Another Satisfied Customer

20150512_071238We’re always so proud to have our clients contact us after the job!  Mr. McCorkle actually shared his pictures of his curbing job to share with you!  Thanks!

“We used this company a couple of months ago and have very happy with the work they performed for us. They were very prompt and personable as well as professional throughout the process. We are planning on having them back to do some additional work as soon as we have the area ready. We highly recommend this company to anyone in need of this type of work.

Thanks for the great job Scott !” 

S. McCorkle – St. Cloud, FL 05/13/15

Concrete Landscaping Borders keeps the mulch in – and grass out!

20150512_071142Contact us today for your free estimate!

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DOES LANDSCAPING INCREASE YOUR HOME’S VALUE?

Written by Andrea Davis on Monday, 13 October 2014 3:14 pm

After spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on landscaping, how do you know if you’ll recoup your investment? Homeowners may wonder if their efforts are worthwhile compared to interior projects. In actuality, landscaping comes back in resale value more than you may think.

According to a publication from Virginia Tech, a home landscape has been valued at around 15 percent of a home’s total value. Furthermore, certain landscape aspects add more to the home than others, including:

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Design: 42%

Plant size: 36%

Diversity of plants: 22%

The study cited that a $150,000 home could go from $8,300 in worth to almost $19,000 more with the addition of a landscape.

That’s a lot for just adding a front yard to your home.

Here is more information about these elements and how to increase the value of your home.

 

Landscape Design


Photo courtesy of Jardin Passion Landscape ConHow you design the landscape is the first step in creating a beautiful and valuable front yard. If you plant shrubs, flowers and trees without a design in mind, you could run into maintenance issues down the road. This is why you might call in a landscape designer to help. Landscape designers have the knowledge when it comes to creating landscapes to match homes and climate conditions. They know which trees, shrubs and flowers mix versus which ones might be troublesome. The end result will be a manageable, uncluttered and beautiful landscape that you can enjoy for little to no hassle.

Plant Size


Photo courtesy of Applegate Landscape Co.On a visual level, adding different plant sizes will make your front yard look more appealing. Adding different shapes and colors complements your home and the lawn. On a maintenance level, mixing small and big plants will cut down on clutter in your yard. If you have too many bushy plants, their roots and branches could get mixed together and cause maintenance issues. So plant different trees, shrubs and flowers to make your landscape colorful and varied to add onto your home’s appeal and save on trouble.

Diverse Plants

Lawn Flower CurbingPhoto courtesy of M&M Garden DesignsIntertwined with the plant sizes you choose are how diverse they should be. You don’t want to plant only shrubs and trees with leaves. Vary it up with fruit trees or shrubs that have flowers to add color to the front yard. You also might choose annual and perennial flowers to sprinkle across your yard. You will need to replace annuals every year, but that gives you the chance to try out different flowers. Perennials, on the other hand, will last for many years and can endure harsh winter conditions.

Conclusion

Whether you hire a landscape designer or decide to tackle the front yard landscape yourself, be sure to include these three elements. Adding them to your front yard will pay back dividends in your home resale value, and it will make your home more attractive to buyers.

Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders have been proudly servicing Central Florida since 1997!  Call us today for YOUR free estimate!

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Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal: Does Your Home Have It?

Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal

True curb appeal can be an elusive thing. But there are a number of solutions available to homeowners who want to increase the value of their home or the likelihood of it selling. In fact, sometimes the issue is deciding which projects you should take on and which just are not worth it.

To make things simple, we are going to look at the house itself and the landscaping separately. We also want to make it clear that while you can always add features to both the building and property, proper maintenance of both is paramount in your efforts to get full value out of your sale. Usually, appraisers deduct the estimated cost of repairs from the estimated value. So by keeping up with routine care, you either save money in repair costs or make it close.

If you have the budget for large projects, you will likely want to hire professionals to design and develop a theme that fits the property itself as well as the location. If you are doing this all on your own, your best bet is to play it safe and work on the little things that tie your home together.

The House Itself

This is exactly what the buyer came to see. Therefore, you want to make the home look as inviting as possible. It is important that it looks taken care of so that prospective buyers can see themselves living in it. In nearly every market, how your home stacks up against the surrounding properties for sale is a key factor.

Home Maintenance

This is where all the hard work you put in over the years pays off or where all the neglect and procrastination finally catches up to you. The majority of the market is not looking for a fixer-upper; make sure both the interior and exterior of your home looks fresh and new! If your home needs a lot of work, it may not be something that buyers want to take on, especially if your competition is virtually maintenance free. Perform home maintenance regularly and it will not seem overwhelming when you are prepping to sell.

