If you’re looking to boost the resale value of your home, landscaping is a good place to start. While it’s hard to pin down an exact number, studies estimate that landscaping upgrades can increase your home’s value from 5.5 to 12.7%. So what’s hot on the Fort Worth outdoor design scene? Here are a few of the latest trends appearing in backyards near you.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor areas for relaxing with family and friends are still hugely popular. Homeowners see these as an outdoor oasis and an extension of their home. The yard can include everything from patios and decks to outdoor kitchens, televisions, and audio systems. Retractable screens and shades are an emerging trend. The screens add privacy and help keep out bugs and summer heat.

Fire Pits

 

 

These remain a top trend because they add warmth and ambiance to any outdoor space. They also extend the use of your yard through fall and winter. Fire pits are usually less expensive than fireplaces, and they can be built-in or portable.

Integrated technology

Younger home buyers, in particular, are attracted to “smart landscaping”. A few examples are cell phone-controlled pools, robotic lawn mowers, and apps that control lighting and sprinkler systems remotely.

Pergolas

 

 

Pergolas are decorative garden structures made of vertical beams and cross beams. They provide shade and protection from the elements. Adding drapes, latticework or screens adds privacy. They’re also affordable and add beauty to your outdoor space.

Metals

Metals are making a significant mark in landscape design. Iron and steel are especially prominent in water features, furniture, and accessories. While metal will rust, it can be easily painted and restored.

Water Features

 

 

You can bring a touch of serenity and natural beauty to your yard by adding a water feature. It’ll attract birds and animals, and the sound of flowing water is soothing to the soul. Popular choices are fountains, small brooks or burbling ceramic pots.

Low-maintenance Landscapes

 

 

Homeowners and homebuyers of all ages don’t have a lot of time to care for their yards. That’s why low maintenance landscaping is a big trend. Replace grass with mulch or stones, use native/drought resistant plants, or consider a hardscape design.

Outdoor Lighting

 

 

The biggest trends in outdoor lighting involve technology and LED lights. More homeowners are going with lighting systems controlled by smartphone apps (no more timers!). These smart controls allow you to dim or brighten your lights and change the lighting schedule. Outdoor lights make your home safer for nighttime guests, and they tend to discourage intruders. You can even set up distinct lighting areas with individual settings. LED lights are smaller and more energy efficient and have come a long way in the past few years. Even more exciting? They can change colors, which is a fun option for prominent features like fountains or statues.

A Well-maintained Lawn

No matter how intricate or beautiful your landscaping installations are, they won’t matter if the lawn surrounding them is not lush and green.  A well maintained lawn is not something that happens overnight; rather it takes years of following proper lawn maintenance routine that includes regular mowing of the grass, annual lawn aeration, and regular fertilization.  If you’re short on time and your lawn isn’t quite up to snuff, sod installation is another option, which will yield faster results but will cost a few thousand dollars for most lawns.

 

Landscaping investments like these are a good bet for upping your home’s resale value. You may like the upgrades so much, you decide to keep the home and enjoy them yourself.

 

Kath Meryl Johnson is a landscaper and freelance writer who enjoys working on handy projects around the house. She and her children recently helped build a neighborhood gazebo next to the community pool.