Locate an Expert

Award Winning

Minnesota Grown

Plant of
the Month



Ask an
MNLA Certified

Career Programs

Invasives Plant
& Pest Alerts



Contact: Cassie Carver , (651) 633-4987

Look Outside Your House for Added Value

One of the best methods to increase a home's resale value can be found outside of the house – by adding trees, shrubs, flowers, patios, and retaining walls to your landscape. The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association encourages homeowners to contact a landscape professional and revamp your outside living environment.

Adding value to your yard can increase your home's value by up to 15 percent, according to the March 2003, cover article of Smart Money magazine. Incorporating hardscapes and plant materials will provide you with a beautiful outdoor living space, while increasing your home's appraisal value.

As you begin envisioning your landscape, think about the type of professional needed:

  • Landscape Designer – A person that is often educated at a university or technical college specializes in the design of residential and commercial landscapes. Designs may include plantings, walkways, walls, water features, landscape lighting and other similar features.
  • Landscape Contractor – A company that implements plans prepared by a landscape designer or architect. A landscape contractor prepares the site and then installs plants and hardscaping (pavers, wall block, etc.) materials as described in the landscape plan. The company may bid on the project or work with the designer throughout the design process.
  • Design-Build Firm – A firm that has both landscape designers and landscape contractors on staff. The company works with the property owner to develop a landscape plan and then implement that plan.
  • Irrigation Contractor - A firm that specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of lawn sprinkler system. To perform the electrical work associated with a sprinkler system, the company should have a Technology System Contractor license in Minnesota .
  • Professional Gardening Service – A firm that specializes in the design, installation, and/or care of residential or commercial-site gardens.
  • Landscape Management Service – A firm that specializes in maintaining residential or commercial-site turf grass. Services include mowing, trimming, seeding, and fertilizing. Employees that apply pesticide are trained and licensed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

When deciding on a landscape professional, consider the following advice:

  • Be honest about the amount of money you intend to invest in your landscape project.
  • Interview several professionals. Ask to see their “before and after” portfolio.
  • Ask for customer references and then phone those referrals and visit one of the company's finished projects. (Keep in mind that newly finished landscapes may look sparse. A good landscape professional will not overcrowd plant material in a plan or installation, but instead will allow plants the room they need to achieve their mature size in two to three years.)
  • If the company is installing plant material, check to make sure they have a nursery inspection certificate from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This ensures that the plant material they are providing has been grown in a nursery and not dug from the wild.
  • If you are having a lawn sprinkler system installed in Minnesota , be sure that the company is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Electricity as a Technology System Contractor.
  • Check that the firm has a federal identification number that designates them as a legitimate business.
  • Make sure that firm has a sales tax license and that they are insured.
  • Professionals arrive on time, take photographs, and take measurements or draw sketches of your property while there.
  • Ask for an itemized list of plant materials and plant sizes that will be include in your project.
  • Make sure the company provides a contract that specifies starting and completion dates. Allowances should be made for weather.
  • Firms that have MNLA Certified Professionals on staff show that they are willing to go an extra step to ensure the professionalism of their employees.

To find a garden center or landscape professional in your area, visit Minnesota's on-line gardening resource, GardenMinnesota.com.

The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is the state's largest green industry trade association with more than 1,500 member businesses including garden centers; landscape contractors and designers; tree and flower growers; irrigation contractors; and lawn, tree, and garden services.

Back to Press Release Listing

Policy |   

This web site is provided as a service to consumers by members of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association ( MNLA)