Get to Cleaning

Start with the windows, the trim, the siding, even the garage door needs to be cleaned up. Whatever you are not refinishing needs to look as clean and new as possible. Do not be scared to rent a pressure washer, and do not be afraid to ask a few friends to help you a few weekends in a row. If that is just too much fuss for you, a professional cleaning crew will cost you a few hundred dollars and get the job done in a couple of days.

Refinish and Replace

If you really want your home to sell, you have to be willing to touch up the damage that time, the elements, and your family have inflicted upon your home. Paint where necessary. Replace rotted and damaged trim. Find new house numbers and accents to substitute for the old and rusty versions. While making these cost-effective changes, you can simultaneously develop a new look for your property. With less work than homeowners often realize, the entire look of a house can change and its curb appeal can rise dramatically.

Roof and Gutters

This aspect of a home exterior gets special recognition from us because it can be so important but is too often overlooked by homeowners. Roofs are one area where regular maintenance really pays off. A new roof is very expensive and problems are hard for appraisers to miss, especially when they are significantly worse than the rest of the neighborhood. If you are lucky, you may get by with a good cleaning. If you have never given it a thought, you may need a complete overhaul. Either way, hire a professional and solicit the advice of your Realtor®.

Home Upgrades 

Does Your Front Door Add to your homes curb appeal?Some small upgrades are almost mandatory if you are serious about increasing your curb appeal. Make sure that you determine your budget before you begin to spend money on changes. It is important that you maximize your return on investment when spending money on a home you are looking to sell. No one wants a money pit that does not bring some type of return so invest wisely and reap the rewards.

Spruce up the Front Door

Your homes front door should be the focal point of its exterior. The way you dress it up can go a long way towards presenting an inviting appearance. Luckily, you do not have to make an expensive change to create a large effect. A simple touch of color, to the door itself, with trim, or potted plants as an accent can really make a statement or add a lovely addition to your overall theme. If you want to make a stronger statement, upgrade the light fixtures flanking the front door. Or go even bigger by adding stone or tile to your stoop, steps, or porch.

Windows and Trim

If you want to take things a step further than a coat of paint, getting new windows, trim, and shutters can really transform the look of a house. And when done right, this simple change can tie together a house and significantly increase curb appeal. You can also add extra dimension, texture, and color to the exterior by adding window boxes than fit in with the rest of the design. Surprisingly, even subtle changes (like a new window trim color) can make the exterior of your home stand out and get the property noticed.

Revamp Your Exterior

If it is within your budget, and you want to get the highest impact, upgrade the home’s exterior. You can add some stone detail on the front for texture and class or redo the entire home for the serious increase in equity. If you go the latter route, we highly recommend that you seek professional advice and collaborate with your Realtor® in order to maximize your return on investment. Often, local trends determine what type of large projects can be the most beneficial. A trusted real estate agent is your best resource for important market info!

Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal? Really…Does it?

Lawn and Landscaping

The modern home buyer understands that with their purchase, comes not only a building or two on a plot of land, but that plot of land itself. And as far as curb appeal is concerned, a buyer notices the lawn and landscaping well before they ever see how the master bathroom looks. What you do with the property can go a long way toward determining how long it stays on the market. Keep your yard looking its best and you will minimize any possible distractions as new buyers pull up to view your home.

Yard Maintanence

Fortunately, a little elbow grease can go a long way in the yard. If you always take care of your grass and natural areas, you can spend a lot less time here when it comes to putting your home on the market. The better your yard looks the more likely it is that buyers will want to stop and see what the rest of the home looks like. If you are unable to do the work yourself, hire out, but ensure your yard looks its best at all times.

Green Grass and Pretty Beds

You can avoid having to buy sod by taking care of your yard year-round. Seed, fertilize, water diligently, and it will pay off when it is time to move. Make sure that you keep your flower beds and natural areas free of weeds. Trim what needs to be trimmed, lay on a thick layer of mulch, and you can move onto the next project. If you have to do a whole revamp from neglect, you will have to spend a lot more time and energy just to get your landscape respectable.

Yard Accents

Accents such as arches, gates, fences, and sitting areas can be an asset to you as you attempt to sell your house. But if these items are in disarray or disrepair, they can actually have a negative effect. You do not want buyers to look at pieces in the yard and think the word “chore”. This can discourage buyers completely. Make sure that you take care of your yard so that it does not look cluttered and neglected. Your landscaping and architectural accents should compliment the home, not detract from it.

Yard Upgrades

Flowers Enhance Curb Appeal

It is smart to incorporate nature in multiple ways to the overall design and theme of your home’s exterior. There is also potential for significant increase in home value with different landscaping projects. If in doubt, drive through a few subdivisions or visit a new community in town to see what they are doing. Smart upgrades can add value to the home…unwise changes are a waste of time and money.

