It’s hard to put a value on landscaping projects. A study by realestate.com indicates the return on investment for landscaping and/or man-made garden architecture can be as high as 150%, while others suggest a more reasonable 15% to 20%.
The bottom line, however, is that everyone wants a front yard with curb appeal and a secondary living space in the back. And while it may increase the value of your home, it also improves your quality of life. Particularly for those in cooler climates, summer is short, and a landscaped outdoors can be, well, priceless.
That said, landscaping can prove a very costly proposition indeed. The generally recommended figure for a landscaping budget is 10% of your home’s value, although that varies according to your local area. The majority of projects reported in a study of landscaping by houzz.com cost from $1,000 to $5,000 for minor planting or mulching, and $50,000 or more for “complete overhauls.”
Remember, time is also money, and even small projects can take longer than you think. According to the Houzz survey, smaller projects averaged approximately three months of planning and three months of work to complete. Having spent time and money on landscaping, there are ways to reduce future costs:
- Lawn care alone can cost upwards of $100 a month, so do as much of the maintenance as possible yourself.
- Construct decks, stairs, and pergolas of maintenance-free materials such as composite decking.
- Artificial grass can be a big expense up front, but it saves on maintenance (mainly the cost of water) in the long run.
- Consider using recycled bricks instead of expensive rocks in your landscaping plan.
- Perennials are a great choice, as they reduce the need to buy new plants every year.
- Edible gardens can be lovely as well as a good source of delicious vegetables and herbs.
Now, step away from the lawn mower, take a break, and enjoy your newly landscaped property.