Posts Tagged ‘NJ Landscape Design’

NJ Pool and Landscaping Design: Making the Right Investment

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

NJ Pool and Landscaping Design: Making the Right Investment

Swimming pools and landscaping are often appreciated for the ways in which they increase the overall quality of life around the house. Countless articles and blogs address ways to make the yard more visually appealing. Others detail features that may provide more convenience, entertainment, and fun in the backyard design. Did you know there is another important advantage you may have overlooked? In this blog, we will take a look at how inground pools and landscaping play a role in the actual value of your home. The investment of a new pool and landscape design can pay off in very real ways.

Pool Investments

Studies have shown that inground pools can increase the property value of a home. Years ago, realtors used to express concern about a home’s resale value if you had a pool. Today, the outdoor living feature serves to bolster home values by anywhere from 8 to 15 percent. The primary function of pool designs is to please the present homeowner, but the idea of pleasing a future homeowner can pay off too. Some real estate concerns about homes with pools include safety, efficiency, and durability. Homeowners can worry about the safety of their young kids, how much goes into maintaining and running the pool, as well as the strength and durability of the pool structure itself.

A wise inground pool investment will address all of these concerns and make the home with a pool look even more appealing. Features such as auto-covers and fencing will ease your safety concerns and the concerns of future buyers. Efficient pumps and heaters, such as variable speed pumps and electric heat pumps, make the pool much more cost-effective. Finally, the wisest investments for a new pool are upgraded, durable finishes. Long-lasting plasters and glass tile will most likely prevent you from having to refinish the swimming pool, making it a solid investment. The investment saves you a considerable amount of money and keeps a potential homebuyer comfortable about the pool structure.

Landscape Values

According to reports, landscaping can add up to 20% of your home’s property value. Landscape architecture and a quality landscape design not only increase the property value but also add to the visual appeal of the home, making it more buyer-friendly if the home is on the market. The American Society of Landscape Architects quantifies this suggestion by recommending that homeowners spend ten percent of the home’s value on landscaping. Also, the sooner you invest in your landscape the better; a more mature landscape has a greater value than a newer one.

Some landscape design investment advice involves planning and making wise choices when it comes to materials. To go back to sizing, if you invest early in the landscape design, you can choose small trees and plants for a cheaper price. These plantings will mature and grow into the space; when it comes time to sell the home, the plantings will have had a significant increase in value. For masonry materials, we suggest you stray away from pavers for a patio material if you want a long-lasting investment. Pavers go out of style quicker than other potential patio materials. Materials such as natural stone will provide a nice return on your investment through durability and timeless style. Ten to twenty years from now, if you decide to move, potential buyers will not visit the home and look unfavorably upon the patio because of an outdated style or rundown material. Another landscaping option that will set your home apart from your neighbors and draw more interest/value on the market is landscape lighting. Landscape lighting increases the curb appeal tenfold and will certainly prove to be a nice selling point for the 24-hour outdoor living space.

In many ways, the investment into your landscape design and landscape architecture is an investment into your home. Combined with the value of increased enjoyment and aesthetic enhancement, inground pools and landscaping add real value to the home by the numbers. Consider the maximum value increases of a 15% pool and 20% landscape. You can make a real impact on your life, your home, and your next home with the right investments into your outdoor living space. For more information about planning a landscape design, visit our Luxuryscape website or read about our Landscape Architecture services on our home page. As always, please call or email with any questions.

NJ Landscape Architects – Avoid Free Landscaping Plans at “All Costs”!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

NJ Landscape Architects – Avoid Free Landscaping Plans at “All Costs”!


Starting a great landscaping project with limited funds?  Here are five hardscape and planting suggestions that are GUARANTEED to save you THOUSANDS.

1.     Always start with a landscape plan (blueprint) prepared by a licensed landscape architect. This will ensure a balanced design and will allow you to phase the work as budgets permit.

2.     Pick materials and plants that will work within your budget. You can cut the cost of a project in half with the right choices in material. For instance, if natural stone isn’t in your budget, try pavers and save about 50%.  Larger trees and shrubs cost significantly more than smaller ones. Reduce the size and save 20 – 50%.

3.     Start the construction process by focusing on your main areas of concern, your focal point, and your most valuable asset. In general, focus on the areas you’re going to enjoy the most.

4.      When phasing a project, always look ahead to future portions of the project. Be sure to include any infrastructure components like conduit or irrigation lines early in the process so you don’t have to disturb your completed areas. An experienced landscape architect will help prevent you from doing things twice!

5.     At the start of every landscaping or swimming pool project, the best investment is a great set of plans prepared by a licensed landscape architect. A well thought-out set of plans takes a considerable amount of time to prepare, but they will help avoid hidden costs and minimize overruns in your custom landscape or swimming pool project. Don’t waste time with anyone offering you free landscaping or swimming pool plans. It’s a gimmick used to trap you into a situation where you never know the true value or cost of your project. Pay for the plans, and you will own the exclusive rights to them. Once they are in your hands, you can get an apples to apples comparison through a bidding process.

Please remember only a Licensed Landscape Architect can offer landscape architecture services. Anyone offering landscape architecture services must post their landscape architect’s name and license number issued by the state in which they practice. If any firm is advertising landscape architecture services and fails to post the proper credentials, please contact your state’s Board of Architects or your state’s Attorney General.