Flowers and Other Vegetation

Flowers are one of the best ways to splash some color across your lawn. Trees can provide aesthetic and practical value by providing shade or fruit. You can provide even more practical value by planting food or herbs gardens, which can also provide pleasant seasonal aromas or help to keep insects at bay. Sometimes, your existing beds can be enhanced with stone borders or a few new additions. This is one of the most inexpensive ways to attract more buyers and get your home off the market.

Mailbox Decor

For most homes, the mailbox is something like the ambassador for curb appeal. Make sure your mailbox at least looks new. Add some color with a few hardy flowers. At least make sure your mailbox is up to the neighborhood standard. But if you really want to make a statement, you can go for an upscale upgrade that will set your place apart from the street. Custom numbers or plates are another unique addition that can make your address stand out in a buyer’s mind.

Other Outside Accents

If you do not have any already, landscaping accents can be an inexpensive way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. Comfortable places to sit, architectural novelties, and anything with water can really add that special touch of charm home buyers are often looking for. Certainly do not spend money here when you have more pressing concerns, but additions such as these can be a great way to spend the last couple hundred dollars of your budget.

Driveways and Walkways

If you have the budget for it, enhancing your driveways and walkways could be one of the best ways to gain a significant amount of home value. If you do not have a paved drive at all, or if it is in disrepair, this is a great way to add plenty of curb appeal. You can add stone borders or lighting to put your property in a different class. Driveways and walkways are the paths to your home, you want them to be an inviting path a buyer wants to travel on every day.

Parting Shots

Remember, curb appeal is not that difficult to come by, as long as you go about obtaining it the smart way. Start with maintenance: take care of your house and it will take care of you. Neglect it and reap what you sow!

A buyer’s first impression is all important. That is why it is so vital to coordinate your house and its landscaping in such a way that the property is instantly appealing. Professional advice is the best way to ensure that your money is well spent and that the changes you make will have a positive impact on your home’s value.

Try to look at your home as a potential buyer might. When you put yourself in that mindset, it is a lot easier to sense where you should really be critical, and most importantly, where your money is best spent.

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8 Essential Outdoor Upgrades for Selling Your Home

Whether you’re selling acres of land or a tiny urban terrace, it’s time to spruce up your outdoor space.

What sells real estate? Location, location, location. We’d like to add one more item to that list: outdoor space. Because regardless of your location or property type, an outdoor space can make or break the sale of your house — especially in nice weather.

“I once had a client willing to sell her condo and spend tens of thousands more for the same interior space, just so she could have a 3-by-5-foot terrace,” says Brian Murray, a real estate broker in Hoboken, NJ.

In other words, outdoor space matters, whether it’s a tiny patio or acres of landscaped gardens.

Motivated to improve yours? Experts advise focusing on fixes or upgrades — not major overhauls — that are low maintenance, decent quality, energy-efficient, and not too costly.

Here’s what to know about sprucing up your green space, from the front door to the back 40.

1. Pump up your curb appeal

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make that front entry burst with welcome.

Most importantly, paint, repair, or replace your front doorway. A new steel door consistently ranks among the best home improvements, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report,” with a 100% return on investment (ROI).

Next, prune any plant overgrowth and add inexpensive shrubs and potted flowers.

Make sure the doorbell works too.

2. Add (or repair) a wood deck

According to the same report, adding a wood deck has an ROI of 80% — better than remodeling a bathroom — and constructing one costs a fraction of building an addition, but dramatically adds to perceived living space.

If you have an existing deck (or patio) in need of repair, now is the time to start swinging that hammer.

3. Check the roof

According to the National Association of Home Buyers, house hunters focus primarily on quality and appearance, so don’t let a sagging roof or leaky gutters drag you down.

A roof in ill repair indicates to a buyer that more unpleasant surprises may await, and a home inspection will quickly reveal if your roof needs work. Most roofs last between 20 and 30 years; if yours is nearing the end of its useful life (or it looks like it is), expect the buyer to talk you down on price.

4. Wash or replace siding

Attractive siding is second only to a nice front door when it comes to curb appeal, and worn siding can cost you 10% of your home’s value.

If yours is in good shape, get out the pressure washer and clean it up. If not, think about replacing it; the long-term ROI is up to 84% for fiber-cement cladding. Vinyl siding is an inexpensive, durable, and low-maintenance choice, though it won’t get you points for environmental friendliness, and some buyers may find it tacky.

5. Make landscaping attractive

Sure, your Pinterest page is full of sprawling gardens and rose-clad trellises, but in reality, most buyers want low-maintenance, unfussy landscaping.

