Landscaping To Improve At-Home Living

Landscaping To Improve At-Home Living

  • 04/21/20
Question: We want to make our time at home more enjoyable by improving our outdoor space. What are some of the most common landscape/hardscape improvements you see in Arlington?
Answer: After six weeks in a row of Coronavirus market analysis/updates, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to talk about some ways you can improve your outdoor space to make staying at home more enjoyable. A nicely landscaped yard can also provide a strong return on resale, especially while stay-at-home orders are fresh in buyers’ minds.
To provide the best perspective on popular landscaping projects around Arlington, I asked Robert Groff of Groff Landscape Design, an Arlington-based landscape and hardscape firm, to share some of the most popular projects they do.
Thank you for sharing your insights Robert, take it away…
Thank you Eli and hello ARLnow. If all of this time at home has inspired you to invest in your outdoor space, I hope some of these projects are an inspiration.

April Showers Bring…Wet Basements and Mosquitos

We’ve all been reminded lately to be prepared for possible threats. Now is the time to make sure rainwater is directed away from your home foundation and mosquito breeding grounds (standing water) are minimized.

Create Family Experiences

Patios – Patios are not only for dining and grilling anymore. Patio activities can include yoga, outdoor office, study space, play space, or even an outdoor movie theatre! With infinite amounts of material options here are our top recommendations:
  • Least Expensive: Concrete Slab – In our region, concrete cracks but when necessary it has its place. 

  • Most Dynamic & Most Popular: Concrete Pavers. We highly recommend Techo-bloc manufactured materials because of their lifetime warranty, density rating, and wide range of colors, textures, and styles

  • Favorite for Contemporary Style: Porcelain Tile for Exterior Use

  • Natural Stone: Flagstone is still extremely popular, especially for our traditionalists!
Fire Pits – Fire pits can be wonderful, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Consider if you want gas or wood burning. How many times per year will you use it? Would an outdoor heater be more beneficial to you? 
Vegetable Gardens – These can be excellent teaching tools for your children, and they can let you skip a trip to the produce aisle. They don’t have to be A LOT of work!
Playsets – With the public parks closed, maybe it’s time to get that playset for the kids. Conversely, maybe it’s time to finally get rid of your playset to make space for a larger entertainment area or more usable yard space.
Lawn Space You Can Use – Many of us have muddy or sloped backyards. Grading, drainage solutions, and tree trimming may all be prerequisites before you add new grass seed or sod.
Grilling Nook
Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor Kitchens – Although popular, these can cost a pretty penny and sometimes quite frankly aren’t worth the investment. Specifically, utility needs, countertops, and custom appliances elevate costs quickly. Alternatively, consider a “grilling nook” to re-locate your grill or smoker. This may increase counter space while creating a more aesthetically pleasing grilling station.
Health & Wellness Space – If you need a clean and green place to get your yoga time in, consider synthetic turf. Benefits to turf also include no more muddy paw prints. No more watering. Plus, it’s easy to clean and dog-friendly. 
Relaxation – With everybody home, you may want to design a small get-a-way in a corner of the yard to go read a book, sip a glass of wine, or simply phone a friend.

Replace your Vacation with a Staycation

If you had to cancel your vacation plans this year, maybe it’s time to create a “staycation” in the backyard with any of the above elements. Consider creating more privacy from neighbors, outdoor lighting for ambiance, and an audio system so you can hear the waves crashing on the beach, or perhaps a pool! We don’t know when we’ll be able to travel safely again so perhaps vacation just needs to be at home for a while.
With so many options, let us help you pick & choose and make them a reality! For outdoor living ideas, you can also follow us on social media.

Arlington/Local Market Update

Thank you very much, Robert! Before we wrap up this week’s column, I wanted to include a quick overview of Arlington's market activity over the last week.
My colleagues and I are seeing more competition over the last couple of weeks both within Arlington and around the DC Metro. It seems like the decline in supply is outpacing the decline in demand and that buyers are starting to come back to the market that had paused the first few weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak.
There was a slight increase in the amount of new inventory coming to market in Arlington over the last seven days, but that was offset by an almost equal increase in properties going under contract.

Past Seven Days (Arlington) 


Seven Days Prior (Arlington)

If you’d like to discuss buying or selling strategies in this market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]. Be smart, be careful, be strategic. And stay home!


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Whether you are searching for your first home, ready for more space, seeking an investment, or looking to right-size for less maintenance, Eli Residential Group are here to provide you expert advice and personalized service every step of the way.