Articles Tagged "Landscaping"

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August
3

Improve Your Home's Hardscaping With These Tips

Hardscaping Tips

A functional and beautiful outdoor space can help make your summers more enjoyable, and when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor oasis, hardscaping has a big role to play. Our real estate agents always make it a point to invest in new outdoor elements that enhance the outdoor experience. New hardscaping not only helps to improve your home value, but it can also be aesthetically pleasing.

Below, we'll discuss the importance of hardscaping and how you can use it to make the most out of your yard this summer.

What Is Hardscaping?
Hardscaping is a term that describes any man-made outdoor elements, such as sidewalks, stairs, patios, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, and more. It's basically a term used to describe landscaping elements that are not plants. Hardscaping can be used to expand your living space, guide outdoor traffic, or increase the overall functionality of your yard. It's also very low maintenance!

Hardscaping Tip
Good hardscaping requires a lot of time and planning, but the end result is often well worth the investment. Here are some hardscaping tips to make your project a success:

  1. Always Evaluate The Space
    Before starting any hardscaping project, you'll want to make sure the space can support your vision. Therefore,  it's important to conduct a thorough analysis of the space. You'll want to consider the type of soil, the quality of the drainage, and the shape of the terrain before you begin building. Make sure you always measure the space.

  2. Supplement With Greenery
    It's easy to get carried away with hardscaping, but man-made elements shouldn't be the dominant theme of your outdoor space. Make sure you're keeping greenery in the picture. Whether it's flowers, shrubs, or potted plants, make sure there is plenty of plant life around.

  3. Stick To A Consistent Theme
    When hardscaping, you'll want to choose colors that match your home's exterior to create a seamless transition from indoors to the outdoors. Also, be sure not to go overboard. Try to keep it simple and stick to one or two textures across all your hardscape elements. For inspiration on beautiful hardscaping themes, take a look at a few of these Raleigh homes for sale.

  4. Keep Things Balanced
    Humans find real beauty in balance and symmetry, so keep this in mind when you're planning new outdoor elements. Use repetition when adding rocks, boulders, decor, or other elements. Make sure your items fit nicely within the natural space of your yard. Don't be afraid to add curves to your sidewalk or build a non-traditionally shaped patio.

  5. Consult A Professional
    Great hardscaping can be difficult to create. While it can make for a fun summer DIY project, you shouldn't be afraid to consult with a professional. If you're really looking to boost your home value, hiring a professional can really pay off.

Whether you're looking to create a new space for entertaining guests or your own private oasis, hardscaping is a great investment. Contact us today for more ideas about how to improve your outdoor space.

July
14

HPW Luxury | 6 Desirable Features Found in HPW Luxury Homes

In and around the Triangle area, there are several beautiful luxury listings available for sale. What exactly differentiates these properties from the standard market? Is it the square footage, the features, or the technology? Some would say it is all of the above. Ultimately, luxury buyers are not looking at the price tag in their search for their next dream home but the amazing amenities that come with the property. Here are the top 6 must-have features in luxury homes!

1. Indoor / Outdoor living

Indoor/outdoor living seamlessly extends your home's great room or dining quarters. This trend tends to keep cohesion in design from the interior to the exterior of your home. Typically indoor/ outdoor living has always been a primal commodity when searching for a new home. With the new normal consisting of being at your humble abode more these days, the amenity has become a necessity. What makes an outdoor living space luxurious is the ability to provide comfort through all seasons while also allotting multiple entertainment options. High-end features include retracting screened porches, outdoor kitchens, cabanas, and sometimes a type of water feature. This CBHPW luxury listing checks off each box on the list! With its large covered porch and a wood fireplace, the immaculate outdoor kitchen has a top-of-the-line grill station, jacuzzi, and extensive acreage for sporting events or games. One thing for sure is that you may yearn to host any occasion with this property as your next home. To view more of this listing, click here.  

2. Theatre Room 

Entertainment becomes the next level when a luxury property contains an in-home theater. The ability to bring the ultimate cinematic experience to your fingertips is a sought amenity many buyers search for when hunting for their next home. What makes an in-home theater top-notch is its ability to incorporate features similar to an actual movie theater. This includes a top-of-the-line av-system, projector, large screens, recessed lighting, and comfortable loungers. The goal of the theater room is to immerse yourself in what's on the screen, whether that be the newest megahit movie or the exciting rival sports game. The cinema room pictured above is from none other than one of our CBHPW luxury listings. This glorious in-home theater offers stadium seating, a high-tech projector, and even mimics the groovy movie theater carpet. To view more of this property, click here. 

3. Large Garages

The standard two-car garage does not cut it for luxury properties. Buyers are looking for substantial space when envisioning the housing of their precious automobiles. Typically, luxury properties have at least a 3-car garage! To any car buff, the garage is not just a space for storing your vehicle. This part of the property could be turned into a luxurious showroom, man cave, or workshop. This beautiful CBHPW luxury property comes with a three-car garage with gorgeous rustic wood garage doors. To view more of this property, click here.  