Mature, healthy plantings are a bonus, but if your yard is still under development, try to maintain a green lawn. No buyer wants to imagine serving burgers to pals with a side of sad, browning grass. If you don’t have time to reseed, consider laying sod.

Next, add green shrubbery in a few key spots and prune unkempt trees or bushes, especially those darkening interior spaces or obscuring views. Finally, mulching gardens is another good way to add appeal.

6. Tidy up walkways and stairs

While you’ve got out the power washer, make sure pathways, stairs, and other paved areas are looking their best.

View your home with fresh eyes or ask a friend to provide an honest report. Are the stairs unsafe? Is the walkway ugly and cracked?

Listen up, and patch up those eyesores.

7. Avoid money pits

Real talk: Unless you live where it’s sunny all the time, a pool is not a good investment. It’s expensive to install and maintain, and not everyone wants one.

Thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen? Most buyers aren’t. Instead, put your money into universally appealing amenities; buyers can add niche amenities (a tennis court, a hot tub) later.

Your job is to focus on creating an outdoor space that looks nice, is functional, and is in good repair.

8. Sweat the small stuff

Whether you live in a city center or bucolic countryside, little things can have a big impact on buyers.

For example, you can easily and inexpensively add functional exterior lighting, cover an air-conditioning unit with a trellis, add a grill that says easy entertaining, install a cozy firepit, or stage a table with a glass of wine.

“Remember, buyers aspire — they want to see themselves living an amazing life in the place they’re going to buy,” advises Murray, the Hoboken-based broker. “Trust me, people will buy based on seeing the grill.”

Ultimately, spend the money on smart landscaping and universally appealing exterior elements to make your property look taken care of — it’s well worth it.

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– See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/8-essential-outdoor-upgrades/#sthash.ZGgwoY0e.dpuf

THE HOTTEST TRENDS IN OUTDOOR LIVING

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Gone are the days when the yard is used for just a few months. Today, the outdoors are an extension of the indoors, with gracious spaces for eating, lounging, and playing year-round. The latest trends in outdoor living have you covered – literally.

Patio covers

Adding a pergola or arbor to your outdoor space can protect you from the elements, giving you year-round access no matter the climate. Add space heaters and ceiling fans to make it even more inviting. Built-in is best, but if you’re looking for a more affordable option, head for your local improvement or big box store, where a variety of hard- and soft-top options can easily transform your space and give you the coverage you want without having to hire a construction crew.

Hardscape and Softscape

Interlocking pavestones and large-scale pavers are two notable trends for hardscapes. Stained and stamped concrete also remains popular as a way to achieve a high-end look that mimics stone for a minimal cost.

With droughts continuing in many areas, homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to create a yard that needs less water. One of those ways is getting rid of the grass, which explains the growth of artificial grass products.

“Want a picture-perfect lawn? Maybe fake grass is the answer,” said houselogic. “It solves watering, weeding, and fertilizing woes. Synthetic grass for landscaping and recreation is growing 10% to 15% a year in the U.S.”

Lounge Space

The outdoor living room has gone beyond being a trend to become a must-have in today’s homes.

Comfortable outdoor furniture that looks like it could belong inside, wall-hung flat screen TVs, and outdoor fireplaces create cozy spaces that bring the action—and the family—outside.

See some great ideas for outdoor living rooms here.

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are another feature that has transcended the idea of being a trend. Today, they are every bit as amenitizied—and sometimes even more—than the indoor kitchen.

“These cooking areas feature all the accessories and niceties of indoor kitchens so you never have to go inside,” saidBaybreeze Patio. “Refrigerators, grills, smokers, stoves, warming drawers, beer taps, and of course, the kitchen sink ensure outdoor enthusiasts have everything they need to prepare the meal and more.

Water Features

Whether you’re trying to drown out street noise, create a Zen space in your yard, or just like the way a fountain looks, adding a water feature is a great way to bring interest and function to your outdoor space.

Water features have been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years and are today one of the most requested items in a landscape plan.

“Water features are more popular than ever, from fountains to water walls to serene ponds,” said Neave Landscaping. “The sound of water is soothing after a hectic day at work. It masks distracting sounds, like traffic in front of your house, or the neighbor kids’ water balloon battles. It attracts birds and butterflies who love to sip and splash in the water.”

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The 7 Best Home Improvements for $500 or Less

March 13, 2015

AG-Trac Enterprises, LLC

Give your home’s look a makeover without breaking the bank.

When it comes to upgrading our homes, there seems to be a never-ending list of things to do. There are the upgrades we’d love to make, like buying new furniture or replacing countertops. And then there are the things we have to fix, like inefficient appliances or a leaking roof. But there are a whole range of inexpensive improvements that don’t take much effort but can go a long way toward increasing your enjoyment of your home—and adding to its value too.

