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curb appeal

Curb Appeal- Ways to Make Low-Cost Improvements

By | curb appeal, Decorating, Landscape Design | 4 Comments

curb-appealYour home’s curb appeal is the opportunity to provide a great first impression. If you’re looking to enhance the look of your home or build value, great curb appeal will encourage potential home-buyers to want to look inside.

Here are several simple, low-cost improvements you can do right away.

Replace the Hardware

If your home has its original house numbers, mailbox, outdoor light fixtures and entry door lockset, it may be time for an upgrade. Replace anything that looks worn or out of date. Make sure these elements flow collectively to add some style.

Dress Up the Front Entry

The focal point of your curb appeal should be the front door and entryway. A blast of color or custom wood decor will make a statement and reflect your home’s interior. Add additional simple decor such as a wreath or potted plants for charm and personality.

Let There be Light

Installing low-voltage landscape lighting will make a big impact on curb appeal. It will also make your home more safe and secure. Illuminate a walking path or add accent lighting to the landscape to brighten your lawn at night. Be sure if a bulb burns out, you replace it right away.

Replace Gutters

If your home’s gutters and downspouts are old, they are likely beginning to rust and suffer from peeling paint. New, snap-fit vinyl gutter systems typically don’t require paint or many tools to install.

Add Outdoor Pieces

Add personality to your lawn with water resistant artwork. Things like wind chimes, bird baths and water sculptures are low maintenance and functional. These also give off a soothing sound that can make a hot day seem cooler. Be sure to choose classy (not tacky) lawn art and keep them away from leaf-dropping areas.

 

Of course, your curb appeal begins with the health of your lawn and landscape. For more ideas for enhancing your home’s curb appeal and improving your lawn and landscape, contact Olympic Lawn & Landscape today!

What is Curb Appeal?

By | curb appeal, Curbing, edging, flower beds, Landscape edging, Landscaping, Lawn Care, Lawn Mowing | No Comments

Curb appeal – you’ve heard of it, but you’re not exactly sure what it is. Flowers by your front door? Landscaping edging around your trees? You know it’s about making your home pretty, but not exactly sure what all it involves.  Lets try and simplify things for you.

What is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal (other than the popular TV show) is simply the attractiveness of your home from the outdoors. Curb appeal is especially important if you’re trying to sell your home. As potential buyers drive by your house, it needs to look like it’s been maintained well. It needs to be “cute” and inviting. Good curb appeal will get a lot of attention – both from buyers and non-buyers. Even if you’re not looking to sell your home, a house with good curb appeal will have several cars driving by very slowly, trying to steal a glimpse at your attractive home.

Curb appeal can involved both your front and back yard. Maintaining your home, and your yard, is important when keeping up the outdoor living spaces of your home. Prospective buyers, and neighbors will enjoy your home more – and even be more likely to pay your asking price, when the home looks well-maintained and attractive from the outside.

How to Improve your Curb Appeal

If you’d like to improve your curb appeal, below are a few ideas. Even if you’re not putting your house up for sale this spring, improving your curb appeal will help you keep up your property value. Plus, everyone likes coming home to a cute house.

Paint and Wash Your House for Curb Appeal

As you begin increasing the beauty of your home, look at the paint job. Is the paint peeling or chipping? Is it a popular and in-style color? Make sure that your home has a great coat of paint on it, and that everything from the sides, shutters and trim is well-coated in a beautiful color of paint. If you don’t need a new coat of paint, make sure that the exterior is cleaned. Power wash your windows, porch, gutters and siding to get a fresh, clean look.

Treat Your Yard for Curb Appeal

While we know kids love dandelions and consider them beautiful flowers; unfortunately, home buyers do not. Make sure your yard is well-maintained, mowed, and free of weeds. Rid any pest problems you may have, and keep your yard in great shape.

Add Landscaping Edging and Curbing for Curb Appeal

Landscaping edging will improve your curb appeal. From walkways to garden paths, having edging around your front and back yard will make your home look more sophisticated. Edging has multiple benefits in addition to its cosmetic improvements such as weed control and irrigation.

Add Nighttime Curb Appeal

Remember that not everyone who drives by your home will be viewing it in daylight. You can add curb appeal to your home at night by installing curb lighting around your landscaping areas and driveway. Create a well-lit path to your front door, or even down the perimeter of your driveway skirt. A post light could also work, depending on the style of your home and layout.

Plant Flowers for Curb Appeal

Probably the most well-known way to improve curb appeal is planting flowers. Make sure to find seasonal flowers that will stay abloom all season long, and even into summer. From planting flowers in your flower beds to arranging gorgeous containers, make sure you have flowers and plants all around your home.

