Maximize the Return on Your Landscaping Projects with a Plan

It’s that positive feeling you get pulling into the driveway. It makes you say “wow.” It pulls you toward the front door and invites you to come in. Whether it is your existing home or one you hope to sell, the curb appeal of a well landscaped yard can make all the difference in the way you (or a perspective buyer) feel about a property and that can make all the difference when it’s time to sell your home.

So where do you start if your yard lacks that dazzling effect? A landscaping plan is key. For new or existing homeowners, a long-range master plan with multiple projects can be worked on over time. Sellers hoping to make their homes stand out need a plan with more immediate impact. Hiring a landscape architect or professional contractor may not be in your budget or maybe you just enjoy doing it yourself.

One landscape company realized budget-minded homeowners needed an easy, reasonably priced way to obtain professional landscape plans and developed a web site called PlanWorx. It allows homeowners to choose the level of assistance that best fits their needs and budget. You choose whether to coordinate with professional contractors or do it yourself at a fraction of the cost. Hardscape design lets you plan water features, fireplaces, paving stones, and even outdoor kitchens. Planting design lets you plan a layout for flowerbeds and will identify plant materials by both their scientific and common names so you can easily locate them at your local nursery. PlanWorx also offers 3D color renderings of plans to help you visualize the end results.

If your budget doesn’t afford a service like PlanWorx, give Better Homes & Gardens magazine’s online garden design tool a try. Plan-A-Garden lets you choose plants and trees from their virtual library and drag and drop them into place. You can design everything from elaborate terraced flowerbeds to small container gardens. The free online tool also lets you incorporate structures like walkways, decks, furniture, fences, and sheds into your design. You can select a basic background for applying plants and landscape materials to, or for $9.99, you can upgrade from the free service to upload an actual image of your property. It is a user-friendly tool that will allow you to experiment with a variety of heights, colors, and textures to come up with a landscape plan you can print, save, edit, or share with friends for feedback.

Whether you are looking to increase your curb appeal for a quicker sale this summer or wanting to spruce up the yard of the home you just bought, maximize your effort and investment with a landscaping plan. A well-designed plan will help you determine how many and which plants you will need so you can budget appropriately and so you can avoid costly mistakes by visualizing the end result beforehand. A trip to the garden center can become a sound investment with a good return when you go armed with a plan.

Posted in Landscape & Garden.

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