Zack Zunino, a landscape architect since 1980 who owns JW Zunino Landscape Architecture, postulates that "Hardscaping" is a word used to refer to every non-living component in your landscape. These components include a walkway, a patio, a fire pit, or a retaining wall.
Hardscapes, even though sometimes overlooked by homeowners, can improve the look and function of your landscape. Hardscaping allows you to carry over the interior of your home to the outside by extending your interior design architectural concepts to the outside space.
In the US, 79% of the population rank a lawn as the most vital component they consider when renting or buying a home according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). Hardscape projects can tremendously increase your home's resale value if well executed.
So if you are thinking of taking on some projects to improve the value of your home, consider hardscaping.
Here are five ways in which hardscaping projects can add value to your home, making it more desirable for renting or purchase by prospective buyers.
1. Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal
A home’s first impression to a prospective purchaser is important in closing the deal. It goes without saying that the first thing a potential buyer will notice about your home is the exterior appearance before they can get to see its interiors unless you want to give them a home tour in a blindfold!
When preparing your home for sale, spruce up its curb appeal by making simple updates such as adding paving stone edging around your garden, or a short wall to define the landscape. You can go further and take on more ambitious projects such as erecting large MagnumStone concrete block retaining walls to hold back soil and prevent its erosion, or laying a paving stone entrance and erecting a deck in your front yard.
A good first impression alone can increase your home's value by 5-11% according to a study conducted by Michigan State University.
You can play around with colors and textures and find one that will best fit the general architectural outlook of your home, lending your outdoor living space the best visual appeal you can attain.
2. Prevention of Soil Erosion
The fastest route to devaluing your home is through the "Damage Avenue". Any form of damage to your home can reduce its resale value and appeal to potential buyers. Soil erosion is bad news to your landscape since it can cause major damages both to the landscape and even to the home itself, reducing your home's curb appeal.
Retaining walls are vital in preventing soil erosion since they help hold back the soil, especially on sloping landscapes. Slopes that are 32-degrees or less may do just fine with plants such as trees and shrubs, but those that are 33-degrees and above may need to be reinforced with a retaining wall.
They break up the slope into a series of flat surfaces that facilitate the absorption of water from precipitation. This way, they prevent the soil from moving away from the site in question.
A variety of materials can be used for such a wall, including concrete, natural stone, brick, timber, etc. As you select a material, make sure it complements the architecture of your home.
3. Extension of Usable Space
Buyers pay for your home's functional space. That, therefore, means that an increase in usable space essentially translates to an increase in the value of your home.
A patio, for instance, provides space for one to relax and bask in the sun on a warm day as they hold a glass of wine in their left hand and a book in the right. A buyer will pay dearly to enjoy such moments in your home. It is an outdoor living space that provides an area where you can relax and entertain yourself and your guests.
Some outdoor functions may only be possible on relatively flat surfaces. Some hardscaping features can be used to create flat areas on sloping landscapes to facilitate such functions. They can, therefore, be used to make an unusable outdoor space usable. A parking lot, for instance, cannot be constructed on steeply sloping land. A wall can be used to create an expansive flat surface ideal for its construction.
4. Enhancing Privacy and Safety
Some hardscaping elements improve the privacy and safety levels around a property. They make movement around the property easier, and allow users to go about their business with less interference from other users.
A retaining wall, for instance, enhances safety by creating a relatively flat surface that reduces the risk of one slipping on a slope. They also make it easier for circulation spaces around the yard such as ramps and staircases to be constructed to facilitate the safe movement of people outdoors, including people living with disabilities.
Seat walls provide comfortable outdoor seating and promote privacy by defining and secluding sitting spaces. Hardscaping features also give an allowance for the installation of outdoor lighting along walkways and patios. Lighting is an important part of keeping a home secure. It also makes it safer moving around the outdoor spaces at night by reducing the likelihood of accidents.
5. Reducing Maintenance Costs
If potential homebuyers get the idea that your home would require a lot of maintenance and repair works from time to time, they would either not find your home desirable or they will bargain for a lower price. Basic maintenance is an integral part of your home's value.
Hardscaping reduces the maintenance of your home and makes it easier at best. Walkways and patios are easier to clean compared to maintaining an expansive lawn. Cement walkways and paver patios can be cleaned by pressure washing to remove plant growth, grime, and a considerable amount of dirt.
Gardens and shrubs planted on the flat surfaces are easier to maintain. Lawn mowing is also easier on relatively flat ground.
Spending a small amount of money and energy on maintaining your home and yard makes it more desirable to a potential buyer. This means that to increase your home’s value, you must make it maintenance-friendly.
Take On Hardscaping Projects
You may be surprised by how much simple landscaping projects can increase the market value of your home. Potential buyers will take a tour of your home and fall in love with it the moment they step into your front or back yard. Contact landscape contractor Seattle for expert work.
As you add hardscaping features to your property, be careful not to make very expensive improvements that will not be commensurate to the increased market value of your home. Additionally, have hardscapes that blend well with the design and architecture of your home.