The Renovation Project - Outdoors

Landscaping can transform the look and feel of a garden and, although it might not necessarily add financial value to the home, it will certainly help to improve the quality of life, especially in the warmer months

It’s easy to forget about your garden and let it get overgrown and untidy, especially during the winter months. Yet gardens are an extension of your home and a well-maintained one can substantially increase the value of your home.

The Renovation Project  - Outdoors

Outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, especially in the long and warm summers enjoyed by most South Africans. Leading off from the kitchen, living or bedroom areas, the inclusion of decking can help boost the value of a home and sellers can expect to recoup approximately 65% to 90% of their investment when they put their home on the market. Decking options vary greatly depending on the size and materials used as well as the added extras such as built-in seating area, braai facilities and multiple levels. A splash of a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home, including your decking, can help your garden look its best too. When dressing your deck area, consider using paints, flowers and accessories in colours that are similar to those inside to increase the flow and synergy between the inside and outside.
Other areas that might need a fresh coat of paint post-winter are fences, trellises, garden benches and sheds. Opt for white or a light pastel shade, or even a vibrant green or blue to make your paintwork stand out. At the other end of the spectrum, swimming pools hardly ever have a return on their cost investment, mainly because the majority of buyers are not willing to pay extra to acquire what they consider a maintenance bother, according to property resale specialists. Installing a pool increases your energy costs and raises your home insurance and it also requires a lot of maintenance. So only invest in a pool if you plan to stay in your home for several years, use it often and will ensure it is always sparkling and chlorinated. If the residential estate already has a community pool available to all residents, it might be wise to leave this one out, as it may just be a financial headache.

Landscaping can transform the look and feel of a garden and, although it might not necessarily add financial value to the home, it will certainly help to improve the quality of life, especially in the warmer months. A well-kept lawn and classy and subtle changes to the landscape such as the inclusion of well-laced shrubbery, a neat path, paved area and small trees and potted plants can help uplift a tired-looking garden, whilst the use of plants and flowers can add visual appeal and fragrance. To get the best value from your plants, choose something you think looks attractive even when it’s not flowering and is easy to maintain so that you receive year-round benefit. Gardens that pay particular attention to the local environment and embrace indigenous flora and fauna tend to work better and have greater longevity. Just like any room in the home, gardens are sometimes in need of a furniture revamp. Make your garden more accessible by adding garden furniture such as tables and chairs, in a wooden or rattan finish that come in a variety of styles and shades to suit all gardens and have all-weather durability. Similarly, choose a focal point like a water feature in the centre or a sizeable statue. Lighting in a garden is extremely important and of particular use in the summer when homeowners tend to socialise and spend more time in the garden. Not only used to create visual effect in the night, lighting is also an essential security option used to help illuminate areas where intruders may hide.

Solar garden lights save electricity and are easy to install, but, to be fully optimal, careful consideration must be given to where solar lights are placed. As a general rule, they need at least four hours of direct sunlight to run optimally at night.

Finally, a garden fails to work the minute it is stopped being cared for and watered. An automated irrigation system is a worthwhile investment that helps to save time and water, as well as improve growth and reduce the spread of weeds.

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Originally published on 26 Oct 2015
October Digital 2015
October Digital 2015 View original