Get a Door Wreath for Curb Appeal

A final touch on improving your home appeal is adding a cute, seasonal wreath to your door. Several craft stores and department stores sell affordable wreaths. It’s inviting and friendly, and will definitely get your home some extra attention!

Landscape Curbing

By | curb appeal, Curbing, Landscape edging, Landscaping | No Comments

Custom landscape curbing adds great curb appeal and elegance to any lawn. Curbing is perfect for those who’re looking to accent a walkway or flower bed. Curbing is also a perfect way to make your yard stand out, and your landscaping exquisite.  You will have already heard of the benefits of curbing for curb appeal and it is also nice to enjoy the beauty of your yard for yourself.

Landscape Curbing for Lawn Edging

Curbing is often used when edging your lawn. Landscaping edging not only provides a physical barrier to separate your plant beds from your grass, but it also helps keep out grass and weeds from growing into your flower beds. Landscaping curbing that’s not only physically heavy, but colored to match your home’s exterior is a great solution for landscape edging around your walkways, garden beds and more. Check out our post about the hidden savings of landscaping edging.

Custom Colors of Landscape Curbing

Landscape curbing can be created in a variety of colors, shapes and patterns to match the home’s outdoor design. Colored dye is mixed into the concrete to give your preferred color or curbing. Color your curbing red to look like brick, or granite to match your shutters and accent colors.

Custom Curbing Shapes of Landscape Curbing

Not only can you color your curbing to match your exterior, but curbing comes in a variety of shapes, too. Create a landscaped edge around the perimeter of your home, or a circular border around a tree. A variety of landscape curbing shapes enable you to place landscape curbing just about anywhere, with the design and colors looking elegant and natural.

Landscape Designs of Landscape Curbing

Our curbing can be stamped and designed to look like any pattern. Not only can we make your curbing custom colored and shaped, but our stamped curbing designs also give homeowners the look they want. Create custom curbing to look like brick or stone – or even cobblestone or slate. Depending on where you choose to install custom curbing, you can pick the design that best matches your outdoor aesthetic.

Check out our photo gallery of custom landscape curbing projects.

The Garden Effect

By | curb appeal, Garden, Garden Effect, Landscape Curbing, Landscaping, Lawn Care, Property values | No Comments

It’s common knowledge that a well-cared for lawn and professional landscaping makes a home look nice, and increases curb appeal. But while tress, flowers and curbing have been an extra touch for homes, not until the 2011 Husqvarna Global Gardening Report were they considered extreme assets when it came to property values.

“The Garden Effect”

Traditionally, homeowners made repairs, improvements and even remodels to raise their home’s property value. But the 2011 Husqvarna Gardening Report points out that there is a “garden effect” happening among homeowners. The Husqvarna group surveyed thousands of homeowners and Realtors from nearly 10 countries and determined that the appearance of the outdoor landscape surrounding a home has a big impact on the property value. According to their 2011 report, well-designed landscaping raised the property value of homes such as single-family dwellings, condos and town homes as much as 18% in the United States. Additionally, for every dollar spent on landscaping, mowing, turf maintenance and other gardening improvements, homeowners received $1.8 return on their investment.

Landscaping is Becoming a Must for Curb Appeal

The “Garden Effect” is changing the game when it comes to property values and landscaping. Instead of it being a luxury or even splurge, landscaping is becoming a must for homeowners who want to see the maximum ROI on their investment and have the maximum property value and curb appeal. Even more, it’s important to have nice, professional landscaping around your home so that it lasts longer and gets the biggest return on your investment.

Homes where owners have chosen to purchase cheap edging materials and planted trees and shrubs in less-than-ideal locations will not see the full $1.8 return on their landscape investment. To get the largest return on landscaping, it must look professional and seamless. Concrete curbing, professionally installed garden areas and fountains and outdoor living spaces must all be installed with precision so that it lasts through the seasonal weather changes and wear.

It’s exciting to think that adorning your yard with landscaping has become not only fun and relaxing, but an asset to your home’s property value.

Stay tuned for our next post on practical ideas for applying the “Garden Effect” to your property.

Landscaping a Short Sale

By | curb appeal, Property values | No Comments

Bare with us for a moment, we’re venturing into the real estate topics today. But so much of our industry deals with curb appeal and property values right now, we thought we’d take a minute and talk about how landscaping is important when selling your house – and even when you’re going through a short sale.

