5 High-Impact DIY Projects

Sustainable Design Strategies that Increase Property Value

A well-designed, sustainable landscape produces nearly-immediate, substantial returns on investment, and its value increases as it ages.  If you are going it alone, here are our top tips for increasing both your sustainability and your home’s value.

  1. Make a plan: Think about how you live and what you want to do outdoors. Having a plan, even if you implement it slowly, will help you achieve the results you want, save costs over winging-it, and result in a more unified aesthetic.  It is that unified aesthetic that will attract homebuyers and add value.  It will also ensure you will want it to endure – a key facet of sustainability.
  2. Add trees: Each tree increases salability and can add 7-19 percent to your home’s value.  Tree value increases as canopy increases, so simply preserving trees is a smart action. The impact of trees is so profound, you may actually add value to neighboring properties! You can also expect trees to reduce energy costs. For the greatest impact, plant deciduous trees to the west where they will reduce the heat of the sun in summer and let it through to warm your home in cooler months.
  3. Expand plant beds, minimize grass:* Lush and varied plant life increases home value and speeds time to sale. To get the most bang for your buck, pick a limited plant palette of native foliage.  In California, this choice will deliver year round greenery that grows in size and value each year.
  4. Create an outdoor room: Homebuyers report valuing outdoor living spaces. Define these spaces with permeable materials like pavers with gravel or foliage joints. They deliver water savings alongside high visual interest, particularly when compared to concrete.
  5. Maintain what you create. A clean, trimmed and mulched landscape increases curb-appeal, protects home value, and prevents property damage. Strategies 1-4 can shrink the size of this task:  Sustainable landscapes costs less and takes less time to maintain than traditional landscapes.  One more bonus: homes with easy to maintain landscapes are more salable!

*Replacing a traditional lawn with an IdealMow® lawn and upgrading irrigation produce immediate returns on investment.  Those are more technical projects for which we recommend using a professional.


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