It’s such a cliché that it almost goes without saying: Britons love a garden. Although the Romans found Britain to be nothing more than a series of clearings in the primeval wildwood, they taught our forebears to garden for aesthetic reasons. The rest, as they say, is history.
While the global economic downturn has kept people out of pubs and restaurants, it certainly hasn’t kept them out of the garden centre. A 2013 survey from Lloyds TSB Insurance put the value of the typical UK garden at nearly £2,000. And when buyers are in the market for a house, estate agents report that the garden is one of the first things they ask about.
Improving your garden will make your home a more enjoyable place to return to and to spend time in, but will also improve the value of your property. There are different aspects of landscaping, all of which you may want to consider if you aim to maximise your home’s appeal to buyers.
Gardens are ultimately about plants, so it’s sensible to start by thinking about soft landscaping, the term used to describe the process of designing those elements of a landscape that do not involve construction. You may want to think about where to place potted plants, flowerbeds or bushes. If you are not planning to sell your house in the near future, you can also think about trees.
You should be realistic about your ability to maintain the garden, and how much time and expense you are prepared to put into it. If you are not particularly green-fingered, or if you prefer a hands-off approach to gardening, you should be honest with yourself and plan accordingly.
Similarly, while some prospective buyers may be seduced by a beautiful and elaborate garden, others might be put off by the prospect of having to spend too much time, effort and money on its upkeep.
The next aspect you might consider in landscaping your garden is other elements like paving, patios and features like raised beds and split level landscaping. This is where it becomes essential to get the professionals in.
There are all sorts of bells and whistles you can add, but bear in mind that the majority of buyers are likely to prefer a relatively simple garden with a decent amount of open space, as opposed to a garden broken up into lots of nooks and crannies.
Outdoor cooking facilities like built in barbecues and pizza ovens can allow you to spend more time in your garden, instead of being cooped up in the kitchen, and are great for time with the family as well as for entertaining. When planned appropriately, they can be attractive to prospective buyers and add that little something extra to your house.
10% of Britons have a hot tub, so if it’s the sort of thing you like, there’s a good chance that many buyers will too when the time comes to sell. It’s something else that can make your garden more attractive, and your home along with it.
A swimming pool is, however quite another proposition. Many buyers are quite rightly put off by the expense and complication of maintaining a pool in their own house, as well as other concerns such as the safety of children.
Even in hot countries where the sun shines all year round, quite a few owners find that they do not use their pools that often once the novelty has worn off. In Britain, an outdoor pool is unlikely to be usable for more than a few months a year, even if fully heated.
If you are not inclined to spend much time, money and effort on landscaping, or are not able to, don’t forget the basics. A general tidy up, a mowed lawn and neatly trimmed hedges with a few strategically placed potted plants or ornaments, can make all the difference to your enjoyment of your garden, as well as to its effect on prospective buyers.
If you do want to go further with landscaping or installing other features, then these will often add value to your home. But be conscious that over complicated landscaping that breaks up or reduces the open space may not be attractive to many buyers, and that swimming pools and other high maintenance features may likewise be a deterrent.
If you want expert landscaping advice, get in touch with Minster Paving today by calling 01865 300252 or contact us online.