The first impression of a house—essentially what it looks like from the curb—is often the most important way to pique potential buyers’ curiosity and get them to take a closer look. The elevation, exterior elements such as roofing and siding, and landscaping are usually what stand out at that all-important first sight. A beautifully landscaped yard can also enhance the outdoor living rooms, kitchens, and decks that are becoming increasingly prevalent. And because many builders often focus only on the house and not on its setting, attractive landscaping can be a major competitive differentiating factor. In other words, landscaping can help you sell houses.A lush green lawn is a good place to start, but there is more to it than turf, trees, and tulips; features such as lighting and fencing can add a great deal to the overall look.Cleveland-based Kichler Lighting offers landscape lighting that uses LED technology. The products not only produce warm, white light, but also last up to 40,000 hours. In addition to accent fixtures, Kichler offers deck, step, and brick lighting in a variety of finishes and shapes to dress up exteriors.Fencing can also make a design statement. Traditional white plastic products sometimes have a low-budget look, and solid woods such as cedar or ipe are attractive but pricey. Milford, Ind.–based Royal Outdoor Products’ recently introduced Triple Crown Fence Signature Series solves those problems. It has the look of wood but doesn’t require staining, sealing, or painting.“We’re satisfying the growing market for durable privacy fencing with a wood-like appearance,” says Deron K. Manwaring, national sales and marketing manager for Royal Outdoor Products. “Our field research told us that today’s homeowners want a fence that really enhances their surroundings but is easy to maintain.”As for your turf, if you want that traditional lawn, you can always go the conventional route and lay sod or spread seed. Or you can specify Flexterra flexible growth medium from Buffalo Grove, Ill.–based Profile Products.The product offers fast turf establishment and lower installation costs. It also controls erosion, establishes vegetation on slopes, and holds water and maintains air space, which result in faster growth—and thus, faster curb appeal.
Seeds of change: With its hydraulic seeding process, Flexterra provides fast turf establishment and lower installation costs. The system bonds directly to the soil so it requires less preparation than rolled blankets and requires no messy nets, threads, or staples. It absorbs and holds fifteen times its weight in water and delivers more moisture to the seedbed. Profile Products. 800-508-8681. www.profileproducts.com.
Fencing goods: Triple Crown Fence Signature Series has the look of wood but doesn’t need staining, sealing, or painting. Available in two colors, the product is low-gloss and features a protective capstock that is designed to repel water and resist weather. Fence lengths include 6- and 8-foot tongue-and-groove pieces. Royal Outdoor Products. 800-488-5245. www.royalcrownltd.com.
Great walls: Green is not only for foliage; the manufacturer says the term “green” can now apply to landscaping retaining walls as well. Integrity Block is an environmentally friendly replacement for standard products. It’s made with soil composites, features 50 percent pre-consumer recycled content, and requires 40 percent less energy to produce. Integrity Block. 650-641-3104. www.integrityblock.com.
Energy savers: This LED landscape light offers pure, warm white light and a life-span of 40,000 hours. Offered in 3, 6, and 9 watts, the lights are made from die-cast aluminum or solid brass housings. They use 75 percent less energy resulting in lower operating costs and a reduction of light pollution. Kichler. 866-558-5706. www.landscapelighting.com.