Fixing The Exterior Can Help Sell a DIY Fixer-Upper Investment Property

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by Bonny Styles
(Laguna Niguel, Ca, USA)

The saying “you broke it, you fix it!” can somehow apply to the business of buying and reselling property. Only this time, it’s you buy it and you fix it.

One of the first areas a buyer of a house will notice when checking out property is the exterior. It is the task of the landscape architect to make the garden top notch and appealing for a possible client.

Similar to that of the engineer and the building he constructed, alandscape architect envisions the planning, design, rehabilitation and preservation of the man-made property, such as in this case, real estate or simply fixer upper homes.

Hiring professionals to assist you in the landscaping of the property’s exterior maybe costly, that is why if you can do it by yourself, why not? Here are some guidelines that may assist you in improving the landscape’s exterior.

1. Make the best out of curb appeal

Now there’s something aesthetically appealing with a downward slope portion of the ground when checking out a garden. It’s simple but landscaping on slopes isn’t an easy task.

First, you need a retaining wall. Think of it like you’re getting retainers after years of wearing braces. A retaining wall assists in preventing erosion.

You can build your own stone-retaining wall. All you need are a mason’s hammer, shovel, garden hose and a couple of stakes.

Terrace the slope by building retaining walls that could hold the soil in two or more places. A mortar-less retaining wall comes in with a drainage system which means water seeps through the cracks between the stones. However, when damage from such water pressure takes place, it can easily be repaired.

Choose stones that have two flat sides which will be placed atop the retaining wall. The heavier the stones, the more stability it will provide. The heavier the stones, the greater work you’ll have to do lifting it. It’s for the best anyway.

For your wall to withstand external pressure, dig a trench about eight to ten inches deep, fully submerging the first row of stones. Check that the stones are leveled. Just because it is a downward slope doesn’t mean the stones should be jagged when lined up.

After completing the first layer of the foundation, continue with the next course of stones. Tuck in soil when there is a gap in between the terraces. Cascading plants such as lobelia and thyme are also appealing when planted in stone retaining walls.

2. Cleaning out and replacing flower beds

Of course, even plants need a fresh start. In landscaping, it is also advisable that plants get replenished. Treat the weather like it is spring and you’re about to embark on a change, so that’s why you clean out the flower beds.

Remove the dead foliage from the past seasons. Make sure that the flowers are given enough fertilizer and water to be replenished again. The flower bed soil must be healthy so that the nutrients will be taken in by the plants.

By replacing flower beds, make sure that the flowers you will purchase and plant are those that are in tune with the season. Ask a flower expert about the right care for the plants.

It is also advisable that the cleaning extend not only up to the flower beds but also to the lawn. A green, lush healthy garden is always something that captures the attention of a possible buyer.

3. Maintaining the lawn

What could be one of the hardest tasks in bringing out the beauty of a garden yet again is the lawn. First step you must do is to get the right type of grass to plant. Afterwards, purchase the fertilizer and ask the plant specialist when it is advisable to fully water the lawn.

Getting a gardener to maintain and water the lawn once a week will help in improving the lawn’s beauty to the onlooker’s eye. Make sure to get someone who you can trust, who will do the job efficiently and quickly with an asking price that won’t be a hassle for you to shell out.

Some landscape architects also consider providing xeriscape to the exterior. This is where the retaining wall comes in. When done correctly, then erosion and the unwanted water can be suppressed from coming in and destroying the plants in the garden.

It is the landscape architect’s job to improve the exterior of a buy-and-sell house just as it is an architect’s job to improve the interior. Just like when you’re checking out someone you see in the bar, the physical appeal also matters.

Click here to read more DIY Home tips about home improvement information

Updated: November 9, 2012 — 8:54 pm

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