Siding options

For many people, landscaping and outdoor design is about putting the finishing touches to their residences. The kind of back and front yard landscaping you choose says a lot about you: is it formal, cottage-y, native, friendly to wildlife and birds? With a range of landscape choices like ornamental trellises and cupolas, decks and patios, decorative stonework, sunrooms and even windows, you can express yourself and your values. There is another advantage in putting your landscaping ideas into action: you add to the value of your home.

Properly planned, landscape features and especially trees can help to moderate weather effects. Windbreaks and shade trees can dramatically reduce heating and cooling costs while adding to the beauty of your home.
Adding value to your home
While the kinds of design you choose for your back and front yard landscaping have the primary goal of making it a pleasant and comfortable place for your and your family, it can add up to 28% to the overall value of your home. This is because it adds to the curb appeal – in real estate terms, the first impression of a house determines how much a buyer is willing to pay for it.
Even if your back and front yard landscaping can already be defined as “good” in terms of design, condition and placement, a study of homes in Greenville SC carried out by Clemson University found that taking it up a notch, to “excellent” could add another 6 to 7% to its value. It’s not all just about appearance, though. Adding features like wood decks will raise the value by more than 80% of the cost. Garage doors of midrange quality can likewise recoup around 88% of their cost, by increasing the value of the home.

Enhancing energy efficiency naturally
When properly planned, back and front yard landscaping can make your home more energy efficient even as it becomes more pleasant outdoors and indoors. Trees will do the trick, and by planting them strategically as windbreaks and for shade, winter heating bills can be reduced by 15% and air conditioning cost by a whopping 75%.
Windbreaks also serve to screen out neighbors and traffic noises, improving the privacy and comfort of your home. It doesn’t have to be a large number of trees; the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that just three trees in the right locations can reduce home energy costs by $100 to 250.

Create a beautiful, energizing retreat
Most people know instinctively that to be near trees and water helps them attain a calmer frame of mind and a better handle on the stresses of daily life. This is confirmed by a Texas AandM University study, which though that just five minutes of looking at trees leads to ?significant recovery from stress?.
Trees and plantings attract birds and wildlife, allowing you to reconnect with the natural world. A peaceful natural environment can have a calming or energizing effect, according to your needs. Even if your spend only ten minutes in the back yard with a morning cup of coffee, you’ll find you have the energy and focus to deal with whatever the day brings.

With so many obvious and latent advantages in improving your back and front yard landscaping, give your imagination full rein to create the garden of your dreams.

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