Antiques in Landscape Design Add Old World Charm

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Landscape Design can be elevated with the proper use of antiques, Cipriano Landscape Design shares techniques utilized in a New Jersey landscape design project

Over a decade ago, the old Hotel Dorset on 54th Street in New York City was sold to the Museum of Modern Art, who intended to use the building as an addition. The MOMA demolished the exterior of the building in order to transform it into art galleries and offices. In 2000, when the walls came down and demolition began, an antique medallion was salvaged from the original structure built in 1927 by architect Emery Ross. (Emery Ross and his sons played significant roles in the construction of many major NY buildings, including the World Trade Center.) For ten years, the salvaged antique medallion had a life of its own, until 2010, when it found its new home above an Old World swimming pool in New Jersey. Above the swimming pool, the antique was transformed into a working water feature with an additional custom sculpture set in the center of the piece.

A growing trend in swimming pool and landscape design is to incorporate antiques into projects. The story of this antique medallion represents the unbelievable journey of antiques as they travel for many years from their original sites to modern day landscape and swimming pool design. Skilled swimming pool and landscape designers have a keen-eye for one-of-a-kind pieces that can accent back yards in beautiful ways.

The key to the successful incorporation of antiques into a landscape design is establishing a style or theme and applying the antique treasure in a unique, practical, and appropriate way. Let’s use the antique medallion as a way of exemplifying these skills. The treasured medallion fits nicely above the swimming pool as a result of the Old World theme and elegant style. The swimming pool itself is small and designed for quiet relaxation, rather than recreation. As a result, the pool is able to reach a very high level of delicate intricacy. Along the back of the pool, there is a large barrier wall in need of decoration and a centerpiece. With concrete sculptures of lion heads and satyrs, as well as detailed precast concrete coping made to look like aged stone, this pool hosts the antique medallion quite fittingly. An antique medallion matches the Old World design and ornate style. The storied medallion also contributes to the mystical qualities provided by the sculptures.

Next, the seamless integration of the antique requires that it be a practical addition to the overall swimming pool and landscape design. In this case, the antique was transformed into a fountain. Six other fountains line the barrier wall, so naturally the centerpiece should provide the largest stream of water. A small trough was designed for the center of the medallion. The fountain in the medallion represents the antique’s usefulness to the swimming pool. Many antiques seem randomly thrown into swimming pools and landscapes so that designers can say there’s an antique in their design. This antique is the highlight of the entire yard, and it actively demonstrates this by serving as the swimming pool’s largest water feature.

Finally, an antique has to fit seamlessly within the swimming pool and landscape design. While most antiques are unique, some shine as one-of-a-kind treasures. In the medallion’s case, a hand-crafted concrete sculpture of a seahorse was placed in the center, bending around the fountain spigot. The seahorse has the head of a real horse and the fin of a mermaid. The intricate sculpture at the center of the antique medallion provides character to the antique just as it benefits the look of the elegantly mystical pool as a whole.

In conclusion, an antique addition to a swimming pool or landscape must be appropriate to the design, practical towards the goals of the design, and unique in its contribution to the overall project. Expand your landscape and pool design ideas with useful antiques. You can successfully incorporate antiques such as terra cotta medallions, columns from India, fire bowls from Turkey, and extravagant neoclassical rotundas into a swimming pool or landscape design. All you have to do is decide on a style and theme. Use your imagination. Search for that one-of-a-kind treasure that will set your yard apart from anything anyone has ever seen before. If you head in the right direction, keeping in mind appropriateness, practicality, and uniqueness, you could stumble across the perfect accent to your custom swimming pool and landscape.

The New Jersey Landscape Architecture Division of Cipriano Landscape Design Offers a New Outdoor Home Staging Service to Help New Jersey Residents Combat the Housing Market Decline.

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Due to the severe decline in the housing market, residents in the tri-state area are finding it increasingly difficult to sell their homes.  To combat this challenge, we announced today the launching of a new outdoor home staging service to help residents improve their “curb appeal” and sell their homes faster.

Home staging is a technique traditionally done indoors that prepares a residence for sale and makes it more appealing to potential buyers. However, fixing up the outdoors and improving curb appeal is a vital aspect of selling the home.  According to Smart Money, if you spend five percent of the value of your home on landscaping, and do it wisely, you might get 150 percent of more of your money back. Additionally, in a recent Gallup research project, home buyers revealed that they believe a professionally tuned outdoors will add nearly 15 percent to a home’s selling price. I always stress the view from the street is the first and most important impression on all potential buyers and professionally tuned outdoors will help grab buyers attention from the get-go. This is why outdoor staging is just as important as the traditional indoor service.

To improve curb appeal, I recommend taking simple steps like pressure-washing porches, decks and siding and removing old woodpiles, dilapidated sheds and any outdoor clutter. Also, have the lawn professionally mowed with all leaves and debris picked up. I also suggest fixing up the pathway to the front door, sprucing up the gardens with color and installing a few hanging plants along the front porch.  Repairing or updating an older swimming pool or patio can provide return on investment.   Having a person feel like they can move right in makes all the difference.

For clients with a larger budget, I recommend improving the gardens with distinctive features and a variety of plants. Try creating a natural and comfortable outdoor setting by installing a combination of trees, natural stones and shrubs, also showcasing a unique statue, fountain or urn full of color will help your property stand out from the rest.

Last but certainly not least, I recommend installing professional outdoor lighting.  Most buyers go shopping after work when it may be dark out.  If they can’t see the favorable characteristics of your home, they might pass right by.
The outdoor home staging service we offer ranges from a home visit with do-it-yourself suggestions, the sale or rental of garden elements and outdoor furniture to a complete NJ pool landscaping makeover. For more information, call the Ramsey office @201-785-0800.