Landscape design has a tremendous impact on the curb appeal and value of your home. If your landscape feels outdated it is not always necessary to start from scratch. Updating an existing landscape can be a faster, easier, and more cost-effective approach to giving your property a fresh appearance, and can greatly increase the value of your home.
When to Update Your Landscape
Even without starting from a blank slate, updating your landscape design can be an overwhelming project. The following situations are examples of where landscape redesign is worth considering, and may even make you money in the long run.
The Overgrown Landscape
Overgrown landscaping may be causing problems you aren’t aware of, such as damaging underground water or septic pipes, gas lines, or electrical cables. Elevated utility lines could also be damaged by falling branches. An overgrown landscape will block views and could scratch your home’s siding, cause roof damage, and even crack concrete in the sidewalk, driveway or patio areas. All of these problems can lead to very costly repairs that a thoughtfully-designed landscape can avoid.
The “For Sale” Landscape
If you plan on selling your home, the landscaping is one of the first things potential buyers will notice. Poorly maintained landscaping gives a bad first impression that could discourage buyers, while an updated landscape adds significant value and may increase the final sale price. A complicated landscape might put off buyers who aren’t interested in outdoor maintenance. A simple, fresh landscape design welcomes new owners to your home, and is a great choice for when you’re about to sell.
The Unused Landscape
A lush lawn and ornamental plantings may be pretty, but they don’t necessarily add value to your home. Updating your landscape to include gardening space and edibles such as fruit trees, berry bushes, and fresh herbs, however, adds utility to your property and can even cut grocery bills. Similarly, a wide swath of lawn does no good to your quality of life if you don’t enjoy it – adding a recreation area, entertainment space, or other outdoor living space can be a fantastic value.
The High Maintenance Landscape
Complicated gardens, plants that require extensive care, and lawns that need frequent fertilizing, weeding, and watering can be a significant financial drain on homeowners. Your landscape is primarily for enjoyment, not to create a second job. Updating your landscape to opt for lower-care options can be a way to modernize your property and reduce the time and money needed to keep it looking its best.
By updating your landscape, you can save both time and money, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your new landscape much more than any outdated design will allow for.
Ways to Update Your Landscape for the Most Value
Depending on your reasons for updating your landscape, there are many options that will add value to your property – both monetary and otherwise. Popular choices include…
Wider pathways give your home a more welcoming, open feel that is ideal for entertaining. Existing paths can be expanded with pavers, bricks, gravel or mulch to make them broader. This is also a good time to be sure walkways are level and easy to navigate.
The right lighting can give your landscape a whole new look. Add lights to pathways, specimen plants, architectural features, or outdoor living areas to update your landscape and create a brighter, safer, more enjoyable space.
Deep flowerbeds create a luxurious buffer around your home and provide space for additional plantings, such as a row of colorful annuals along the front edge of the bed. When deepening beds, you can also change their shape for a fresh, new look.
Landscaping that protects privacy is always desirable. Tall ornamental grasses, large containers, or fencing can create a more private space for you to enjoy. Consider enclosing a patio, blocking unwanted views, or otherwise sheltering your space for greater privacy.
Plants or structures that shade your home or outdoor spaces can help control temperature to make your outdoor area more comfortable and save on heating and cooling bills indoors. Planting trees or installing awnings, pergolas or other shade structures are the most popular options.
Creating a cozy niche in your landscape is a great way to encourage you to enjoy being outdoors. A comfortable hammock, swing or bench can lead to more time outdoors, a fire pit welcomes gatherings, or a meditation feature such as a fountain can be a peaceful addition to any property.
For more formal entertaining, a complete outdoor room can add tremendous value to your property. An outdoor kitchen, grill, or bar is a great choice, or you might opt for an entertainment area complete with a television, fire pit, and extra seating. Looking for some inspiration? Be sure to check out our guide to outdoor patio ideas today!
Trees are long-term investments that add wonderful value to your property. A small tree may not seem significant, but over the years it will grow into a luxurious specimen that provides shade and distinction, even fruit, depending on the type of tree.
If it’s your lawn that needs updating, consider new sod for instant results. Replacing your grass with new sod will smooth out your lawn, remove weeds, repair bare or thin patches, and provide a luxurious footing all in one step.
No matter how you choose to update your existing landscape, our experts can help you find just the right options to refresh your property based on your needs and budget. Contact us today to see how we can bring new life to your old landscape!
Patios are the hub of a functional backyard. Maximizing square footage while combining utility, serenity, and grace is essential for a successful build. Regardless of direction you decide to go, pre-planning your outdoor patio ideas is key.
It’s easy to let your imagination run wild when planning for your dream outdoor space. This guide aims to help you both get your creative ideas flowing and also give insight into practicalities to make your patio project a smashing success.
If you’re ready to focus on the sunny weather ahead, there are a range of tasks you can undertake to get your patio ready for lounging, entertaining, or whatever it is that you like to do outside.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering outdoor patio ideas
What Do I Want From My Patio Design?
Your outdoor lifestyle will change as new friends and neighbors come and go, your family grows, and your hobbies shift to new interests.
Perhaps you’ve discovered a passion for the culinary arts and want to expand your outdoor meal prep options with a brick pizza oven, built-in grill, outdoor refrigeration, or space for growing organic herbs and produce.
Perhaps you’d enjoy your fire pit or hot tub through the rainy winter months if they were more sheltered.
Before you make any changes to your outdoor patio, it is important to assess your needs. Be sure to keep in mind how your outdoor needs may change so you can make adjustments that will allow you to enjoy it for many years.
What Does My Current Patio Offer, and What Do I Need to Change?
