plants can lower your home heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%.
  • Shading your air conditioner can increase its efficiency by 10%.
  • A mature tree often has an appraised value between $1,000 and $10,000.

Have you been inspired to update the landscape of your home? Take a look at eieihome’s directory of landscapers.

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