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DIY Landscaping Tips

Do It Yourself Landscaping Projects

You don't need to spend big to make a significant impact on your home's outdoor aesthetic. Small, inexpensive changes can boost curb appeal, and a few smart landscaping choices can even increase your home's price point when it comes time to sell.

Simple garden beds with easy-to-install edging

Edging is a simple, low-budget way to add substance and order to an otherwise barren front yard landscape. While edging products can deliver a clean, polished look, some say you don't necessarily need special materials to do the job. Using mulch beside grassy areas to create a clean, lined edge can be the perfect solution when you have a limited budget.

Create pathways

Pathways are an excellent place to splurge. Whether in the front or backyard, adding stones or creating DIY paths using mulch and edging helps set the scene for potential buyers.

If opting for stepping stones, we recommend buying the largest size you can find since bigger stones are less likely to move out of place. Stepping stones should be laid on compacted soil, leveled, and soil packed around the edges to prevent moving or wobbling.

Incorporate large planters

Trees and bushes appeal to buyers, but it's essential to be cautious when planting them to avoid blocking natural light. If in doubt, try incorporating large planters to jazz up your home's front stoop or porch. These impermanent fixtures add visual interest without all the upkeep.

What goes inside is entirely up to you, but it's important to consider climate and necessary maintenance. Consider filling large vase-like planters with branches and adding string lights or changing things up for each season.

Add a birdbath

While the home is the obvious backdrop for beautiful landscaping, adding a birdbath creates a secondary focal point and can turn a simple wildflower garden into a sophisticated space.

When adding a birdbath, placement is key for both aesthetic value and filling. You don't want to put your birdbath so far from the home that filling and cleaning it becomes an annoying chore.

Install a fire pit

While the front is obvious for curb appeal, the back is important because this is where buyers will be spending most of their time. A poorly landscaped backyard may be the last thing a buyer sees, influencing their overall impression of a home.

Placement is also important when installing a fire pit. You're less likely to use it if it's far from your home but too close, and it becomes a potential hazard. You also need to think about how you plan to use it. Do you want to create a rustic spot for enjoying roasted marshmallows as a family? Or will it be a party gathering place?

Add permanent seating

Incorporate hard and softscaping elements when planning your DIY landscaping project. Hardscaping involves things like pavers and stones while softscaping includes components like flowers, plants, and greenery.

In addition to pavers or stones, another way to incorporate hardscaping without breaking the bank is to install permanent seating like stone or steel benches.

Plant low-maintenance shrubs and flowers

You've created garden beds by adding edging. Great! The next step is picking the right plants to fill those beds. We recommend opting for plants native to your area since they'll thrive in the particular climate. Some ideas include knockout roses, which are an easy way to add color to your landscape, and native ornamental grasses, which are easy to maintain and look great.

Conceal your AC unit

Adding air conditioning to your home can boost its value, but an exterior compressor unit can be an eyesore. Covering it up can help beautify your yard and create a clean, clutter-free look. For hiding AC units, we recommend shrubs, making sure you don't plant them too close to the unit that impedes airflow. Think about using an evergreen as compressors are visible all year round. Some species to consider are schip laurel, boxwood, holly, and taxus.

Create interest with a fountain

A water feature adds both visual and auditory interest, and who doesn't love the sound of gently trickling water?

Elements like a bird bath, fountain, and permanent seating make great finishing touches. When choosing a fountain, make sure to think about whether there's access to an outlet. Keep in mind that evaporation can happen quickly on hot, sunny days. A bigger fountain may be more expensive, but you'll need to fill it up less frequently.

It is also recommended to put your fountain in a spot where you can see it from several vantage points for maximum enjoyment. She adds that scale is important, too. An oversized fountain in a compact space can quickly overwhelm.

Enhance the landscape with stones and natural materials

If you're looking to save big on landscaping, going DIY is the way to go. Morales says that doing things yourself is the most cost-effective way to jazz up a drab landscape.

Playing up natural elements can help finish off a space or even hide ugly problem areas in your yard or garden. "If you are going to use natural materials, make sure they are indigenous to your region," says Yost. "Don't use materials from somewhere else because they can look out of place." She recommends planting boulders or rocks versus setting them atop the ground since this helps deliver a natural, intentional result.

Think of these decorative elements as the icing on the cake. It's not necessary, but people appreciate it. A few simple touches can make a big difference.

And when adding decorative accessories, just be aware that many need to be protected in the winter. If you're short on storage space or just don't love the idea of cleaning up decorations at the end of the season, keep these items to a minimum for maximum enjoyment.

Make a statement with modern house numbers

First impressions are important. And your front door is typically the first thing buyers see before they head inside. While a fresh coat of paint can go a long way, a few additional finishing touches like new light fixtures and a modern house number plaque can tie everything together and set your home apart from the rest of the block. "When buyers see that a seller is paying attention to these small details, it gives the buyer confidence that the seller maintained the whole house in the same manner," says Morales.

Want to make an even bigger impact? Swap your mailbox at the same time. Matching your porch lighting fixtures, mailbox, and address plaque is a good way to set the tone for the rest of the house.

Install window planter boxes

"In addition to all of the other larger aspects of the home (location, layout, updates), simple and inexpensive changes can help make a difference in enticing buyers to make an offer on the home," says Morales

Simple, cheap, and easy to install, window planter boxes are a low-effort way to increase the visual appeal of your home's exterior. Fill them with your favorite annuals, make sure to keep them watered, and you've got an instant color boost. Morales recommends choosing window box planters that fit the style of your home.

Also, be sure to choose planters that come equipped with drainage holes and pick the right plants for your climate. Because most boxes are relatively shallow, annuals are a good choice for window planters. Pick annuals that produce plentiful blooms, like begonias, and remember to fertilize every few months.

Clean up

One of the most effective landscaping jobs you can do on a budget? Deletion, says Yost. "If you have overgrown or dead plants, just removing them is often better than leaving them in place. Even if you don't immediately have the budget for replacements."

Buyers are much more likely to see potential in a clean, bare

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