Flip Tips: 3 Major Landscaping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Landscaping is an impostant part of successfully flipping and staging a home for potential buyers. From the elegant curb appeal of the front yard to the unique paradise you build in the backyard, there are a lot of ways to landscape. However, while the entire yard is your creative canvas to plant buyer-attracting designs, it’s important to understand that there are also a few ways to do it wrong. When landscaping goes wrong, it can go very very wrong indeed.

Whether you’re hiring a professional landscaping service to make your vision a reality or going at it alone with your shovel, here are the top three major landscaping mistakes that DIY flipping projects often make and how to avoid them.

1) Putting Your House in a Puddle

When most people think about landscaping, the focus is almost always on form over function. There are so many ways to make your yard beautiful; however, the lawn’s first duty is actually to the foundation of the home. If the dirt below your foundation gets too wet, it will expand or shift which can cause foundation damage. This means that the entire yard needs to gently slope away from the house, leaving the home on the top of a hill. Depending on the property, this hill can be steep and impressive or barely perceptible. As long as water flows away from the house, instead of leaving it in a soggy foundation-cracking puddle, you’ll be saving the home from future damage.

2) Forgetting About Erosion

While the ideal home lot may be perfectly flat, we all know that the terrain doesn’t always cooperate. If the home is built on even a small hill, you’re going to need to landscape more carefully. Hilly lots are often tiered, which can be beautiful if done correctly. However, no matter how deliberately you place the dirt tiers, erosion happens. Dirt from higher spaces will roll to lower spaces and eventually, you’ll have a messy hill again. If you have layers, tiers and steep areas in the landscaping design, try landscaping with decorative retaining walls. These can be made of plastic, brick, natural stone, or poured concrete as long as there’s something holding higher layers of dirt in place.

3) Choosing the Wrong Plants

Finally, when you’ve got all the land where you want it, it’s time to think about plants. Most people either take advice from their landscaper on which flowers, shrubs, and trees to use or head out to the local garden supply store to pick out something that looks nice. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to forget that each plant has its own growing and care requirements. Some plants are more demanding than others, some don’t grow happily in the region without a hothouse or a lot of attention and some will actively strangle others if you put them too close together. Choosing the wrong plants can result in an out-of-control or dead landscape in only a few months. Be sure to select varieties of plant that are low to no-maintenance and will grow happily next to each other.

Designing a new home landscape layout is always exciting and as a responsible homeowner, it’s important to know what to avoid so that you can strategize the best possible design for the yard. Whether you’re creating an enchanting garden or the ideal playground for children, the right landscaping design is key to enjoying both the front and back yards to their fullest. Now that you’re equipped with the big “Don’ts”, you’re ready to unleash your inner landscaping artist and design a landscape that will knock potential buyers right out of their socks. From breathtaking flower arrays to peaceful zen gardens, you can make an unforgettable landscaping project to transform the outside of almost any flip.

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