A while back, I planned on trading in our five year old Volvo SUV and before I went to the dealership I had it professionally detailed. It looked like new when I pulled into the dealership. I am convinced that the money I invested in the detailing paid me many times over in the increased trade in value the dealer placed on it.
Are you planning on selling your home anytime soon? Maybe it would be wise to “detail” your landscaping. Realtors have told me that the curb appeal of a home is very important in selling a house. Not only does it provide a little extra visual spark but it also projects that the current owner of the home paid attention to the maintenance of the home. In the prospective homeowner’s mind you are creating the impression that “well if they paid attention to the outside of the house, they probably also took care of other details around the house.” One concern that prospective buyers may have when buying a new home is that repair bills on the roof, furnace, water heater etc. may be around the corner. A well maintained yard by a professional landscaping company may ease the prospective buyers mind and make them more likely to put an offer on your house.
Sidewalks and Entries
So what should be done to “detail” your curb appeal. For starters just walk out to the road and look at the house as a prospective buyer would. What stands out to you? Are the shrubs looking too large or out of proportion with the front of the home? Do they cover any windows? Do the shrubs hang over the sidewalk or cover any part of the driveway, sidewalk or entryway? Ideally the shrubs should be maintained below the bottom of the window sill. If they get too tall they can make it difficult to see out of the home and make it seem overly dark inside the home. In addition, shrubs covering windows can create a security concern by giving cover to someone attempting to break in.
A Word About Shrubs
If the shrubs have become overgrown by a foot or less, professional landscaping designers agree that a simple trimming may help the situation. If they have become more overgrown than that they may need to be rejuvenated or replaced. Rejuvenation is reducing the size of a shrub more that just a simple trimming. With rejuvenation we are often reducing the size of the shrub by as much as half of its current size. Now take note that not all shrubs are candidates for this type of pruning. Most evergreen shrubs such as Yews, Junipers and Mugo Pines lose their inside needles over time and if the shrubs are trimmed too far back, the shrubs will be left looking bare and can take years to recover. Some varieties that are good candidates for rejuvenation pruning are Lilac, Spirea, Potentilla, Privet and Viburnums. This type of pruning should be done when the plants are dormant, i.e. when they have lost their leaves for the winter. Flowers on some varieties of shrubs will be lost for the following year with rejuvenation pruning but that is a very small price to pay for getting the shrubs back in proportion with the house.
Remove Debris and Refresh Mulch
When detailing your homes landscape it is a good idea to remove all of the leaves, sticks and debris from in and around the shrubs. In addition, edging the bed lines wherever the turf and mulched areas meet will make the beds look much more crisp. A fresh coat of mulch, even just a thin layer for color, will further enhance the beds appearance.
These simple professional landscaping steps will make your home more attractive to a potential buyer and can improve your “trade in value” in much the same way I did with my car.
Matt McCoy is a Nationally Certified Landscape Professional and the President of McCoy Landscape Services, Inc. a Full Service Landscaping Company that specializes in designing and installing Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patios and Colorful Landscaping. McCoy Landscape services the Central Ohio Communities of Delaware, Powell, Lewis Center, Westerville, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus.