Planning a Home Landscaping Project
A well thought out and attractive landscape increases your home’s value and creates a sense of permanency. Here are some ideas on how to plan a home landscaping that will grow over time.
- Make a landscaping wish list: Any landscaping project should begin with a series of questions: Does it need to be low maintenance? How do you use your garden or yard? Would a swimming pool increase the family’s recreation activities? Involve your family members input on their ideas, and focus on what is currently working and what is not. Write down the elements you want and need from paths, patios, plants, fountains, and gazebos.
- Evaluate your site: If possible, observe your site over a year before you start anything. Note how the sun moves over the property, where the shade areas or water collects, which areas lack privacy or look dark at night, where you will find the best sunset views, and where would be the most convenient spot to build your garden tool shed. Know that local climate and elements will influence the conditions and look of your property, things such as mature trees, addition or removal of structures.
- Find landscaping style you like: Tour local gardens, public gardens, and home shows to gather ideas; take notes and photos as you see designs or adaptable ideas that you might incorporate to your own landscape. Note plants combinations and colors. Notice how structures such as arbors, gazebos, and paths are placed.
- Draw your landscaping plan: Mark areas that require privacy and security, current traffic zones including foot, bike, and vehicle, permanent structure sites, and where the sun falls in summer and winter.
- Derive a budget: On average, budget for 15-25 percent of the new home’s price to install your dream landscape. On an established property, budget for 5-15 percent of your home’s value for renovation project. If you keep your expenses within this range, your landscaping efforts are most likely to increase the value of your property. Be realistic about the cost of maintaining your landscape.
- Hire landscaping professionals: Landscaping is an ongoing process. To save time and heartaches, get help from your local landscaping professional services for consultation and a workable plan based on your ideas. Major structures such as retaining walls, pools are best left to the professionals; the same goes with irrigation systems, drainage, and lighting.
- Implementing your plan: When you begin, start by building fixed structures such as construction of a deck, gazebo, pool, and paths; these things would most likely increase the resale value of your home. Then add the purchase of trees and shrubs and proceed with building and planting beds.
- Be flexible: Whether your landscaping plan is large or small, it is always worthwhile to think things through and take time when making decisions. Develop a long range plan and spend some time figuring out what you want to accomplish in your landscape. As you move forward with your project, you will come across alternatives to your wish-list items that may be equally good or even better suited for your needs; there is always another project.
The ideal landscape should provide you with beauty, privacy, and pleasure and it should grow and evolve with you. Creating a landscape is a functional and personal process. With a little research and a lot of patience, flexibility, money, mistakes, and hard work, you can turn your bare yard into an Eden.