When you’re considering outdoor patio ideas, first take a good look at what your space already offers. How large is the existing patio.
Does it need to be larger or smaller? Is it oriented toward the best views of your yard? Do you need more privacy? What condition is it in? If any repairs are needed, now is the time to do basic maintenance. Repair settling, reseal the concrete, stone or pavers, and replace any cracked stones or broken railings to be sure your space is safe and usable.
10 Patio Improvement Ideas
1. Cleaning Your patio
It is amazing how much difference a thorough cleaning can make to your patio. Power wash the area, using appropriate treatments to remove mold or rust stains. Re-sand joints between pavers and repaint or stain railings or wood accents. If you already love your patio space, a good cleaning may be all the refreshing you need.
2. Pruning Plants Around Your Patio
Overgrown plants near your patio can encroach on the outdoor living space. Shape plants attractively and consider removing or replacing any damaged or unsalvageable plants. Add new mulch around the patio for a fresh look and to discourage weeds.
3. Lighting Makes a Huge Difference
Without proper lighting, you won’t enjoy your patio after dark. Overhead illumination can be improved by adding recessed lighting to covered patios or string lights to pergolas. Up-lights can add depth and drama to your outdoor space by highlighting the beautiful shapes of surrounding plants and trees. Illuminating stairs and pathways will ensure a safe journey from house to patio in the evening.
4. Define Edges To Create Space
Redefining the edge of your patio with deeper beds, retaining walls, poured concrete planters, or a privacy screen can completely change the feel of the space.
Seating can be incorporated into many areas in your patio. Whether it’s a retaining wall, a semi-circular bench accenting a fire pit, or benches that serve double-duty as railings on an elevated patio. If you’re not considering any additional structures, a fresh lounging or dining set can give your patio a whole new vibe. With so many styles of outdoor furniture available these days, you’re sure to find one that suits your home, be it mid-century modern or Mediterranean. Even replacing old covers, cushions or accent pillows can give existing furniture a fresh look.
6. Concrete Patios With Fire Pits
Add elemental life to your patio by incorporating fire or water into the space. Heat it up with a gas or wood-burning fire pit, fireplace, or even fun torches or lanterns. If liquid refreshment is more your style, options are plenty: koi ponds, fountains, or streams surround you in the sounds of nature. For a more immersive experience, consider a pool or spa.
7. Contain Your Enthusiasm
Adding containers is a great way to instantly update your patio with natural elements. Large containers of tall grasses or shrubs can create privacy, whether they’re oversized pots or built-in beds.
8. Covered Patio Ideas
Providing shade over your patio will make your outdoor living space more comfortable in all weather by reducing glare, blocking harmful UV rays and controlling the temperature. Shelter options include pergolas, gazebos, and pavilions. In a small space, even a patio umbrella will do the trick. Don’t underestimate the natural sunscreen of a beautiful shade tree!
9. Fun With Flooring
Most of us think of a concrete slab when it comes to patios, and though there are some beautiful options of slab available whether stamped, stained, or textured, there is also a range of other materials to consider. Depending on the style of your house, wood tiles or decomposed granite might be stylish options. Even a mix of materials, when done right, can add interest to your overall design. And don’t forget about personal touches—adding your initials or children’s handprints will give you something to smile at for years to come.
10. Small Patio Ideas
Speaking of personal touches, you may have a treasured item such as an outdoor clock, thermometer, barometer, or sculpture that would provide the perfect centerpiece for your patio area, or even serve as inspiration for the entire outdoor space. A functional chalkboard wall provides instant art whether it’s a drawing surface for kids or a menu board for dinner guests!
Bring the outdoors in – the magic of an outdoor room!
Not that you don’t already have enough outdoor patio ideas to keep you occupied – but here’s one more.
One of the hottest trends in how we are enjoying our gardens these days is adding outdoor rooms to our homes. And no wonder – exposure to the outdoors is cheap health insurance. Just check out what Dr. Roger S. Ulrich from the Texas A&M University has to say on the matter:
“In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” -arborday.org
An outdoor room surely makes getting that exposure easy. It can take the form of a private sanctuary, or it can become the perfect party space. The possibilities are endless.
The protection of an outdoor room can also do double duty as a haven for potted plants during our winters. So, for an unabashed “hort-head”, a built-in patio also offers much-needed protection for a treasured plant.
Drake’s 7 Dees leverages decades of construction experience with a seasoned design influence to assure a patio space that resonates with your passions, budget and personality. If you’re ready to add new life to your patio, our team of landscape architects and designers can help you find great ways to freshen up your space so you can spend more time outdoors enjoying it.
Whether you want an out-of-the box, modern flair or an aesthetic that harkens back to an early urban nostalgia. Our family of experts is excited to talk to you about your new patio! Contact us at our Portland garden center in Portland today. We’d love to help you on your next outdoor project.
A lifelong Oregon resident, Drake has been passionate about plants since childhood, beginning with propagating and growing flowers at his grandfather’s nursery. He opened Drake’s 7 Dees in 1974, while earning degrees in Business and Horticulture from Oregon State University. He later expanded into the design/build side of the industry, allowing him to combine his passion for plants with his love of family by maximizing the quality of family time spent outdoors.
Drake is co-founder of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager (LICM)—a designation that less than two percent of landscapers have attained. Additionally, Drake serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Japanese Gardens, widely regarded as one of the seven best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.
Drake is married to former Oregon Speaker of the House, Lynn Snodgrass. Together, he and Lynn received the Farm Bureau President’s award in 1999 for their service and dedication to agriculture in the state of Oregon. Drake and Lynn have two wonderful daughters, two talented son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Drake enjoys camping, water and snow skiing, reading, and of course, gardening.