Here are 5 such upgrades you can make for less than $500.

1. Increase curb appeal

Even if you’re not planning on selling your home, curb appeal is important. For you, that might mean pressure-washing the driveway (rent one for about $100 per day), repairing broken stairs, or updating your mailbox (anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on style). Sometimes upgrading curb appeal is simply a matter of spending time in the yard and getting your hands dirty by edging the lawn, trimming hedges, or pulling weeds. You could get concrete landscaping borders (average $450=100 linear feet) to frame your yard, and keep your landscaping defined.  To keep costs down, plant perennials that keep their greenery all year long and invest time in maintaining your garden tools so you don’t have to purchase new ones.

Read more about budget-friendly curb appeal projects

Paulsen Construction Services Inc
Paulsen Construction Services Inc

2. Fix the front door

Your front entrance can say a lot about your home. Upgrading to a high-end fiberglass door can cost more than $1,000, but you can get a whole new look for a lot less simply by adding new hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Installing a new doorbell (kits cost about $50 to $100) or updating the lighting (anywhere from $25 to $100) are also inexpensive fixes that can add instant appeal to the front entry. Pair your newly painted door with a clean doormat ($20) or fresh pot of flowers, and you’ll have a whole new entrance for under $500.

3. Repair interior walls and paint

If your walls are a standard height, it’s easy to make simple repairs like patching holes or sanding. It’s also fairly easy to prime and paint your walls, which can instantly upgrade the look of any room. You’ll need to buy paint and primer (most brands start around $30 per gallon) plus painter’s tape, brushes and rollers. (Read this to learn more about how to budget for your painting project.)

Painting can get complicated and expensive if you need to repair a significant amount of drywall, remove mold, or have really tall ceilings, so always consult a professional if you feel you might be in over your head.

4. Update lighting and change bulbs

The lighting fixtures in your home are like jewelry on an outfit—they can instantly add pizzazz or look dated. Switching out a chandelier or sconce is a fairly easy, budget‐friendly project. Shop big-box stores for inexpensive pendants, or ask about floor sample sales at retail outlets. Plan on spending at least $200 for a large fixture, about $100 for a bathroom vanity light, and $100 or less for a wall sconce. If you’re on a tight budget, consider using the fixtures you already have but updating them with a coat of spray paint, a new light shade, or a dimmer switch. To make sure you’re really adding value, switch to energy efficient bulbs like LEDs (about $7 for a 60W equivalent) or CFLs (about $9 for a 60W equivalent) bulb. Although both are more expensive than an incandescent bulb, they last longer and require less energy.

Normandy Design Build Remodeling
Paulsen Construction Service Inc.

5. Install new toilets

Your motivation for buying and installing a new toilet may be for aesthetic reasons, but newer toilets can also save you money. Toilets installed prior to 1995 use as much as 6 gallons of water per flush; newer WaterSense models use as little as 1.2 gallons.

Over time this can represent thousands of gallons of water you won’t have to pay for. Additionally, older toilets are more likely to leak, wasting even more water and money. A slowly running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water a day. Replacing a toilet (about $100‐$200) isn’t hard for an experienced DIYer. But call the plumber if you have other leaks in the bathroom or kitchen; getting them fixed will save you water and money.

6. Maintain your mechanics

Just like maintaining a car, regularly having your appliances and mechanical devices inspected and tuned up can save you lots of money in the long run. Major repairs or replacements can run into the thousands, but a simple check up might be as little as $100. Ask your serviceperson to let you know about any special customer care programs. Sometimes long-term customers are rewarded with free inspections or discounted servicing. (Thinking about DIY appliance repair? Read this first.)

7. Monitor energy usage

There are many smart-home devices on the market aimed at letting you get to know your home habits and helping you save money on energy or utility costs. Devices like Iris (Comfort & Control kit is $80) can help you regulate the temperature of your home and alert you to any unexplained changes. Add-on devices like the Utilitech Water Leak system ($30) can alert you to water leaks. Ultimately these devices help you save money on your energy and utility bills and keep you from expensive repairs down the line.

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Anne Reagan is editor-in-chief of Porch.com.

A Guide To Landscaping Around Your Home

By on Mar 5, 2015 (she’s great!)
Your home is looking good! You have repainted the inside of your house. You have redecorated the inside with new furniture. And, you have put in new lighting so your home is nice and bright. However, the inside of your home is only half the battle. You also need to look and work at the outside of your home.

