Blog

Landscaping for Curb Appeal

temp-post-image

No matter what type of property you own, a few things stay the same across the board. You want it to function well. You’d love it if there weren’t any major structural problems that lead to headaches in later years. You want it to be in an ideal location. And finally, you hope your home or business will look great from the road.

It’s easy to assume this desire to create an attractive and eye-catching property is only essential for office buildings and businesses, but this isn’t true. While these types of settings will certainly want a beautiful property, this also applies to places like ordinary family homes. Imagine if you were trying to sell your home, and think about what an impact outward appearance has on things like sale prices, as well as attracting potential buyers in the first palace.

Regardless of whether you own a large corporate office or a single-story family home, we all want our properties to attract positive attention from the road. But what most of us don’t realize is how much control we have over this. Rather than leaving something so important to chance, we all have the power to take matters into our hands and create a look and feel that seems right to us and that shows off your location to its best advantage. Not sure where to start? We’ve got all the tips you need when it comes to learning how to improve curb appeal.

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal's meaning is straightforward. It’s a term that refers to how attractive and inviting a piece of property looks to someone driving or walking past at the distance of the curb. For example, if a building is dingy, the paint is peeling, the shutters are falling off and the yard is a combination of patchy dirt and grass, we can easily say this place lacks curb appeal. On the other hand, when we see a well-maintained building with a beautifully manicured lawn, tasteful landscaping and a neat appearance overall, we would say this spot has excellent curb appeal.

Curb appeal might not be something that’s always at the forefront of our mind as passersby. After all, most of us don’t drive around ranking buildings based on how much curb appeal they have. Nevertheless, it’s something most of us instinctively notice, even if we can’t always put out finger on what exactly we like or dislike. We can instantly sense if a property looks inviting and draws us in. Conversely, we’ve all driven past places and thought to ourselves, “Let’s not stop here. It looks pretty run-down.”

Many different elements work together to create the full scope of curb appeal. Architecture and design are crucial parts of creating comprehensive curb appeal, but they aren’t the only pieces of the puzzle. Landscaping is a significant component as well. Together, the design of the building itself and the natural world around it work together to create a complete picture we call “curb appeal.”

Tips to Improve Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal might be a tricky concept to pin down, and certainly a difficult one to quantify, but it’s immediately apparent when it's lacking. Are you looking to improve the curb appeal of your home or business? If so, one of the major areas you’ll want to focus on is your landscaping. With this in mind, here are curb appeal ideas for your landscaping.

1. Weed the Flower Beds

Nothing makes a house look worn-out and neglected faster than an un-weeded flower bed. If you’re allowing weeds, grass and clover to run rampant through the middle of what should be a tidy garden, it will make the entire rest of the house and yard look messy by comparison. So grab some garden gloves and tools and head out to your flower beds to dig out these weeds. Be sure to pull them out by the roots whenever possible, or they’ll come right back again in a day or two. Remember, weeding is an ongoing job, and is something you’ll want to keep up on or you’ll be right back where you started.

2. Freshen up the Mulch

Once you’ve plucked all the weeds you can get your hands on, it’s time to add a little mulch to the picture. Not only will this brighten up your garden by adding color and depth, but it also does wonders to protect against future weed growth. While you’ll still get the occasional stubborn weed poking through, they’ll be much less of a nuisance. You may be considering skipping this step if you already have mulch in place, but the odds are good that if it’s been there for many years, it's time to replace it. So head to your local garden center, grab a bag of your favorite type of mulch and spread this liberally through all your flower beds.

3. Refresh Your Mailbox

Take a good look at your mailbox. Has it seen better days? Is it bent, rusted or missing pieces? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s time to upgrade to a newer model. While your mailbox might seem like an unimportant piece in the grand scheme of your front-of-house landscaping, remember every element, no matter how small, contributes to the bigger picture. If your mailbox looks uncared for, people might assume that the inside of your house is the same. Contrast this with a new, shining mailbox that sends the message: “This house is well taken care of.”

4. Neaten up Your Edges

temp-post-image

Is your grass running rampant over the edges of flowerbeds, gardens and even driveways and walkways? If so, it’s time to correct this. Use a shovel to neatly mark out the boundaries of your yard where they intersect with other features and pull up grass that has spilled over these boundaries. It's a small detail most people might not even notice on its own, but that adds to the overall neatness and tidiness of your yard and property.


5. Grow Your Lawn

A lawn doesn’t become perfect by accident, not unless you’re very fortunate. Most lush, green lawns are instead the result of careful work and diligent care. If your yard has bare patches, weeds or an unhealthy color, it might be time for an intervention. Plant grass seed in bald spots, and try environmentally friendly weed killers to fight back against any rampant weeds. If your grass looks sickly, try a lawn food mixture to give the soil and grass the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.