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is when the homeowner and the bank have an agreement that a house can be sold for less than what is owed to prevent a foreclosure. The bank agrees to forgive the remaining portion of the home mortgage if it can be sold through a short sale. For home buyers, this is often a great deal if they can manage to wait for a lengthy process. For home sellers, this is a more favorable option than foreclosure, as it doesn’t hurt your credit as much and go on your records.

How does Landscaping Help Short Sales?

Landscaping your property can impact property values. It doesn’t only make interested home buyers desire to buy your place, but it also increases the likelihood that someone will fight to get into your home. The more charm and beauty you can add to your home, the more likely that home buyers will stick it out just to get into your property.

Buyers interested in short sales are out for a good deal. If your property isn’t well maintained, and the lawn not kept, your buyers may try to get an even lower price from you and the bank. But, if you’ve kept your landscaping nice and lawn mowed, you may receive a higher offer than if you’d let it go. Short sales are known for being better kept than foreclosed homes, so nice landscaping can only exceed the buyer’s expectations.

Easy Ways to Improve your Short Sale’s Curb Appeal

If you’re looking for budget-friendly ways to increase your curb appeal, consider adding mulch in your flower beds and around your trees. You can even buy mulch in bulk to make sure you have enough to go around your property. Invest in a hedge trimmer, and trim all bushes near your house – especially near the front door, as this is where the first impression will be made. Invest in a few cheaper flowers and plant them in pots near your entryway for an inviting feel. You can also do something simple like clean out your gutter so your home has a fresh, clean appearance.

Contact us for more ideas about how to improve the landscaping at your short sale. Check out Jackson County Short Sales if you need advice and are going through the short sale process.

Use Curb Appeal to Sell Your Home

By | curb appeal | No Comments

We all know that first impressions matter. But did you realize that your lawn & landscaping are the first impression for your home? A recent story in Tampa reported that some home buyers aren’t buying homes if the lawns are “Plain Jane.” Lawn and landscape is becoming a more prevalent piece of the “Sell My Home” puzzle. So if your a seller who’s trying to sell your house in this home buyer’s market, consider addressing concerns with your lawn and landscaping.

 

curb-appeal-sells-homes

If curb appeal sells homes, the opposite is also true...

Why Landscaping Increases Curb Appeal

Just picture it – you walk up to a great house that has all of the “essentials” and what you and your family need. But the yard is a mess. Or, maybe it’s not a mess, but there’s no pizazz. It’s plain and boring. You keep looking and then find a similar house with everything that you need, but it’s got concrete curbing for edges, healthy plants and a well-maintained turf. It’s almost a no-brainer. Most will go for the house with landscaping and nice lawn. It appears there’s more value in the home price, there’s less that has to be done, and it just looks better.

Curb Appeal Can Increase Home Value

A Michigan State study reported that landscaping may increase your home’s property value by 5%-11%. It’s always been pretty common knowledge that curb appeal helps sell homes, but more and more studies are showing that it doesn’t only help sell the home, but can improve the home’s value. And in a competitive market where your home may be on the market for at least 90 days or more – it’s smart to do everything you can to increase curb appeal.

Keep Your Landscaping Simple

Increasing curb appeal continues to remain on lists of home improvement investment projects that get the biggest “bang for your buck.” As Business Insider recommended however, keep it simple. Don’t go overboard and invest in your wildest, most desired landscaping if you’re trying to sell the place. You don’t have to go crazy to add curb appeal and improve landscaping. Consider:

  • Your turf – is it cut, fertilized and weed-free
  • Your edges – are they trimmed, defined, and even curbed?
  • Your shrubs – are they trimmed, healthy and properly placed?
  • Your flowers and bushes – are they pruned, or wedded (in the off season)

As you gather your home selling checklist, don’t leave off landscaping. It will create the difference from someone meagerly walking into your home to tour, and someone nearly wanting to race through the front door because of how charming your property appears.

Read more about our tips for improving curb appeal

Learn more about the “Garden Effect”

 

 

Lawn and Home | Why to use Concrete Curbing

By | curb appeal, custom curbing | No Comments

The fall weather has been especially nice this year. And with the great weather more people are spending time outside as a family. More often than not, this outside time doesn’t have to be spent driving to your local park or places with admission fees – but can be attained through the comfort of your own lawn through simple things like concrete curbing. Concrete curbing helps make your backyard feel like part of your home – and can even create an outdoor “getaway” for your family.

A peaceful yard is a peaceful home

Enjoy your lawn this fall with custom concrete curbing!

Your Lawn is Part of your Home

Nothing is more frustrating to me than coming home after a long day and having to worry about my lawn. The first thing I want to do is kick back and relax and when the weather is this nice, and as an outdoor guy, I especially love relaxing outside. I’ve found that it is hard for me to relax when I see my flowerbed full of weeds or mulch scattered around the yard, or pesky grass that’s overgrown into those areas – yes, even as a landscaper.

