By: HouseLogic Editor
Published: February 26, 2013
No need for fancy DIY skills, a lot of money, or a ton of time to pull off these yard upgrades.
It’s your yard -- yours to do with as you wish. And while that’s great, that doesn’t mean you have to be one of those people who spends every spare moment in their yard, sprucing it up.
But, still, your landscaping could use a little something. But something easy.
Here are five totally doable projects that your budget will barely notice, but your neighbors definitely will:
#1 Add Some (Tough) Edging
Tell your grass who’s boss with edging that can stand up to even the crabbiest of all crabgrasses.
But don’t make the mistake that many homeowners make of buying the flexible plastic stuff, thinking it will be easier to install. It’ll look cheap and amateurish from day one. Worse, it won’t last. And before you know it, you won’t be able to tell where your garden bed ends and your “lawn” begins. Instead buy the more rigid, tough stuff in either fiberglass, aluminum, or steel.
Tips on installing edging:
The cost? Mostly your time, and up to $2.50 a square foot for the edging.
#2 Create a Focal Point with a Berm
A berm is a mound of gently sloping earth, often created to help with drainage. You can also build them to create “island beds,” a focal point of textures and colors that are so much more interesting than plain ol’ green grass. Plus, they’ll give you privacy -- and diffuse street noises. What’s not to like about that? Especially if you live in more urban areas. For most yards, berms should max out at 2-feet high because of the space needed to properly build one. They need a ratio of 4-6 feet of width for every foot of height. That’s at least 8 feet for a typical 2-foot high berm. So be sure you have the room, or decrease the height of your berm.
Popular berm plantings include:
#3 Make a Flagstone Wall
Aim to build a wall no more than 12 inches tall, and it becomes a super simple DIY project -- no mortar needed at all!
How to build an easy flagstone wall:
The cost? About $300 for stones and sand (a ton of 2-inch-thick stone is enough for a wall 10 feet long and 12 inches high).
#4 Install a Path with Flagstone or Gravel
There’s something romantic, charming, and simply welcoming about a meandering pathway to your front door or back garden — which means it has super-huge impact when it comes to your home’s curb appeal.
You can use flagstone, pea gravel, decomposed or crushed granite, even poured concrete (although that’s not easy to DIY).
A few tips for building a pathway:
The cost? Anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to upwards of $500 depending on the material you use, with decomposed granite being the least expensive, and flagstone (also the easiest of the bunch to install) the costliest.
#5 Build a Tree Surround
Installing a masonry surround for a tree is a two-fer project: It looks great, and it means you’ve got less to mow. Come to think of it, it’s a three-fer. It can work as extra seating when you have your lawn party, too!
All it takes is digging a circular trench, adding some sand, and installing brick, cement blocks, or stone. Just go for whatever look you like best.
The trickiest part is getting an even circle around the tree. Here’s how:
Then build the tree surround:
The cost? Super cheap. You can do it for less than $25 with commonly-available pavers and stones.
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the book Think like a REALTOR®, Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and an Expert Media Contributor.