Boost your home's value

To make your renovation dollar go furthest, focus on the part of the house everyone sees first.

4 of 5
Go a little (or a lot) greener
Go a little (or a lot) greener
Payback: Varies; a recent study shows that good landscaping adds 5% to 11% to a home's value

Cost: Varies widely

When it makes sense: Your home isn't as landscaped as others in your neighborhood, or your yard looks unkempt or just uninteresting.

Best way to do it: Hire a landscaper that has in-house designers or landscape architects on staff. For a small fee (about $100 to $250), many will walk your property and recommend plantings and placement. (If you want a drawn plan, you'll pay more.) Prefer to go it alone? At the garden center, resist the temptation to buy a little of everything. For greater impact, select a lot of just a few kinds of plants, advises Rebecca Cole, a landscape designer in New York City.

Caveat: Don't tear all your existing plantings out. Keeping some mature ones will make your yard look more established.

Cost-saving move: Rather than buying new items, just prune the plants you have now and get rid of the dead stuff. "If you have 50 fabulous shrubs and one that's brown, that's the first thing everyone sees," Cole says.

NEXT: Don't ignore the door
Last updated February 20 2009: 8:42 AM ET
More Galleries
8 great summer vacation deals Want the perfect summer getaway? MONEY searched for destinations with balmy weather, unique attractions, fun stuff to do, and great deals from four different categories: beach, mountain, culture and city. More
Best ways to catch up on your retirement savings Even the most financially responsible people make a few mistakes or run into obstacles along the way. These tips -- from cutting taxes to selling securities -- can preserve a safe retirement. More
Nearing retirement? Fortify your finances Your financial goals are within reach. Here are tips and tools to make sure you achieve them. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.