Finally, the day you've been waiting for is here! Your newly constructed home is complete, and you're happily settling in. But just like clockwork, you've now begun thinking about the sporadically-placed sod and freshly-excavated dirt that abounds in surplus around your property. Yep, you're ready for your yard to become a functional space. Creating a gorgeous landscape also dramatically increases the ROI and value of your home! How are you sure you're ready to work on landscaping, though? Do you know the right questions to ask?
There are a few things to consider before jumping aboard the landscaping train, especially for a newly-constructed home. Depending on the builder, HOA situation, and your personal goals and timeline, your house could either be ready for landscaping or still in need of some preparation. Keep reading for a few tips on landscaping a new build!
Start with a Plan
Before you get to work on your yard, we recommend that you start with a bit of planning. It doesn't have to be step-by-step or a full-scale 3D design; instead, take time to evaluate your goals. Do you want to focus on the backyard or start with the front? Do you want an expansive, lush lawn? Or are you wanting to install some hardscaping for a low-maintenance option, like a patio space, fire pit, or retaining wall? These fundamental questions allow for adequate preparation so that your finished landscape meets your goals. Ensure that you also consider long-term circumstances, such as a growing family or maintenance ability. This is also a great time to refine your ideal budget and do a bit of research so that your expectations are realistic! Plans like these help set your project up for success.
Consider Hiring a Professional
As you narrow in on exactly how you want your landscape to turn out, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. If you have big aspirations for your landscape, consider hiring a landscape designer or architect. Many homeowners hire a professional so that their finished project turns out as desired without wasting time or money. Since professional designers and contractors have exclusive access to knowledge and resources, they can provide helpful insight and tips for your project. For example, if you have a tight budget, they may provide unique design options or suggest cheaper materials. This can also let off some of the pressure of completing a full landscape remodel on your own! Even if you don't want to hand over the project reins, consider running your ideas by an expert to make sure you avoid costly mistakes.
Know Your Property Well
One detail that many homeowners overlook when landscaping is to have an in-depth understanding of the land under and around their new construction. While it may look like soil, the dirt likely consists of broken construction materials and lacks proper nutrients. Thus, any flowers, trees, or grass planted on top is unlikely to root and flourish. Another factor to consider is grading. Depending on your home's contractor, the yard's grading could either be set up correctly or in desperate need of attention. Wait for a rainstorm, and then pay careful attention to how the water flows and watch for any puddling. Communicate with your neighbors and adhere to city code so that any grading adjustments you implement do not have adverse effects.
Also, be aware of the existing and future placement of plumbing, water, electrical, and irrigation lines. This is especially important to consider if you need water or electricity in your landscape, such as in water features, fire pits, outdoor structures, or kitchens. A new home is also likely to settle for at least one year, sometimes up to 12 inches. Being aware of all of these factors will help ensure that your new landscape will last for years!
Finally, remember that, especially with as extensive or complicated as a project might be (or seem to be), there is no harm in taking a phased approach for ultimate precision. So, consider these tips when taking the next step in landscaping your new build. The only thing better than having a beautiful new house is coming home to exquisite curb appeal!
Article by: Brooke Graham, Alderwood Landscaping