Split-level homes are bi- or three-level houses that typically have the floor level of one part of the house halfway between the other two levels. While this type of house design works to maximise interior space throughout the home, it is sometimes not the most attractive house on the exterior. However, through some simple landscaping techniques, homeowners can add curb appeal and beauty to their split-level homes.
Trees and Shrubs
Many split-level homes have one large picture window in the middle of the structure, as well as smaller windows at the lower level of the structure. In some rare cases, ornamental trees and shrubs could accentuate the lower windows. According to the design experts at Split Level.net, most split-level landscaping should accentuate the picture window, rather than the lower windows. The lower windows don’t have to be completely covered up, but planted shrubs may be lower-window height and fill in the spacing between and around the lower windows. Some landscapers place taller shrubs and ornamental trees at the edge of the structure and at the centre point, beside the middle entrance of the home. Use evergreens and plants that won’t shed their leaves in these positions.
Walkways and Entrances
According to an article on MSN Real Estate, most split-level homes’ exterior designs are dominated by their garage doors, and many of them have cramped, tiny, front entrance ways. Take the visual focus off the garage door and enhance your front entryway with landscaping. Replace a narrow, straight entrance stairway with a levelled stair entry made of bricks or natural stones. Add small shrubs, flowers and lighting to the different stair levels. Remove old, dark porch covers that make your split-level house seem drab and boring.
Don’t focus all your attention on your front-yard landscaping--split-level backyards need landscaping too. If you enjoy barbecues and neighbourhood get-togethers, build a multi-level redwood deck that transforms your backyard into a pleasant entertaining area. Plant shade trees at the corner of the home to provide natural protection from the sun and cut energy costs.
Huge, tall trees can make split-level homes appear small and short. If your current landscaping consists of one towering, dominant tree, consider removing it. Replace it with native landscaping that will require very little maintenance or watering. For example, if you live in a desert environment, add cacti and succulent landscaping, along with large boulders and pebbles, to your front yard.