When it’s time to select a contractor, most consumers turn to the Internet to gather information about various contractors, the quality and specialty work that each contractor provides and also public opinion of the contractor. It is a pretty safe bet that the contractor’s website is going to list several testimonials and glowing stories of the perfect project and respect for the homeowners budget. But you are not likely to find any honest critiques of areas that the contractor could improve upon or areas that were to complete failure. No business owner is going to display that on his or her website. So savvy homeowners are turning to the Houzz website to get an honest view of what it is like to work with many of the contractors in the valley. This is because Houzz is an independent website which is working for the consumer to gather honest opinions and factual accounts of contractor performance. And that is the reason that the Best of Houzz 2018 award means so much to Chris Griffin and the entire UNIQUE team. [Read more…]
There is a lot of truth to the old saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” And that can be true when thinking about almost any subject. That is the main reason why it is critical for homeowners to do some research and ask a lot of questions when meeting with a UNIQUE designer; because nothing is worse than learning about a great new outdoor living feature AFTER your yard is completed.
Ask Yourself Some Important Questions
As you are thinking about your landscape, there are several questions that you need to ask yourself. You will also want to give careful consideration to how you are answering these questions.
- Do you just want a small place to sit and relax in the evenings with family or would you like a space large enough to entertain extended family and friends? This answer is going to help you not only select the size of your outdoor living area but also the features which you would like to include.
- Is the outdoor space going to be for year round use or mainly just a summer hang out for the kids? This answer will guide you to either a kid friendly pool and play area or a full outdoor living space with features for both kids and adults.
- Do you want to be able to spend all day and maybe even most of the night outdoors, or are you just interested in going out for a few hours from time to time? If you are only interested in short visits to cool off in the pool and maybe relax with a beverage then a basic UNIQUE package will meet all of your needs. But, if you are a true fan of the great outdoors then you will want to learn about the premium packages UNIQUE offers. These designs will make it possible for you to spend the entire day enjoying your outdoor living space in comfort and style.
There are many UNIQUE projects that homeowners undertake because they believe it will increase their property value. Sadly, many projects end up providing little or no return on investment. But there are certain landscape choices that you can make which will definitely increase the value of your property.
- Select a quality professional landscape design- A study at the University of Michigan found that a professional landscape design increased the value of landscape projects by as much as 11%. This added value is due to the increased sophistication of a professional landscape design. Plant selections are of a higher quality, plant location is more carefully considered for both the immediate and long term goals and curb appeal was increased due to the cohesiveness of a complete professional design.
- Use plants to solve issues- No property is perfect but there are always ways to work with any short comings that your property might be facing. If the home is on a busy street with considerable road noise, then a hedge row of trees or large shrubs will act as a screen and help to mute the street noise. Large plants and trees can also provide a visual barrier to screen off views of utility boxes or poles, walls or even neighboring homes. Strategically placed trees can also add shade to a portion of your home help maintain a cooler indoor temperature.
- Maintenance- After many years of growth, plants can begin to “take over” a space. Trimming and pruning large plants and trees will greatly improve your curb appeal and allow your home to again become the focal point of the property. Architectural features and the style of your home can be hidden behind the years of growth. Proper pruning can reduce the plants back to their proper scale and reveal the features of your home that had become hidden.
- Enhance features with plants- Having shutters on your home is a valuable feature. A fresh coat of paint and some bright flowering shrubs planted under the shutters will draw attention to these great features. Flower pots adorned with bright paint and blooming flowers will draw attention to a wonderful front porch and add to the curb appeal as well.
- Lighting-Add value and a sense of security to your home with professional outdoor lighting. Your yard and your home will stand out at night as every passerby can enjoy your landscape and other focal points on your home which had been lost in the darkness. In addition to this new perspective on your home, the lights will add a feeling of safety as you can see throughout the yard for security and safer navigation approaching your home.
You might have decided to perk up your property because you are planning to sell in the next year or so, or you could just be completing these projects simply as a way to invest in your property. Regardless of your motivation, by following these simple tips you are making a good financial decision and also increasing the curb appeal of your home for yourself and your community.