I read an article recently that many people are investing more in their lawns instead of taking vacations. People want to come home and relax, and enjoy their home and yard instead of trying to get away from it one week a year. Isn’t that such a smart idea? Our homes should be a place of comfort and peace. A time for family and memories!

This makes total sense to me, and I agree. I can’t concentrate on spending quality time with family when I am stuck looking at the eye soar in my yard. One way I have found to help lower my stress level when it comes to lawn care is concrete curbing. This modern edging is fantastic! It increases the property value and allows me to do less maintenance. And the best thing is that it is customizable to fit the design of my lawn and home.

Customization of Concrete Curbing

Weather causes dirt to shift and weeds will always grow through cracks, but the great thing about concrete curbing is that there are no breaks in the concrete curbing. Curbing is one complete piece which prevents shifting and cracks – unlike other landscape edging materials like brick or stone. The piece of the curbing can be custom designed into the shape and form you want it to be. And with so many types and styles of homes, curbing comes in several shapes, colors and designs to match any taste.

Curbing Shapes

Concrete curbing can be used to edge almost any piece of landscaping, including walkways, flower beds, gardens, trees – you name it. With its many different uses, there are a variety of customizable shapes concrete curbing can be molded into. What is wonderful about the customization of the shape is that it can be designed to fit your mowing needs as well. Curves and edges can be rounded, smoothed and not interfere with a mower or weed eater.

Curbing Colors

The color of the concrete curbing can be fit to match the exterior colors of your house or used as an accent color to your landscaping. With more than 20 different colors ranging from deep reds, to light greens, tans, blues and even charcoals, there is a color to fit almost any need.

Curbing Designs

The designs made on concrete curbing makes the landscaping in a yard really pop. They can be custom designed to look like brick, stone, slate or any other number of things. The designs are created by a stamping system that adds texture to the concrete.

Fall is a great time to remodel

Most people put a lot of time and effort into their landscaping in the spring just to let it get away from them once summer ends and the business of fall begins. The unfortunate thing is that most people don’t realize that concrete curbing is so easy, and there is hardly any maintenance involved. And in the fall many lawn care companies run specials for concrete curbing.

A Texas news source recently pointed out that for those in the Midwest and the South fall is one of the best times to spruce up the lawn. With warmer temperatures leaving and cooler ones setting in, it is the perfect time for a lawn renovation. Join me this fall in making your lawn provide peace and comfort – not stress and weeds.

Jump on board and remodel now, call the experts at Olympic Lawn for a free estimate, (877) 280-6271

More Great Tips On Landscaping To Sell Your Home

By | curb appeal, Curbing, flower beds | No Comments

If you’re planning the sale of your home you know about curb appeal. We’ve written about it before but you can’t have too much information so we’re adding a few more tips.

These days a house can be on the market for longer than we might want so your best bet may be to consult with a landscaping company. They can recommend the kind of plant types, both annual and perennial, that will last a long time if necessary. Planting pansies in March will result in sad, wilted and heat blasted flowers if your home is still on the market in June.

Add one or two unusual specimen plants to add interest to your foundation landscape. A Weeping Norway Spruce or Blue Atlas Cedar aren’t as common as yews or boxwood so your landscape will make a statement. Unusual or uncommon specimens aren’t difficult to find and you’ll be impressed at how much they improve the look of your home.

Put flowers in pots on your porch. They can be changed out as they fade or become overgrown. This might also be good place for a small shrub in a pot with flowers at the base. The shrub won’t grow as fast and won’t be as susceptible to changing seasons. If you’re selling in the fall an evergreen will make a great little Christmas tree in December.

Plant a tree. A small tree will add interest to an open and empty landscape for just a small investment. Make sure it has both spring and fall interest, either flowering or attractive foliage and good color in the fall.

Maintain your lawn. This is key as no amount of decorative plantings can disguise struggling turf. It’s worth investing in a landscaping company that can both improve and maintain your yard at least for the short term to get it looking great.

And lastly everything looks better with a nice layer of mulch. Planting beds look refreshed and cleaner and it will help keep the weeds to a minimum. Landscape curbing will also add a good, clean definition to your beds and increase their beauty.

If you’re looking for more advice on keeping your home’s landscaping looking great at all times contact Olympic Lawn and Landscape. Not only can we recommend and install the best quality plantings but we can also improve the look of your patio, adding another great feature to impress a new buyer or just for you to enjoy.

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