SELLER’S ARTICLES – FOR THE SMART CONSUMER
Make a Quick and Easy Garden Walkway to Improve Your Home’s Value
As you begin to think about selling your home, either now or in the future, you need to look beyond the standard value-adds that everyone else looks for. You need to add aesthetic, yet functional improvements that will catch potential buyers’ attention. Installing a bit of charm in your lawn and garden can definitely improve the value of your home. Creating a quaint garden walkway is one way to do this. By installing a garden walkway, you are able to welcome potential buyers into your gardens and highlight the care that you have taken to making your home more appealing.
Garden walkways are an inexpensive update that can be completed in as little as a single weekend. Here is a quick and easy method for adding a walkway that will make your home more attractive to buyers.
Key Things to Remember
Safety is critical when creating a garden walkway, regardless of the materials that will be used to build the path. Plan to make your walkway at least three (preferably four) feet wide. You also need to consider the amount of light available for your walkway. Most of the time, buyers will visit your home during daylight hours, but they will be looking for safety features. Installed lighting will give your agent one more benefit to point out.
Select materials that will ensure the safety and durability of your path. Because the path is outdoors, the walkway will probably get wet. Therefore, a dirt path that will get muddy, or a garden path created from glazed ceramic tile, is probably not a very good idea. Stepping stones, mulch, and even gravel may be the best and most inexpensive options for short paths.
After considering safety, you need to determine the purpose of your walkway. If you want to construct a formal garden walkway, then you need to make the walkway as straight as possible, with plain materials that convey formality. However, if you prefer to have a more welcoming, leisurely walkway, then a curved path with unique features may be the best option for your garden.
It comes down to a matter of taste, since there is no one correct garden walkway. Just remember that potential buyers will be using this walkway to get a better view of your lawn and gardens. Therefore, you need to ensure that these areas are well maintained and manicured while your home is for sale.
Stepping-Stone Walkway with Custom-Designed Stones
Don’t let the phrase “custom-designed” scare you from trying this unique and creative method for installing a new garden walkway. Using plastic trays and a quick-set concrete mix, you can create a beautiful one-of-a-kind pathway that will get buyers talking!
Creating your Stepping Stones
Use lids from round deli trays as molds, or just about anything that is deep enough to accommodate the cement. Consider using cardboard pizza boxes, old baking pans, or even wooden drawers for square and rectangular stones. You will need a separate mold for each stone that you want to create.
- Determine whether you want to decorate your stepping stones with pieces of ceramic tile, small stones, marbles or something else. If you live near the ocean, you might want to use seashells.
- Spray your mold with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal once the concrete has set.
- Evenly distribute your décor items on the bottom of the mold.
- Next, mix the concrete according to the package instructions and over-fill the mold with concrete to avoid having an indentation on the back of the stepping stone.
- Allow the stone to set according to the instructions on the concrete mix.
- Once the stone has set, peel off the mold and your stepping stone is complete.
- If you decided not to include any décor items during the pouring process, you can use weather-proof acrylic paints to decorate the stones.
Creating your Garden Walkway
Once your stepping stones are ready, you can take one of several approaches to constructing the walkway. The simplest and fastest approach is to dig out the grass and dirt in the space where you want to put the stone. Dig deep enough so that the stone will be level with the ground. You can place a layer of sand inside the area before setting the stone, or just place the stone in the area that you have created. Repeat this step for each stepping stone.
Another approach is to dig out the entire pathway, leveling it and then lining the path with a weed-resistant fabric or plastic. You can then place your stepping stones where you would like them and fill the area surrounding the stones with mulch, gravel or small marble chips.
Lighting and Decorating your Walkway
Once you have constructed the walkway, it is time review the appearance and safety again. Solar ground lighting has become a very popular and inexpensive way to light gardens and lawns in recent years. You can purchase a set of ten lights for around $20 and the installation takes just a few minutes. More permanent lighting, such as spot lighting or lanterns, can also be installed, but these options are more expensive and time-consuming.
Decorating your walkway is one of the most enjoyable parts of this project. For curved walkways, consider planting bushel baskets of various sized with seasonal flowers and arranging them along the walkway or clustering them at the bends or corners. A birdbath, stone garden bench, or fountain can also highlight your garden and capture potential buyers’ attention.
Remember that lighting, fountains, and similar features require electrical connections and/or water lines. You need to address these considerations during the planning stages of your walkway project.
While your personal preferences should certainly guide your lighting and decorating choices, remember that you are constructing this walkway to improve the value of your home. Therefore, you need to provide what potential buyers are looking for. Sticking to traditional styles may be the best way to go.
When you want to increase the value of your home quickly and easily, start outside. This method for constructing a beautiful garden walkway is a great way to start!