4. Intricate Ceiling Designs

Raised ceilings and other intricate ceiling styles are quite the fanbase for luxury homes. A room turns from basic to compelling when there is a ceiling feature that adds depth, sophistication, and style. In most luxury dwellings, at least one space must contain a styled ceiling. One of these rooms can be the living room, sitting room, primary bedrooms, and or dining rooms. What exactly are some styles of these ceilings? They are cathedral, tray, beamed, suspended, and coffered. One would love to have any of these exquisite designs in their home!  For example, in this CBHPW luxury listing above. The sitting room contains a beautiful coffered ceiling. The coffered ceiling consists of sunken panels accented by molding, creating a waffle-like appearance. What works well in this room is the brilliant addition of recessed lighting. For more on this property click here

5. Massive Walk-In Closets

Typically an owner of a luxury home tends to live a complete life of luxury. Meaning everything about them is high-end, like their fashion sense. Closets in a luxury home are an extension of the main room and need to boast space and means of organization. Closets these days are not just for hanging clothes. They can be an area to lounge in after using the spa bathroom or a place to put on that fashion show after shopping in the streets of London. For sure, luxury home buyers are looking for closets that encompass organization and can show off their beautiful wardrobe. In this CBHPW luxury home, the primary closet is genuinely massive. This closet incorporates different levels of custom built-in shelving and an island dresser to accommodate all buyers' attire needs. To view more of this property, click here.

6. Relaxing Spa baths

When buyers search for their next home, kitchens and bathrooms are the most focused rooms, which is why main bathrooms in luxury homes are genuinely upping the ante in their need to give that spa-like aura. Features include a jacuzzi bathtub fit for a king, a large walk-in shower that doubles as a steam room, neutral colors, beautiful stone or tile, and lots of space for minimal clutter. In this CBHPW luxury listing, this bathroom truly exuberates comfort and relaxation. The large window allows natural light to encase the room, making the white pop against the darker grays. The unity in neutral colors creates a calming sensation. One can relax in the free-standing tub or use the shower with multi-shower heads in this bathroom. To view more, click here

When buying or selling in the luxury market, we are sure you have seen one or more of these features within the properties. To view, all of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walstons' luxury homes for sale, visit our website at https://www.hpwluxury.com













September
8

5 Backyard Composting Tips

Composting Tips

Looking for an easy, affordable way to improve your garden and reduce your waste output? Create your own backyard compost pile!

Composting is the natural process of recycling garden, yard, and kitchen waste into fertile garden soil. When you add compost material to your soil, you improve its health, help it retain moisture, and provide protection against disease and pests. 

Our real estate agents know that a property with attractive landscaping appeals to prospective buyers. Here are some tips to follow for optimal backyard composting. 

  1. Select the Right Area for Your Compost Bin
    For the best results, your compost pile needs to be located in a suitable environment. Look for a spot that's dry and shady but has access to a water source. If your home is lacking in outside space, it's possible to set up a small compost bin inside your home. 
  1. Know What to Add to Your Compost Pile
    Every compost pile should have water, browns, and greens. These ingredients are all necessary to produce nutrient-rich compost. Browns include yard and garden waste, like twigs, dead leaves, and branches. Greens consist of grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, and old coffee grounds. Your compost pile needs an equal amount of browns and greens. Water keeps the compost pile moist so that it breaks down more rapidly. 
  1. Understand What NOT to Add to Your Compost Pile
    A few items should not be composted. These items may harm plants or produce an odor that attracts insects. When you put your home on the market, it's essential to confirm that your compost pile is odor-free so that it doesn't deter homebuyers. Never add plants with disease or pests to your compost pile, as both disease and pests can be transmitted to other plants when you add the compost to your garden. Avoid adding fats, meats, bones, and dairy products, as all these items will make your compost pile smell and attract rodents and insects. Any yard or garden waste that's been treated with chemical pesticides should stay out of your compost pile. Pesticides can kill the organisms necessary to break down organic material. 
  1. Cover Your Compost Pile
    It can take between a couple of months and a couple of years for organic materials to turn into compost. Hasten the process by covering your compost pile. Covering your compost helps it retain moisture that assists with the degradation of your food and yard waste. You can opt for a compost bin with a lid or use a tarp to cover your compost pile. 
  1. Be Picky with How You Layer Your Compost
    Always put a layer of browns as the top layer on your compost pile. This will minimize any odors associated with your compost, and it helps the materials retain moisture. A brown top layer also decreases the number of pests and insects attracted to your compost pile. When you add new waste to your compost pile, alternate brown and green layers, check that the brown layers are two to three times thicker than your green layers.

A compost pile is a great way to supply your garden with nutrients. Ready to add your home to the list of Raleigh homes for sale? Contact us today to get started!

September
1

What to Know When Building a Home This Year

Raleigh Construction

Finding a new home that meets your needs can be a difficult task. There are plenty of Raleigh homes for sale, but what if you want to build your own? It affords you more control and ensures that the finished product will meet all your standards. What does it take to build a home, though? What does it cost, and what can you expect throughout the process? Here's what you need to know.