Combination Pavers & Curbs
Other than painting the outside of your house, there are a number of other ways homeowners can improve the look, and just as important, the value of your home. One of the easiest ways to improve your home is through the use of landscaping around the house. Landscaping the areas surrounding the house can make your home look nicer and improve the look of your neighborhood. These are factors that can help improve the value of the house.  Adding borders, for example, on your sidewalk keeps the mulch in, and your grass out!

Homeowners have many different ways to help landscape their homes. Many can be accomplished by yourself at minimal expense. Landscaping can take different forms such as planting flowers, trees, bushes and maintaining a healthy looking lawn. There are also other methods of improving your home including having a nice looking deck or patio, improving your outdoor lighting and even having a water feature in your yard. Another important part of landscaping is keeping pests away from your lawn, trees and gardens.

All of these methods of landscaping can help improve the look of your home and raise the home’s value. To learn more about landscaping around your home, please take a peek at the following resources. We hope that you learn how to properly landscape and also work on your own around the house. Also, please feel free to share this information with others looking for information on landscaping.

For more information on how Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders can help you design your perfect yard, call us today! Proudly serving Central Florida since 1997!

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Why you should give your home an outdoor makeover

Published Carson Arthur – March 20, 2015     Looking for our Share & Win contest?

landscapinganddesign

Spring has finally arrived! Well, at least the calendar says so. That means the home renovation industry is shifting gears and moving home improvement projects outside. Outdoor design expert Carson Arthur has talked to us about the importance of landscaping, but stresses the benefits of giving your home an outdoor face lift. Arthur educates us on how to do just that. 

The Shift: From landscaping to complete outdoor makeovers

For my entire media career in landscape design and outdoor living, I have been trying to convince homeowners that focusing on the outdoors not only improves their own way of life, it also increases the value of their homes. As new information comes out each season from national companies like Century 21 Canada and regional organizations like Landscape Ontario, I have been adding to my own messaging to help homeowners make truly informed choices.

Now I am officially crowing at the top of my lungs that not only does good landscaping positively impact a home’s perceived value…outdoor renovations have taken over the top five home improvements according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs Value report. Step aside you interior experts…its time for the landscapers to take center stage!

These outdoor improvement projects knocked kitchens and baths out of the usual top spots:

A New Front Door

This is the only improvement for the entire house that is worth more money the moment you install it! Adding a new solid steel door to the front of your home is expected to see a return of 101.8%! Even I was surprised by this one. Although, it does make sense. A front door for your home is like the wheels on a new car. Nobody buys a car because of the wheels, but everyone checks the wheels before they buy a car. The front door doesn’t sell a home, but it is the very first item that a potential buyer checks when walking in. If the front door is solid and in good condition, buyers assume that the rest of the home will be up to the same standards.

landscapinganddesign

In case you missed it: Read our handy guide on choosing a front door. We discuss the pros and cons of door materials and how much they’ll cost you.

Manufactured Stone Veneers

More companies are entering into this market everyday and with an expected rate-of-return of 92%, consumers are happy to have the choices. Having stone veneers at the front of your home is a great way to add visual impact without rebuilding your house. Stone gives the impression that a home is solid and able to withstand the elements (and the children). The key to successful veneers is in the colour saturation. More colour in the stone means that the colour will last long – holding its value longer too!

landscapinganddesign2

A Wood Deck

I’ve always been an advocate of expanding your living space into the backyard. For most of us, a wood deck is a simple and effective way to create an outdoor room…with an 80.5% return-on-investment! Traditionally, cedar has had the best-perceived value, but with rising material costs, this has been changing. MicroPro Sienna, the brown version of pressure treated is poised to take over the top spot. With the rich look of cedar at significantly reduced cost, more homeowners are opting for this new style of wood over the green alternative.

landscapinganddesign3

Surprised? Don’t be. When it comes to home renovations, most homeowners want to achieve the following:

  1. Add value to the home;
  2. Let the home speak for itself by making a good first impression for future buyers;
  3. Stay on budget while updating and improving the space.

In order to get people inside, you have to draw them in from the outside, which is why we should stop thinking about landscaping, flowers and gardens and start thinking about the house as a whole.

Ready to get that outdoor project underway? We can put you in touch with the right professionals. Scroll through our database of landscaping and design professionals. If you’re looking to replace your front door, we have experts for that too.

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407-957-9208

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders 407-957-9208

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A to Z of home ownership and the spring home show

Consider a water feature, like this one by The Pond Clinic, which is opening the Aquatopia Conservatory this spring.
Consider a water feature, like this one by The Pond Clinic, which is opening the Aquatopia Conservatory this spring.

Karma Creative Solutions / Ottawa Citizen

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Home ownership involves a lot more than just meeting those monthly mortgage payments. Fire protection, troublesome trees, elegant bathroom upgrading: they’re all part of being king or queen of your castle.

