The question of the day is how much does landscaping really impact the value of your home? When it comes to the outdoors, spending money on renovations has never been so imporant or so confusing. So where should you spend your outdoor renovation budget?
Easy, outdoor living.
Spending money on the front and backyard pays huge rewards. It delivers great return on investment and the lifestyle perks are obvious – who doesn’t want a dream backyard to relax in? To spot the best products in outdoor living, I spend a lot of time at tradeshows, design meetings, and in colour consultations with trendsetting companies across the country. I’ve really been able to get ‘hands on’ with a lot of great products that I think will be huge hits for this year’s patio season. Here are my winners for this year’s summer season.
One of the biggest landscaping challenges is the quest to create harmony between a home and a naturalized outdoor space. Frank Lloyd Wright became famous because of his natural gift to do just that.
The challenge is even bigger at the cottage, where there’s a need to manipulate the space around a cottage so it works for the owners – but usually, a very strong desire to keep things natural and rugged. Instead of trying to maintain large green lawns and manicured gardens, take a page from Mother Nature and let her do the work for you. Cottage life is about balance between your needs and the natural world around you. Remember that when you are making changes and always seek that sense of harmony.
Here are my tips and tricks to making a man-made space look completely naturalized.
When it comes to outdoor renovations, I’m a pretty positive guy. I know that value of landscaping is finally get recognition by homeowners and that people are more confident than ever to spend money improving the outside of their houses.
That said, not every outdoor improvement increases your property value. For years we’ve been told that swimming pools lower the value of your property. While this is no longer true, there are several landscaping choices that won’t show the return on the investment when its time to sell.
This past weekend I was once again honoured to be a judge for Canada Blooms, our country’s largest gardening event, held in Toronto. This year’s theme was Canada 150 and the gardens were designed to reflect a definition of the Canadian backyard.
While the designs might not have reflected Canada as a whole, there are definitely some commonalities in the gardens that I think work for every Canadian backyard.
Moving water resonates in any well-designed backyard and it was apparent from the designs that having some form of fountain, waterfall or bubbling stream is a trend.
Forget about those kitchen and bathroom renovations, outdoors is where the real money is, according to landscape designer Carson Arthur.
“If you can expand your living space and provide more usable space outdoors, you can increase your home’s value in a way that you can’t do it with a major kitchen renovation,” said Arthur, the celebrity headliner for the Garden Stage at next week’s Edmonton Home + Garden Show.
“We now know that when it comes to return on investment, and the best return on your money, outdoor renovations have passed large scale kitchens and bathrooms,” said Arthur. “You make more money by putting a beautiful deck in or increasing your outdoor living space than you do by spending a huge amount of money on the kitchen.”
I was recently asked at a speaking event why I’ve been so vocal about not liking grass in the yard.
The reason I’m not a fan of grass is not the plant, but rather the homeowners that care for it.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ROOM IN YOUR HOME? Does it have to be in my house? Truth is… my favourite room is outside of my house! Last summer, I built an outdoor deck with a fire pit. It’s 15 feet in the air and surrounded by trees for privacy. Glass railings and recycled resin Muskoka chairs make it perfect for my guests!