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Is Landscaping a Good Investment?

Following these guidelines can help increase your home’s value.

When planning major upgrades to your home or property, there are two things most people consider — how will this change affect my lifestyle, and how will it affect my property’s value?

Landscaping — provided it’s well-designed and maintained and suits the aesthetics of your home and neighbourhood — has the potential to increase your property’s value by as much as 12%. And with average home prices around the million-dollar mark in B.C., this is not insignificant! 

But all improvements will have a different impact on your return on investment (ROI). To get the best ROI, the improvements you make should improve the space visually and be something most people would use and appreciate. Here are a few guidelines to follow when investing in your yard to increase your home’s value — and how to make the experience easier and more enjoyable. 

Outdoor structure over outdoor kitchen

Start with a purpose-driven design

At Vandenberg, our design process is purpose-driven. This means every landscape design starts with a simple but profound question: “Why are you contemplating a change?” 

Understanding why you want to upgrade your landscape helps your designer create features that improve your lifestyle. Furthermore, a designer can ensure all elements in your yard are aesthetically pleasing and placed where they make the most sense. For instance, adding a patio can increase your home's value, but only if it's the right size and in a good location.

Your design will include all the elements you’d like to add to your landscape, both now and in the future. This is especially helpful if your landscape will be built in phases. For instance, you’ll need to install the water and electrical lines for the kitchen you’re going to add next year before laying your new patio this year.

backyard with patio and beautiful garden

Features with the best ROI

The return on investment for landscape features can vary depending on several factors, including the location, type of property, and specific features. However, here are a few landscape features that have been shown to provide a good ROI in British Columbia.

  • Outdoor living spaces, such as patios, decks, and outdoor kitchens, are popular features that provide a good ROI in British Columbia. According to a report by the Appraisal Institute of Canada, outdoor living spaces can provide a return on investment of up to 30% in some cases. Adding an outdoor structure, such as a pergola or pavilion, helps define the space, provides shelter from the elements and is a stylish way to extend your living space.
  • Landscaping can also provide a good ROI in British Columbia, particularly if it includes features like trees, shrubs and gardens. Gardens enhance the visual appeal of your yard, creating a relaxing and inviting atmosphere that can increase your enjoyment of your outdoor space and provide opportunities for outdoor entertainment and socializing. According to a study by the University of Washington, landscaping can provide a return on investment of up to 109%! 
  • Outdoor lighting improves the safety, security, and aesthetics of a property. Landscape lighting can make your yard feel like a fine resort, an aesthetic that is universally appealing. According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, outdoor lighting can provide a return on investment of up to 50%. 

Understand that these figures are averages and can go up or down depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of materials used and the overall design of the property. When making improvements for ROI, they should make the space more functional and visually appealing.

Beautiful green lawn

Improve ROI with basic maintenance

Even beautifully designed landscapes built using exquisite materials will lose their value over time if they’re not properly maintained. It’s surprising how quickly weeds will overtake a garden or lawn if left unchecked. Maintaining your property takes some time, but a little TLC will ensure it retains its value for years to come. 

  • Keep patios and walkways clean and tidy — Your outdoor “floors” need the same kind of care and attention you give to the floors in your home. Sweep them to remove dirt and debris, wipe up spills and check for loose grout and cracked pavers. For more detailed cleaning instructions, check with the manufacturer.
  • Apply mulch to your gardens — Mulching helps keep your garden healthy, suppresses weeds and makes your garden look amazing — increasing your property’s curb appeal at the same time. Edging your lawn and gardens to create clean, crisp lines that define a border, a single tree or shrub takes nothing more than a bit of time… giving you a great return for little investment.
  • Keep your lawn healthy — Regular lawn maintenance, including aeration, overseeding, top-dressing, fertilizing, mowing and watering will keep your lawn green and lush while adding to your property’s curb appeal. 

ROI is only part of the equation…

Unless the sale of your property is imminent, it’s a mistake to upgrade your landscape based solely on the ROI. While ROI is important, it shouldn’t be the determining factor when upgrading your landscape — your foremost consideration should be which features you’d like to have in your yard… after all, you’re the one who will be using it!

Be aware that adding features that need a lot of maintenance (like pools) can have a negative effect on your property’s value, deterring potential buyers. That being said, a LOT of people love pools… and if you do, too, go ahead and include one in your yard! 

If you’re looking to upgrade your yard and need some inspiration, check out the featured properties on our website to see what others have done with their yards. Then, when you’re ready, schedule a consultation so we can help you transform your yard into an inspiring and enriching place to share with family and friends — and give you a great return on your investment!

Written by  Matt Vandenberg