Landscaping Tips From A General Contractor – Forbes Advisor

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Finding the balance between function and beauty is the result of excellent landscaping. But does the excellence of the landscape have to break the bank? Not with some information, it doesn’t. Here’s what our contractor had to say about things he sees in the field every day, including thoughts on saving time and money.

Q: What landscaping has the highest resale value?

A: To answer that question, think about the return on investment (ROI). For every $ 100 spent building a new deck, the resale value increases by about $ 80. Newly installed terraces at ground level have an average ROI close to or above 100%. Compared to an average bathroom renovation, which has an ROI of around 50%, patios and decking are great for increasing resale value.

The renovation of an existing terrace or terrace can achieve even higher yields. However, the housing markets are delicate. Talk to a broker or market expert before investing money in hopes of a return.

Well-organized softscaping is one of the less expensive but effective options. Planting trees, shrubs, and plants will make your yard look better and can add dollars to the list price of your home.

Q: What are the biggest landscaping mistakes people make?

A: Perturbing water drainage and planting too close to the house aren’t the most common mistakes, but they are the most expensive ones when things go wrong.

Many people love gardening. Shrubs and flowers add beauty to a garden. They can also do a lot of damage if carelessly planted. Concrete foundations are considered to be the strongest part of a house. However, this strength can be compromised to the point of failure when roots enter from a nearby shrub. Water leaks and cracked masonry can result, and repairs are expensive.

The worst situation I struggled with was a homeowner looking for a shallow spot for perennials and leveling the slope of the ground that kept rainwater away from the foundation. A lack of drainage and an invasive root system had degraded this part of the foundation to the point of danger within a few years.

Planting near the foundation is usually not a huge problem. Just make sure the roots of your plants aren’t too aggressive and that excess water has a place and route to get there.

Q: Have you ever worked on the interior design and how does that fit in with a house remodeling?

A: While I was never the one to decide which plant went where, I was responsible for creating spaces designed to hold indoor water features and planting areas. Creating an interior landscape is often a team effort that includes the homeowner, a qualified interior designer, and a builder.

However, an architect needs to be aware of all indoor greening plans, especially when it comes to water. Get them involved early to save time and money.

Q: What are a few landscaping tips and tricks that anyone could do to make them more attractive?

A: Anyone can tell you that spending a fortune hiring a designer and landscaper to completely overhaul your yard will make the curb more attractive. Here are some cheaper ideas that can work just as well:

  • Keep your yard mowed and weeded
  • Shorten lawn edges on sidewalks
  • Keep your shrubs and hedges pruned
  • Ground plants and flower containers are simple and effective
  • Install low voltage or solar powered walkway lighting
  • Clean sidewalks and retaining walls with high pressure from time to time
  • Freshen up mulched areas by applying new mulch directly on top of the old one

These things not only add to the appeal of the curb; they can also increase resale value. It also makes potential buyers feel that if the exterior is well cared for, then the interior care is likely to be up to date too.

Q: What are a few must-have landscaping tools for homeowners?

A: Just the basics are all you need to make your landscape look great. A decent lawn mower and weed trimmer go a long way in making gardening fun and not feel like a chore. Pole shears for pruning trees and shears for pruning bushes are essential. Otherwise, all you need is a couple of garden tools and a shovel or two. Everything else in the shed is mostly for convenience.

Most importantly, you will need a garden chair so that you can relax and take advantage of your hard work.

Q: What do you think is the most overlooked task in landscaping?

A: The most frequently ignored task is lawn aeration. It takes some effort to achieve this, but it’s well worth it. Spending half a day aerating your lawn once a year will increase its health dramatically. It can save money on unnecessary fertilizer applications by naturally greening the grass. It also saves water by soaking it into compacted soil rather than draining it. A lawn fan can be rented from your local hardware store for about the cost of a bag of grass seeds.

Q: How can people save more money on landscaping?

A: Careful gardening is the best thing you can do to save money on landscaping. Chances are that what’s already in your yard will continue to look good as long as it’s clean, trimmed, and cared for. Money spent on good tools that make gardening enjoyable, rather than expensive, exotic plants, will make it much more likely to get maintenance done and look great.

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