Add space and value: Tidy up your garden

Real Homes’ garden expert and professional designer Matt James says sorting out your garden can help to draw in potential home buyers.

Here are expert tips to tidy up your garden:

Pay attention to the front garden

‘When prospective buyers size up your house, the first thing they see is the front garden. So, clear away junk, push bins into a corner, and mend and paint a broken gate. Polish the door, check that the bell works and get a new doormat. Take a look at the condition of paths, too. If they are level and sound, with no loose slabs or tiles, clean them with a pressure washer. Weed and rake gravel drives.’

Tidy up back and front spaces

‘If you’re selling up get rid of, or hide, bags of compost, broken pots, and garden tools to make your garden appealing. Old cars, rusty trailers and decrepit caravans need to go elsewhere. Remove cluttered children’s toys, but a strategically placed tricycle or slide can entice family buyers.’

Mend or replace landscaping materials

‘Are the patio slabs crooked or cracked? Are decking boards bowing? If so, replace them. Make sure all fences are in good condition and fix any loose trelliswork. If the shed or pergola is beyond repair, consider purchasing a new one.’

A redesigned garden patio

Replant scruffy borders

‘Look critically at your plant borders and beds: overgrown shrubs need to be cut back and dead plants taken out. Fill bare patches with inexpensive evergreens, cut back overgrown trees to let in light, and tie in and prune back climbers. Weed and add a mulch of composted bark to encourage new growth in the spring.’

Make water features safe

‘Ponds and water features should be clean and tidy. A family garden needs any water features to be safe, so fence them off or install a grille over the top – you will be able to find these at good garden centres.’

Invest in an outdoor room

‘From just a few thousand pounds you can have an insulated outdoor room with telephone, electricity and double-glazing, which should add value to your house and can double up as a guest room. Before you buy one, get the go ahead from your local planning department. Consider where to position it: south-facing rooms get very hot in summer; north-facing buildings won’t suffer from glare. Ideally, pick a model that blends into your garden’s surroundings.’

outdoor rooms and gardens

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