The upcoming Ottawa Home & Garden Show is one way to meet the professionals who can help you and your home with everything from eavestroughing to gardening. There’s also scads of online resources to help, whether you’re trying to hire the best renovator or stay on top of your insurance coverage. And you can do your own seasonal checkup to make sure your home stays in tip-top condition.

Our A to Z of home ownership will help with all this and more.

Antlers on the wall is a trendy decor misstep unless you’re redoing your hunting cabin, says interior decorator Lee-Ann Lecroix. Her seminar at the home show will help you separate the timeless from the merely trendy. “I’ll talk about wallpaper, fabrics, paint colours. It’s about how to spend wisely,” she says.

Birds, rodents and attics don’t mix, so check animal barriers spring and fall. Also check your attic for water leaks caused by ice buildup (stained roof sheathing or wet insulation are giveaways). Call a roofer if in doubt.

Make sure chipmunks and other critters can’t get into your attic.
Make sure chipmunks and other critters can’t get into your attic.

Central air conditioner: A spring cleaning and tune-up will cost you roughly $125 to $150 but can also save you money thanks to better efficiency and fewer repairs.

Decks: Stone Deck Landscapes, exhibiting at the home show, uses stone instead of maintenance-needy wood for new and reno projects. Renos costs about $12 to $15 per square foot; new construction costs vary depending on size, number of footings and other factors.

This Pennsylvania project uses real travertine but in Ottawa's harsh weather Stone Deck Landscapes owner Greg Borger says he would only use it on covered decks. For others, he uses a manufactured travertine stone.
This Pennsylvania project uses real travertine but in Ottawa’s harsh weather Stone Deck Landscapes owner Greg Borger says he would only use it on covered decks. For others, he uses a manufactured travertine stone.

Stone Deck Landscapes / Ottawa Citizen

Extinguishing fires is tricky if your equipment isn’t easily accessible, has low pressure or is damaged. Get information on fire extinguishers here.

Fires involving clothes dryers top 15,000 per year, according to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association. Most result from lint build up. Get dryer fire prevention tips here.

Gutters and downspouts: Have snow and ice loosened or damaged them? Are they debris-free? Do they carry water well away from your home? If needed, call in a pro.

Check your eavestrough for debris and winter damage.
Check your eavestrough for debris and winter damage.

Hot water heaters need periodic cleaning for maximum efficiency and long life. It’s as easy as shutting off the circuit breaker and draining the gunk with a garden hose. Citizen columnist Steve Maxwell explains how.

Insurance: Is your home and contents coverage up to date? What about your inventory of belongings? Is your cottage fully covered? Visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada for tips.

Just a few minutes — that’s all it takes to clean/vacuum refrigerator coils. The fridge will run more efficiently and use less electricity.

Kitchens: Sure, renovate yours but not at the expense of general home maintenance like window and door caulking and upkeep of your HVAC filter. Tarion.com has a monthly checklist to help prevent pricey repairs.

Welwyn Wong redesigned the landscape around an existing pool to create a resort feel that accommodates several activities —socializing, lounging, dining or swimming.
Welwyn Wong redesigned the landscape around an existing pool to create a resort feel that accommodates several activities —socializing, lounging, dining or swimming.

Mike Bonomo / Ottawa Citizen

Landscape designer Welwyn Wong presents a home show seminar on creating a resort-like backyard with water features and even a shaded daybed. “It’s going to remind people of their little winter getaway to Cancun or the Mediterranean,” she says.

Moisture levels rise in the spring so maintain your sump pump (allstate.com shows how).

Native plants, why you need them in your garden and where to find them: just one of the many subjects on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s guide to spring gardening tasks.

Check out the Nature Conservatory of Canada’s spring guide at natureconservancy.ca.
Check out the Nature Conservatory of Canada’s spring guide at natureconservancy.ca.

Outdoor electrical fixtures: Check for rust, debris, insects. Ensure all exterior outlets have an operational ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), and test them and inside GFCIs regularly. Call an electrician if in doubt.

Pre-fab homes: Bonneville Homes brings its Exalt bungalow to the home show. Its glass-walled terrace with whirlpool and fireplace converts for indoor or outdoor use.

Bonneville Homes brings its Exalt bungalow to the home show. Its glass-walled terrace with whirlpool and fireplace converts for indoor or outdoor use.
Bonneville Homes brings its Exalt bungalow to the home show. Its glass-walled terrace with whirlpool and fireplace converts for indoor or outdoor use.

Quicksand: That can be the sensation as you sink into the nightmare of hiring an unscrupulous or incompetent renovator. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has good advice and worksheets for hiring a renovator.

