Landscaping... What Value!

Have you ever wondered why landscaping costs so much?  Well, let's shine a little light on the subject:

Think about how much you would expect to pay to have your car's alternator or fuel pump repaired at the mechanic.  We may be looking at the $300-$600 range.  And roughly 75% of the cost is in labor.  Now compare that to a landscape project in which a single 8' tall tree is planted.  The cost of only planting one tree may be $1000, after all costs have been accounted for.  So what is the big difference?  In almost all professional services, including construction and landscaping, those companies are in the business of selling labor hours.  Unlike a mechanic shop, however, landscapers must bring their shop to the construction site.  And rather than working in a controlled, predictable environment, landscapers must manage a variety of weather, soil conditions, machine access route issues, and material changes from day to day all while maintaining a sequence of events that is most efficient for that specific project and site.  Too often homeowners find out after their home has already been purchased that the cost of desirable landscaping is much more than anticipated.

However, if funds can be anticipated, planned for, and obtained to invest in landscaping, the results show that landscaping is one of the best improvement investments anyone can make in a home.  Money Magazine says that "Landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200 percent at selling time.  Kitchen remodeling brings a 75 to 125 percent recovery rate, bathroom remodeling a 20 to 120 percent recovery rate, and addition of a swimming pool a 20 to 50 percent recovery rate."  The Gallup Organization says that "Landscaping can add between 7 and 15 percent to a home's value."  And Money says that, "In general, homes with "excellent" landscaping realize a sale price that's 6% to 7% greater than equivalent homes with "good" landscaping, according to a study by Clemson University in South Carolina.

Often overlooked by first-time homebuyers and capitalized upon by veteren homeowners, landscaping can enhance your properties largest living space - and not just in dollar value either.  The rising trend of outdoor kitchens, spa and fireplace patios, and pool bars may be attributed to the lifestyle benefits that come with the wise investment.  We are undoubtedly a social race and the outdoor environment is often much more appealing for gatherings of freinds and family.  Graduation parties, bridal and baby showers, and birthday parties are just a few occassions where the crowds may be better suited outdoors.

And just in case you need more reasons to consider landscaping for your property, here are "Eight Additional "Values" of Landscaping" from the Irrigation & Green Industry:

  1. Lower noise levels
  2. Blocks unpleasant views
  3. Reduces crime
  4. Lowers heating and cooling
  5. Improves home appearance
  6. Optimizes the use of land and outdoor space
  7. Reduces usage chemicals on the property
  8. Allows for the imaginative use of styles, features, plants and ornaments

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