There are so many benefits associated with landscaping and with spending time outdoors that it can be difficult to know which scientific study to refer to first. A recent study done by research teams at a major American university clearly indicates that spending just five minutes every day outside, simply looking at trees and garden plants, can have a measurable impact on stress and anxiety levels. Participants were not asked to garden or to interact with the trees; just looking at nature can help lower stress and can lead to increased productivity at work.
Homeowners who are considering selling their homes can also benefit from contemplating natural stone retaining walls and other landscaping ideas: upgrading outdoor landscaping well in advance of putting a home up for sale can increase homes’ resale potential. Typically, gardening and home improvement experts suggest that owners invest about 15% to 20% of a residential home’s value into its landscaping. Knowing that your home has a better chance of finding a buyer within a month can also significantly lower stress levels.
When homeowners are considering the cost of landscaping upgrades, they typically consider how much “return on investment” a particular addition might have in the event of a resale. Adding a deck to your house tends to have a high ROI, close to 80%, meaning that most of the money spent on installing an outdoor deck would be recouped in the event of a sale. Garage doors also have an ROI of more than 80%, and once homeowners start installing shrub trimming and other plants near their home, they need to realize that in addition to a positive ROI, they could be cutting down their heating bills by more than 10%.
Properly placed shade trees can also reduce cooling costs. Planting climbing vines and other attractive ornamental shade trees can knock out as much as 75% of monthly air conditioning bills, adding further to the potential resale value of a home. University studies also show that the nicer the landscaping, the more value added to a home’s price. Regular lawn maintenance, ornamental iron accents, and adding a deck to your house can take a yard from “acceptable” to “superior” within the course of a few weeks, and can tack on more than 25% to the resale value of a residential property.
Creating a perfectly green lawn can cost thousands, but some homeowners find success with replacing their lawns with attractive xeriscapes. The term refers to cactus and other plants that do not require much watering and that can be grown in several gardening zones across America. In lieu of cactus landscaping, some homeowners opt to replace some or all of their lawns with ornamental stones, available in bulk quantities from larger landscaping stores or from contractors.
Adding a deck to your house can be a good financial decision, but even if selling the property is not on the horizon, enjoying time spent relaxing outside should be good for many hours of enjoyment each year. In any weather, the beauty of trees, ornamental iron gazebos, well-constructed wooden sheds, and even handmade rock retaining walls should work to minimize stress and promote relaxation.