6 Landscaping Trends That Increase the Value of Your Denver-Area Home
By Bill Edwards
The good news is that it’s still a seller’s market. The not-so-good news is after years of a sizzling hot real estate market, sales — and prices — are levelling off. While the statistics are on the seller’s side, it’s also the time to make sure your home looks as good as it can. Here are six landscaping trends that will make that winning offer just a little bigger — and increase the value of your home.
1. Go Xeric
Xeric means “water wise.” In Colorado, the less water you use, the easier it is on your wallet and the less you'll be fighting Mother Nature. The Mile High City gets about 16 inches of rain every year. That means either your landscaping is drought resistant, or it’s not going to thrive without a lot of help. Native plants, such as the yucca, and trees including blue spruce and aspens are an easy way to xeriscape your yard. Check in with your local gardening store for suggestions on the right native plants, and adapted plants, to include in your yard.
2. Plan Hardscaping
If it’s rock, cement, tile, or another hard surface, it’s hardscaping. It’s not only eye-catching, but it also means less water use. Imagine a stone pathway to your front door, or pebbles bordering your driveway, or a patio made of stamped concrete. These are all examples of hardscaping that you can incorporate into your yard. From a DIY gravel project to a tiled outdoor kitchen, the price range depends on you. It can run from the hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands, depending on your vision and your budget.
3. Build a Drought-Resistant Lawn
Having a well maintained lush lawn is still king among Colorado homebuyers. Take a look around, and you’ll see it’s not impossible to achieve. But the grass you choose has to be a cool-season variety that will survive a Colorado winter and one that can hold up to a Colorado summer with little rain (except for the monsoons). Don't forget, the watering schedule gets a little complicated, depending on where you live. The city of Denver limits lawn watering to three times a week, while Fort Collins homeowners can only turn on the sprinklers twice a week.
Kentucky bluegrass remains one of the most popular varieties for our lawns but still needs regular watering. Regular maintenance goes a long way toward increasing the value of your home. A dry, brown, patchy lawn won’t entice prospective buyers. A thick, healthy lawn, on the other hand, may be the deciding factor.
4. Encourage Outdoor Living
One of the many reasons so many people love living in Colorado is the great outdoors. Features like an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, or even a pergola with coordinated outdoor furniture can expand your home's living space. Outdoor kitchens are trending right now and a big draw in outdoorsy Colorado that should bring you a return on your investment. You can spend anything from a few hundred dollars for a fire pit and comfortable seating, to thousands of dollars for a state of the art barbecue grill and smoker, dishwasher, refrigeration, and entertainment system.
5. Plant Edibles
Think about making your landscaping edible. A crabapple tree thrives in the Front Range climate, producing beautiful blooms in the spring. It also produces fruit for jams and preserves and feeds local wildlife. A grapevine may complement your pergola, and provide extra shade on those sunny Colorado afternoons. An herb garden is not only attractive to the eye but serves as a natural insect repellent. And how convenient to grab a handful of basil from the yard when you’re making pasta.
6. Encourage Wildflowers
Show your Colorado pride by growing clusters of the blue columbine in your flower beds. The soft purple longleaf phlox is another beautiful Colorado native, as are glamorous spikes of elephant flowers. There are showy wildflowers in reds, oranges, yellows, whites, blues, and purples — enough color to please everyone. These native flowers are low maintenance and give your landscaping a distinctively Colorado look.
The keys to increasing the value of your home aren’t just making it look good. It's also about making it water-wise in Colorado’s semiarid climate and catering to the outdoor lifestyle that so many Coloradans cherish. Let that guide you as you decide what changes you want to make to increase your home's value in the current market.
Bill Edwards is a landscaper and freelance writer who enjoys doing handyman project around the house. He and his children recently built a neighborhood gazebo next to the community pool.