Cost

On average, building a new home costs a little under $300,000. Keep in mind this estimate doesn't factor in the cost of buying the land for the build. Buying a home, on the other hand, costs around $435,000. 

Of course, the cost also depends on how big of a house you plan on building. A good rule of thumb is to factor around $100-$200 per square foot. So building a 1,000 square foot house will cost between $100,000 and $200,000. Building a 3,000 square foot house will cost between $300,000 and $600,000.

Budgeting

Once you have an idea of the total cost of building a new home, it's important to break down exactly where that money is going to give you a more accurate idea of how much your home, specifically, will cost to build.

About 40% of your budget will go towards labor. This includes the construction crew, as well as an electrician, plumber, roofer, framer, and other jobs. Shop around and see how much each of these services costs in your area.

About 50% of your budget goes towards materials. This includes everything such as lumber, concrete, drywall, siding, and more. What your house is made of will greatly influence the cost.

Finally, you need to decide if, in addition to the house itself, you want any extras. A swimming pool, for example, can cost anywhere from an additional $36,000 to $66,000. You may also want an outdoor deck, an unfinished basement, or heated floors. Each of these things will add to the total cost of construction.

Scheduling

Your new home will probably take longer to complete than the initial estimates. Most contractors will give you the most optimistic estimate they can, but plenty of things can cause delays, from bad weather to zoning and permit issues, and almost anything else.

When your contractor gives you a timeline, think of it as a guide rather than a strict schedule, and plan on at least a few extra months before you can move in. If you're in a hurry to get into a new place, you're probably better off buying rather than building.

Sweat Equity

Sometimes it's possible to save both time and money by doing some of the work on the house yourself. Major projects like plumbing and electricity should always be left to the experts, but smaller tasks like painting or laying the tile in the bathroom, you can do on your own if you're up to it. This is called sweat equity: putting your own labor into a building or improving your house to save money and increase its value.

These are just a few of the considerations when building a new home. Our real estate agents can help you find the perfect property on which to build it. In fact, we have a whole team dedicated to helping those looking to build a home in the area! Or, if you'd rather, we can help you find an existing home that will meet your needs. Contact us to learn more!

February
24

How You Can Start Planning Ahead for Summer Landscaping Projects

Summer Landscaping Raleigh

When potential buyers arrive to tour a prospective home, the outside creates an impression within minutes. Our real estate agents know that picturesque landscaping can even raise the total value of your home. Don't wait until summer to get started on your landscaping projects. Instead, check out a few things you can do now to start the planning process.

  1. Decide What Furniture, Garden Decor, and Deck Items You Want
    Take a moment to envision your ideal outdoor spaces. What do they consist of? What items do you have, and what pieces are you lacking? Make a list of the items you'll need to complete your projects. Then, browse your preferred retailers to find pieces you like, noting the price and anticipated delivery times. This will ensure that you find options that suit your budget, and you can cater your ordering date according to the item's availability.
  1. Start Your Seedling Indoors
    If your landscaping plans involve adding new plants and flowers or growing your own vegetable garden, consider starting your own seedlings inside and transplanting them during the spring or summer months. Not only do you have control over the growing conditions, but it's typically cheaper to grow your own seedlings rather than purchasing them. You also have a wide variety of plant species to choose from, allowing you to find the best option for your landscaping, climate, and vision for your home's exterior. 
  1. Make a Plan for Spatial Limitations
    Even Raleigh homes for sale with limited outdoor space can have gorgeous outside spaces. Now is the ideal time to come up with a plan for maximizing the space that you have. Maybe you've always dreamed of a lush garden, but you're out of yard space. One solution is to add a vertical garden that takes up a small amount of your yard's square footage. Or, you might add window planter boxes. Perhaps you envision a roomy outdoor space where you can cook, eat, and relax with your family. If your current deck is too small, you might plan an expansion or decide to split your outside spaces into your front and back yards. 
  1. Research Smart Technology for Your Gardens
    If you worry that you'll forget to water your garden or just prefer to automate the process, now's the time to research and set up smart technology to make the task as simple as possible. You can invest in a smart irrigation system that adjusts its water output based on the weather and current soil conditions. Your plans might involve expanding your outdoor entertaining space. Add smart speakers and lighting so that you can quickly set the tone for your evening. 
  1. Craft a Plan of Attack for Pests
    Pests, like mosquitos, flies, and rabbits, keep you from getting optimal enjoyment from your home's outdoor areas. Decide how you want to tackle these pests. You may prefer to add vegetation that will deter the pesky creatures. For example, citronella, catnip, and marigold plants repel mosquitos. Thorny bushes help keep deer away. You can also check that you've removed any items in your yard (like standing water or decaying vegetation) that pests find attractive. Or, it may be better to enact a physical better to keep animals and neighboring pets out of your yard and garden. 

Want to check out homes with more space for landscaping projects? Contact us today to get started!

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