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Get Inspired: Backyard Home Improvement Tips from the Experts

Adams Landscaping, among other landscape professionals, was recently featured on the Redfin Blog to share our advice for any homeowner looking to give their backyard a makeover.

Has the backyard ever been more important in the history of homeownership? With access to outdoor recreation fluctuating alongside coronavirus case numbers, those of us with backyards should take a moment to reflect on the beauty of having our own, private outdoor space. Even better, we should invest in it! If you're looking to add value to your home in the age of COVID, cultivating a great-looking backyard is one of the best places to start. To get you started, we gathered backyard experts from Portland to Philadelphia to get you the inside scoop on beautifying your outdoor space.

First, develop a plan for your backyard

We recommend that everyone starts with an expertly designed plan. We would suggest working with a landscape designer and they will use their expertise and experience to give you a design that you will love and that will be an investment for years to come. When we design and install projects we start with conversations with you about your goals and design a space around your needs and how you want to use the space. Whether you're looking to add a custom pool, a patio, a walkway, or just refresh your plants, talk to a landscape designer first and you will be sure to love the end product! - GreenRoots Landscaping

Landscape design is not only home improvement; it's an investment in the resale value of your property. Rational investors make well-thought-out plans for their money, and for this reason, it's important to have a cohesive landscape design plan to work from, even if you plan to have the work done in stages. The plan should be actionable and include a color-coded rendering ("landscaping map"), example photos of plants and materials to be used, a list of estimated costs, a list of places to procure plants and materials (or a list of contractors who can do the various types of work), and a narrative that explains what you're going for and why, what challenges you have to address, and instructions for care or maintenance. An investment in such a plan will maximize the investment in the resale value of your property that is landscape design. - Low Country Vistas

Always consult a professional before spending any money on landscaping. Just like when purchasing a home with a realtor, there are design choices that either add value to your property or take away from it. The cost of a design is well worth having an expert problem-solver for you. Additionally, have pictures of landscapes you like ready to email or share with your landscape designer. It’s much easier to identify a style visually than to call it by a name that both parties may identify as different style terms.

Know your budget. Just like in car shopping, your landscaper doesn’t care if you drive a Kia or a Maserati to get from point A to point B. Both shine brilliantly coming off the assembly line, but there is a substantial difference in what goes into them in detail. The same is true with landscaping. The landscaper can’t design the right materials to give you the most bang for your buck if they don’t know how many bucks you have dedicated to the project.

Lastly, choose a company that you like who has longevity and references in the area. Enjoy the process. - Anderson Landscapes

When someone is thinking of giving their yard a makeover we suggest the following tips. The most important step is planning the project, second is to define the spaces that you will need and prioritize according to your use and budget. A beautiful yard can be achieved on every budget. - A Greener Tomorrow, Inc.

Increase your home's value on a budget

Many new homes are built with concrete patios. Consider enlarging the patio, it reduces yard maintenance and increases entertainment space. Using black concrete as the patio material is a budget-saving tip. Then consider enhancing the design with natural stone touches and dwarf plants. The addition of an evergreen hedgerow can create the beginnings of the private outdoor entertainment space of your dreams. - Outdoor Images

Working with small spaces: Over the many years of designing and creating spaces for homeowners, the most desired aspects of landscaping is an outdoor living area to create memories with friends and family. Maximizing living space with some type of feature whether its a firepit/fireplace or some type of grilling area with the ability to squeeze in a countertop or an area to maximize seating for guests. The desire is to create intimate spaces and slow time down as much as we can.

Tips for increasing home value by improving your yard: Repairing or replacing any damaged or outdated hardscapes, installing low voltage landscape lighting (never install solar) around your yard such as uplights on trees, stonework, pathway lights along your driveway and pathways, installing flower beds around your home which will make it stand out from the rest. - Rocky Mountain Precision Services

Pick the perfect plants

Take some time to research what plants grow in your area! I can’t count how many times I’ve had to tell a client that the beautiful plant they saw in Hawaii, Instagram, etc. just won’t grow in their area. Tons of companies will try to sell you on plants that may look good now, but won’t even last a few months. It’s just not worth throwing all that money down the drain when you could’ve found out from a professional that the beautiful Plumeria you planted had no way of surviving the first week of winter. - Adams Landscaping

Privacy should be a high priority

Given everything going on, we are seeing more and more customers request privacy screenings and plantings this year. Now that people are spending more time at home or working from a home office, they no longer want to look at the neighbor's shed, house, or fencing. In addition, with smaller spaces, we are seeing customers incorporate pots and planters for added color as well as small patios and fire pits for outdoor family gatherings.

Another trend we are seeing is clearing out brush, trees, and debris to make room for a larger lawn. Since many children are learning remotely and parents are working from home, families are really trying to take advantage of their lawns to get outside.

With fall around the corner, this is the best time for seeding which allows for a low-maintenance space. Aerating and overseeding in the early fall will provide homeowners with a great lawn to use for the rest of the year. - Lynch Landscape and Tree Service, Inc.

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