Design for (Home) Appreciation

5 Tips to Maximize Returns on Your Landscape Investment

Landscaping produces powerful cost savings and return on investment at sale. Recent data helps us see what factors produce the greatest return on investment when it comes to home values, day-to-day cost savings, and homeowner enjoyment.  Here are a few high-impact design strategies we use:

Go with the Flow

A professional landscape design facilitates your lifestyle. HGTV’s “Bang for the Buck” finds that the flow of the outdoor floor plan and percent of usable space also adds to the return on a landscaping investment.

Plant (or Preserve) A Tree

The U.S. Forrest Service estimates that trees add a 3-7 percent  increase in value to a home. Eighty-four percent of real estate agents agreed, noting homes with trees are as much as 20 percent more salable.  Proper placement of just 3 trees also saves $100-200 in energy costs each year, according to The U.S. Department of Energy. Others document energy savings of 25- 75 percent.

Appreciate the Little Things

Small foliage costs less, establishes more effectively, and appreciates! A Virginia Tech study illustrates jumps in home value as foliage increases in size and variability.

Get Decked Up

Angie’s List names wooden decks as one of the top 3 return-producing home investments.

Go Back to Your Roots

Switching 1000 square feet of lawn with ready-to-play California native grass will save more than $3500 a year in water, dump and maintenance fees alone.  See the total cost of ownership for an IdealMow lawn alternative.




Sources and More Information

  • “5 Remodeling Projects with the Highest Return on Investment,” Angie’s List. September 13, 2011.
  • Bowers, Paige. “More than Just Curb Appeal,”
  • Cammarosano, Louis. Homegain 2012 Survey Results. April 2012.
  • Carroll, Joyce. “Landscaping a Good Investment,” Bob
  • Forecast and Real Estate Commentary. Q2, 2012 Data: California. Commentary 10673.
  • Heavens. Al. “Decks Can Add Value to Your House at Resale Time.” Realty Times. July 5, 2002.
  • “Homeowners’ Guide to Post Bubble Real Estate,” USGBC Green Home Guide. October 2, 2012.
  • “Landscaping for Energy Efficiency.” Energy Efficiently and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse. EOE/GO-10095-046, FS 220. April 1995.
  • “Los Angeles, CA, Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report 2011-2012. Remodeling Magazine.
  • National Tree Benefit Calculator. (
  • Merritt, Cam. “Does Landscaping Increase Your Property Value?” San Francisco Chronicle (
  • Niemiera, Alex X. The Effect of Landscape Plants on Perceived Home Value. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with U.S. Department of Agriculture. May 1, 2009.
  • Taylor. Chris. “Fertile Ground: Add 15% to Your Home’s Value,” SmartMoney. March 2003.
  • Van Steenwyk, Jason. “Landscaping Your Investment: Thinking Outside the Box.”, June 19, 2012.
  • Kowcheck, Jessica. “Outdoor Renovation: Think Outside the Box.” PennyMac. April 2018./li>
  • “What Percentage of My Home’s Value Should Be Put Into Landscaping?” Ask the Doctor, Better Homes and Gardens.