This is the second post in our new series of home renovation articles. We’ll discuss the pros, cons, hows, and whys of popular reno projects. Today’s post will focus on landscape and the outside of your home. Landscaping your yard and painting your house may not seem like a big deal, but it is. (Just ask anyone who lives near a run-down, junky old mess.) Aside from earning bonus points with your neighbors and possibly the town you live in, there are several good reasons to landscape your house. And yes, in this case, it actually is all about looks. What It’s Take to Landscape a House? At first blush, all you need to landscape your domain is a shovel, some green living things, and maybe some topsoil. While that’s an okay place to start, there’s a bit more to a well-landscaped house than shoving a few shrubs in the ground. First, let’s start with safety. Planting trees too close to your house can result in damage to your roof, windows, or foundation. Old trees or overhanging branches can be dangerous in a storm. On the plus side, properly placed trees can help keep your house protected from cold winds in the winter and hot rays in the summer. Landscaping a house can involve more than just planting trees and flowers. Outdoor living spaces are a new trend, often anchored by a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace. Some ambitious (and optimistic) homeowners even opt for outdoor kitchens. These can be a great way to take your landscaping to the next level. Finally, don’t forget about your house itself; keeping the trim in good repair and the paint or siding looking fresh is a big deal, especially when your house is surrounded by show-stopping gardens and terraces. How Much Will Landscaping My House Cost? On his blog, home renovation guru Bob Vila quotes a recommendation that 10% of your home value be invested in landscaping. However, this is a very flexible figure, especially if you opt to do some (or all) of the landscaping by yourself, or in stages. Remember to budget in the cost of plants, materials, topsoil and fertilizer (if needed). If your plans include pools, brick paving, stained concrete walkways, or patios, you may want to consult a professional. Why Should I Invest in Landscaping and Exterior Remodeling? There really isn’t a firm return on investment rule in landscaping, but that’s not the point. The fact is that upkept and landscaped homes sell sooner and for more money than their decrepit peers. But the real return is all yours: it gives you a home to be proud of, inside and out.