6. Tidy up the Walkways and Driveway

Walkways and driveways tend to get a little messy over time. Whether it’s pavement cracking, weeds and grass growing up through paving stones or stones washing out of a gravel path, time takes its toll on all these types of installations. One of the most important landscaping ideas for the front of your house is to tidy up these places. If weeds are poking through, try a little weed killer. If the driveway needs re-paving, it might be time to grit your teeth and do it. Little details like this make a significant impact on your curb appeal as a whole.


7. Clean Your Hardscaping

Hardscaping is a term that refers to all the non-living components of your landscaping. Things like benches, fountains, stone walls and garden decorations all fall under this category. Because these items are made of stone, wood or concrete, and because they all live outside in the elements, they’re highly susceptible to becoming dirty, stained with algae or covered in moss. If you’re looking for front-yard landscaping ideas, one of the best places to start is by cleaning up the surfaces of your hardscape pieces until they look fresh and new again.


8. Update Your Hardscaping

temp-post-image

Sometimes, no matter how much you scrub at your fixtures and try to spruce them up, they’re beyond repair. In cases like these, it might be time to throw the old piece away and update it with a new one. While there can be something sad about letting go of old pieces, particularly if they have sentimental value for you, try to think of this as an exciting opportunity to give your yard a fresh look with new fixtures. Just by switching out your old pieces for new ones, you can completely flip your yard from drab and neglected to new and shining.


9. Prune Trees and Shrubs

One of the most obvious landscaping ideas for the front of your house that also gets neglected the most is pruning. Because trees and shrubs are constantly growing, they need pruning every few years or as necessary. Without this pruning, they become shaggy and overgrown, looking less cared-for and more like you've abandoned them and left them to grow wild. All it takes is a little bit of pruning to get your shrubs and trees looking tidy and presentable, and once you finish the job, you won’t have to address this issue again for at least another year.


10. Design Your Lighting

Who says curb appeal needs to stop when the sun goes down? With the right lighting, you can keep your house looking great no matter the hour. Try adding a light fixture or two next to your door, or overlooking the driveway. You might also add solar-powered lamps along the walkway, or elsewhere in your yard or garden. Try to keep things subtle, however, as a yard that remains fully lit all night will look unnatural rather than charming.


11. Think About the Landscape Layout

temp-post-image

No matter how much you care for your lawn, pull your weeds and prune your trees, this isn’t always enough to produce the desired level of curb appeal. Sometimes, even if every individual element is faultless, they still don’t work together to create an inviting atmosphere that makes people passing by want to take a second look. This simple fact is why, as critical as it is to focus on separate elements, it’s also essential to think about the big picture of your yard and how these pieces work together.

Here are a few principles to guide this type of thinking.

A clear path to the door: The centerpiece of your front yard should always be the path to the front door. People should look at your property, and while they might eventually notice the yard and shrubbery, the first thing that draws their attention should be the front door and the walk leading up to it. If there is no clear path to the door, or if the path is confusingly laid out, this is an immediately unwelcoming sight.

Work with your house — not against it: Try not to look at your landscape as something that exists around your home. Instead, look at your house as the biggest piece of hardscape in your landscape. Look at your home’s most attractive features and see how you can use your landscape to highlight them. For example, is there a beautiful bay window? Highlight this by planting shrubs beneath it, rather than covering it up by planting a flowering tree in front of it.

Match your house’s style: Every house has a distinctive flair. Some homes are all blocky shapes and square angles. Others feature intricate details and graceful curves. Still others are modern and geometric, while others are quaint and old-fashioned. Let your house’s style dictate your landscaping choices. As an example, think about a large home constructed from bulky angles and square shapes. For this house, tiny annuals in a mostly empty flower bed will look out of place. Instead, you’ll need to add larger elements that won’t get overwhelmed by the architecture.

Don’t go overboard: If your goal is to create curb appeal and lots of it, it can be easy to get carried away. When it comes to landscaping, however, less is often more. The key is to keep your landscaping tasteful, rather than to throw as many design elements as you can together. Keep things simple, clean and elegant, and you’ll gain far more curb appeal than by going overboard. Stick to the rules of symmetry, and when in doubt, ask for a second opinion on whether there’s too much going on in your yard.

Get Your Free Quote Today

temp-post-image

Creating curb appeal on your property isn’t always an easy task, and at times, it can be too much for one person to handle it all by themselves. That’s why you don’t have to. Instead of trying to shoulder this responsibility yourself, why not enlist the help of a trusted partner?

Here at Dragonetti Brothers Landscaping, we want to be your partner as you work to upgrade your landscape for maximum curb appeal. With over 40 years in the business, a wide range of services and competitive pricing, it’s not hard to see why so many have trusted their landscapes to us. If you live in the NYC area, we hope you’ll rely on us to do the same for you.

To receive your free estimate, contact us to get started and tell us more about your current project.


Dragonetti Brothers Landscaping

Phone: 718-451-1300

Email: info@dragonettibrothers.com 



HOURS:

Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 6PM  |  Saturday 10:00AM - 6PM  |  Sunday Closed