How to improve your garden

🕑 6 minute read

Garden improvement ideas that could add value to your home

Gardens are an extension of your home, and they deserve the same care and attention.

A well-maintained garden is a joy in the summer months – and could also add value to your home if you’re thinking of selling in the future.

Discover simple garden upgrades and how much value a beautiful garden could add to your property.

Does a nice garden add value to your home?

Gardens are often the first thing people will see when visiting a property or looking at a new home online. For families with children or pets – or those who love to entertain – a garden may be high up on the priority list.

A study found that more than half of people who currently don’t have a garden would look for a property with outdoor space in the future. The research from AA suggests that a well-kept garden could add 5% to the value of a property.

Does an outbuilding add value to your home?

Outbuildings, like sheds or summer houses can add space to entertain, handy storage or a quiet area to unwind.

Sheds are the perfect option for outside storage and even a small shed or outdoor storage area can be a big investment for your home. A summer house or garden room can cost anything from £15,000 to £60,000 - but could also add between 5% and 15% to your property value.

Make sure your garden has adequate space for an outbuilding. If you’re taking a significant amount of space away from a small garden by installing an outbuilding, this may not add value to your property, or could even diminish the house price.

Garden improvement ideas

Make a space for entertaining

It’s lovely to have a dedicated area in your garden for al-fresco dinners and relaxing in the sun – when the weather allows!

Decking is a great choice, perfect if you have an uneven garden, as you can build a platform to level it out.

Another option would be to pave an area of the garden and create a patio - think about where the sun falls most often so you can really make the best use of the space you create – also, a patio might be more cost effective than decking.

No matter what you go for, choose garden furniture that fits your space and offers plenty of seating and space for eating. It’ll not only help you make the most of the garden, but if you want to sell, potential buyers will be able to visualise themselves entertaining al fresco.

Make sure it's secure

As well as making your garden look good, it’s helpful to think practically. Security and privacy are important factors, so make sure you have sturdy fencing, security alarms, secure walls and padlocked gates. Remember to make sure your home insurance policy covers your outside space, including sheds, garages and any other outbuildings.

Light it up

Think about lighting - this can add much needed extra security with sensor lights which automatically turn on. Or you can go for something more subtle and use garden fairy lights.

For a more modern look, solar-powered floor lights cast a gorgeous glow – plus they’re economical and better for the planet, too.

Add a water feature

A pond or water feature can be a great way to add some charm to any space - big or small. And it can be a haven for all sorts of wildlife from frogs to dragon flies.

However, you should be wary of having a pond if you have young children, or you have a home that could appeal to young families when you’re trying to sell. Ponds also need a bit of maintenance, so if you’re not keen on getting your hands dirty, this may not be for you.

If you don’t fancy managing a pond, opt for a modern water feature, which brings the tranquil sound of trickling water into your garden. Just be careful with young children around if there’s any part of the feature where the water pools.

Go artificial

We all live busy lives, so anything that helps save time is a good idea. These days, artificial grass can look and feel as good as the real thing – and, of course, you don’t have to mow it! It also remains lush and green, whatever the weather.

It’s not cheap – especially if you choose one that looks like the real deal – but if your home has only a small patch of lawn, it could be perfect.

All hands on deck

Add a small section of decking to enhance the entertainment area and to separate the lawn from the main house. Adding decking can add at least 10% to the value of your home.

Wooden decking does take some maintenance such as making sure it’s varnished and weatherproof, but composite decking is easy to maintain.

Flower power

Raise sections of the garden or add in wooden or ceramic planters to bring colour to the garden.

You can add borders around the edge of the garden and use border fences to protect sections from smaller members of the family and the lawn mower. Adding colour to your garden will always make it look brighter, especially during the spring and summer months.

Built-in seating area

Decking and separate seating areas are a great idea, but have you ever thought of combining the two? Adding built-in seating to your home could offer a continental feel.

Construct seating from the same material as your decking or patio, then add cushions and blankets to form a grown-up entertaining area. Adding a small table for drinks and some soft lighting can create a space you’ll cherish.

Make sure to choose furniture that is weatherproof as it can be costly to replace. It may be a good idea to invest in a waterproof storage box too, where you can store items like cushions and blankets when you’re not using them.

Don't worry if you don't have a garden...

You can still add appeal to the outside of your home, even without a garden.

If you have a balcony or small terrace, there’s so much you can do. You could tile the floor – Moroccan tiles look great, for example. Then make it a haven with rattan furniture, cushions, fairy-lights, lanterns and plants. Pots of fragrant herbs, succulents, cacti and climbers can help make your outside space feel like a green oasis.

And even if you don’t have a balcony or terrace, you can still add some colour with window boxes. Petunias, fuchsias and snapdragons are gorgeously vibrant flowers that will pretty up any window.

Be mindful that most flowers and plants need constant attention and maintenance, and may not be around year-round. For a low maintenance green space, choose flowers that can thrive with limited care, such as marigolds, begonias and cosmos.

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