Creating Curb Appeal
First impressions do count.
The appearance of your home or business makes a big impact, whether for yourself, to help your guests feel invited, or to help sell your property. Real estate agents often refer to curb appeal when staging a house for sale. In fact, landscaping can help sell your home. According to the second edition of his quarterly report, New Research That Gardeners Can Use, Jeff Gilman, Associate Professor of Horticulture, University of Minnesota, reported that 75 homes in Lubbock, Texas were examined and researchers found that a high-quality landscape increases the sales price by 5.7 %, compared to average landscapes. Then comparing average landscapes with excellent ones, the difference in sale price is a whopping 10.8 %. Furthermore, the author calculates that every $1 spent on the landscape returns $1.35.
At the Walker Residence, the change is dramatic!!! Before, gigantic scary junipers overwhelm the house. After, architecturally consistent hardscape including walls, walkways and a front terrace link the landscape to the house. Thoughtful plantings create a gracious, “always been there” look.
The Phillips Residence is another dramatic improvement of an historic property. We removed sad old Spruce trees. We replaced the undersized front stoop with a more welcoming entry sequence and porch. Boxwood, carpet roses and new trees (including a Horsechestnut, a wonderful but infrequently planted tree in Denver) now frame the beautiful home. Curb appeal enhancements can make a big impact with minor construction.
At the Reath Residence, removing the overgrown privet hedge allowed us to set off the cottage style home with just two simple columns and a gentle, dry stacked stone wall. The hot, south exposure works for some fantastic xeric plantings…including the hot new Texas Red Yucca.
Remember that a little bit of hardscape like simple columns or a partial retaining wall can add structure to a bland yard while connecting the house to the landscape. Checking HOA requirements as well as local building and zoning code is important before proceeding with a front yard project. Many communities have standards about what is appropriate and where in our front yards.
Plants are always a critical component of a front yard improvement, and they can be the only component, which is, of course, the most budget friendly approach. Replace tired, worn out shrubs with fresh plantings! Create year-round interest with broad leaf evergreens (plants with leaves that stay on all winter) and ornamental grasses. New, drought tolerant perennials and annuals add bright punches of seasonal color.