Roof: Every spring and fall, inspect for loose, buckling or missing shingles, inadequate caulking and faulty flashings. Excessive shingle granules in the drainpipe mean an aging roof: Call a roofer.

Smoke detectors: Change the batteries twice annually and check your carbon monoxide detector. The Ontario Building Code now requires all home smoke alarms to have a visual component like a flashing light.

Trees: Have you inspected them for winter damage and pruning needs? Are you planting new trees this year? Sites like treeottawa.org and services like Davey Tree Expert (at this year’s home show) can help.

Layout, colour palette and cabinetry create a timeless appeal in this kitchen, says decorator Lee-Ann Lacroix, while accessories can be used to accent current trends.
Layout, colour palette and cabinetry create a timeless appeal in this kitchen, says decorator Lee-Ann Lacroix, while accessories can be used to accent current trends.

Ashley Fraser / Ottawa Citizen

Ultra energy efficiency defines Edelweiss Lakes, a new Gatineau Hills community with homes by Raya EcoHomes that claim an annual heating cost of as little as $350. “We’ve come to realize people are pretty green about green,” says Edelweiss Lakes president Luc Belisle. “But it’s not that complicated: passive solar design and a good envelope goes a long way.” Edelweiss Lakes is at the home show.

Ventilation: To maintain effectiveness, clean your kitchen hood ventilation system and bathroom fan at least once a year (doityourself.com tells how).

Water features soothe the ear and please the eye. Aquatopia, the expansive new home of The Pond Clinic Water Garden Centre opening on March Road in May, offers everything from fountains and ponds to nursery stock.

X and Y, as in Generations X (aged mid-30s to late-40s) and Y (late teens to early 30s), may be overly optimistic about the probability of owning a home, according to a recently released survey by the Bank of Montreal Wealth Institute. Higher costs for almost everything mean it’s time to get real about owning a home, paying for their childrens’ post-secondary education and enjoying early retirement, according to BMO.

Woody Properties is a popular real estate website that includes surveys, trends and creative ideas. According to a Zillow survey, bad-boy Justin Beiber was the least desirable celebrity neighbour in 2014.

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407-957-9208

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Landscaping Tips: Enhancing Your Exterior for Buyer Appeal

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 One common mistake many homeowners make is forget to stage their exteriors. Exteriors, just like interiors, have a big impact on buyers as they are the first thing they see. If you are planning to sell your house as quickly as possible, stage your exterior. Buyers might be so impressed they pay the asking price.  If you want to update your landscaping, use these landscaping tips.

Landscaping Tips: Enhancing Your Exterior for Buyer Appeal

summer landscaping ideas

Image via: Outdoor Idea

Retouch the Mulch

A fresh layer of mulch makes a lawn look brand new. Mulch protects the roots of your plants from extreme temperatures, helps plants to conserve water, and prevents the growth of weeds. Set aside a day to touch up the mulch in all your garden beds. The color will augment the difference of the surrounding plants and make everything come alive. As well, mulch is not expensive and is very easy to apply. If you want to add more color and texture, use decorative mulch between plants.

Trim Overgrown Shrubs and Trees

Dead branches and trees show buyers that a property is neglected. No matter the season, prune your trees and shrubs to keep your exterior looking neat. Buyers will see that your house and garden are both well-maintained. If you have deciduous shrubs and trees in your exterior, be sure to trim them regularly.

landscapring idea3

Image via: Home Improvement Magazine

Take Care of Perennial Plants

Perennials have gorgeous foliage and striking blooms. However, they can quickly die if they are not tended to. If your perennial plants do not look as beautiful as they should, tidy them. Get rid of those that are in bad shape and replace them with new ones. You can also use decorative pots in their place. Keep in mind that many perennials stop blooming after they produce seeds. Remove fading flowers before they form seeds to encourage the plants to continue blooming.

Fix Irrigation Problems

Irrigation system repairs can be costly and buyers may be turned off by irrigation problems. If your irrigation system has issues, fix them. Don’t transfer the repair costs to the buyer. Give buyers information about your irrigation schedule if you have an automatic system. Show them how the system works and advise them to use the same watering schedule for the best results.

Lovely garden

Image via: Artvoy

Experts say that a house must be sold 3 times to buyers: online, when they drive by, and when they come inside. Since they see the outdoors when they drive by your house, it goes without saying that your landscaping must be impressive. If they don’t like what they see when they drive by, they won’t be motivated to come inside. The above landscaping tips won’t break the bank, but they’ll give you a good ROI.

For more home staging tips on Stagetecture, click here. Also check out About.com Home Staging for Ronique’s tips.

Contact Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders – your local source for landscaping design!

407-957-9208

407-957-9208

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders 407-957-9208

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders
407-957-9208

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