Spring is just around the corner, and for many people, that means it’s time to start thinking about the landscaping updates you’d like to make to your property. Before you start digging holes and planting trees, it’s important to understand how landscaping can improve or hurt your property value. After all, property value plays a big role in your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Learn how to protect your home when landscaping by understanding these ways landscaping can affect your home’s value.
1. Trees Can Add Value to Property or Cause Damage
Many homeowners hope that their landscaping efforts will earn them a return on their investment. It’s widely known that mature trees not only add beauty to your lawn, but when planted correctly, they can also increase a home’s value. According to a study by the USDA Forest Service, healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.
However, when trees are planted too close to the home, large tree roots can extend underneath the property, causing foundation issues. Oak, willow and poplar trees are known for their potential to cause damage to property when not planted properly, as their tree roots can grow to be very large. Large tree roots can also break through concrete, damaging walkways or patios.
Pro Tip: Do your homework and research the space your tree will need before planting any in your yard.
Tree roots naturally grow toward water sources, which causes them to grow toward sewer lines, as they are an excellent source of the water roots crave. When a root finds a leak in a water pipe, it will quickly grow into the pipe causing blockages, breaks and disrupting the water lines. This can cause flooding in your yard and a host of other problems. When deciding which trees to plant and where don’t forget to look up; tall trees planted in an incorrect place can interfere with electric and cable lines running above your home.
Pro Tip: Verify with your utility company where the gas, electric, cable and sewer lines are located so you can plan where to plant your trees and shrubs accordingly.
2. Beware of Plants That Dry out Your Soil
In the spring and summer, some trees can dry out soil in your yard, potentially causing ground shrinkage under your home’s foundation. When deciding which plants to add to your landscape, be sure to take note of the moisture levels of the soil in your region.
3. Vines Growing up the House Can Damage the Bricks or Paint
Growing ivy may be a way to add visual appeal to your home, but it can also lead to serious issues. When ivy grows along the side of a home, it can damage the paint and siding. It can even be powerful enough to grow into cracks in bricks and separate them, leading to stability issues. If left to grow all the way to the roof, vines may lift roof tiles and pull apart guttering.
Pro Tip: Never let your ivy grow high enough to reach your roof. Before planting vines that travel along the side of your home, ask your local landscaping expert about the possibility of damage to your siding.
4. Prickly Bushes May Deter Burglars
Did you know that your landscaping could actually deter burglars? By strategically placing prickly bushes and shrubs in front of your windows, burglars may be less likely to attempt to enter your home
5. Native Plants can Increase Your Property Value
Native plants are trees, shrubs or flowers that grow naturally in your region. They provide beautiful, low-maintenance options for your home landscaping while potentially increasing your home's value.
Benefits of Choosing Plants Native to Your Region
Native plants are less expensive to care for. An Ecological Services study shows that it takes $3,000 to maintain an acre of native plants over 20 years and $20,000 for non-native plants.
Native plants can improve the ecological value of your home. They provide food and homes for butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife.
They generally do not require as much maintenance. They need to be watered less because they have naturally adapted to the water source in your region, which also saves on water bills.
In climates with severe weather and high precipitation, native plants can direct runoff water underground, preventing water from seeping into your basement.
Find Plants Native to Your Region
Native prairie flowers support Iowa’s historical ecosystem. Consider planting prairie blazing stars, butterfly milkweed, purple coneflower and cardinal flowers to attract native butterflies and insects.
If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your landscape, Red Maple trees are a favorite native tree for Iowans due to their spectacular fall foliage. Native wildflowers that make good additions to woodland gardens are Canadian Wild Gingers and Virginia Bluebells.
The Obedient Plant is a popular plant for those living in the central Midwest. Its white petals with tall green stems make them great additions to gardens and bouquets. Indiangrass is a prairie plant that brings out Nebraska’s plain heritage. The grass can grow to be five feet tall, and flowers bloom In late summer.
The Blue Palo Verde tree grows bright yellow flowers in the spring and summer months. It is native to Arizona, so it is accustomed to the dry weather, requiring little water.
The Sugar Maple is a large tree that provides multicolored foliage in autumn, making it a popular choice for homeowners in the Midwest. The American Bellflower is native to Midwest states and can grow up to 3-4 feet tall. The upper portion of the stems are lined with lavender-blue flowers.
The Prairie Wild Rose is a pink flower plant that is native to Minnesota. It grows well in full sun and can withstand the harsh winters. The Ninebark shrub is a popular choice for Minnesotans due to its attractive white flower clusters and its ability to thrive in a lot of sunlight.
Oak trees are native to Midwestern states, including Kansas. The Annual Sunflower adds a bright yellow color to every landscape, and this flower thrives in the Kansas climate.
Similar to other Midwest states, native prairie grasses and flowers are excellent additions to home landscapes. The Dotted Blazing Star is a prairie flower that will add rose-lavender flowers to your garden.
Plants native to New Mexico are drought-tolerant. Popular choices include Butterfly weed and Milfoil.
Protect Your Landscape and Your Home with Farm Bureau Insurance
As you get started with your spring landscaping projects, don’t forget about the effect they could have on your home’s value. Learn more about how you can protect your property and your hard work with homeowners Insurance from Farm Bureau today!