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Your new home’s landscape will be the first thing you and everyone you know will see when they arrive.
But, even if the landscape design of your new home is in good condition, it’s not a reflection of you. You haven’t made it your own yet.
Your lawn, flower beds, shade trees, and overall front yard landscaping shows off your style and is the “welcome home” you deserve at the end of the day.
Besides a reflection of your identity, landscaping can boost your home’s curb appeal and perceived value. It can also inspire neighbors to begin their own landscaping improvements.
Enjoying the outdoors of your home can be one of the best perks of being a new homeowner. But, of course, anyone trying to fix the landscape on their new home knows it doesn’t just happen by itself.
A brilliant yard doesn’t have to be the giant chore some people perceive.
With a bit of research and guidance and the right plan, you can transform your yard into your little garden of paradise.
Here are some tips and ideas to improve your new home’s landscape.
Even if you intend to hire people to come and do all the work, you still need a basic landscaping plan.
Asking how you will use your outdoor space and how it might look is just the beginning. Consider the following:
- Will your yard be for entertaining guests?
- Do you need a place of solitude?
- Is security a concern?
- What structures do you want? A swimming pool? Gazebo?
- What colors do you find appealing?
- How would you describe your style?
- Do you want a front yard with low-maintenance features? How do you feel about regular gardening? Is it a chore or fun?
- Do you want to save energy costs?
- How do you feel about lawn care or grass clippings?
Answering these questions can help you define the basics of your landscape design. Your preferences and—especially—your needs will be the drivers of the design process.
An often overlooked part of the landscaping plan, budgeting is crucial before and after the work has started.
Getting an idea of how much you plan to spend and checking if it matches your ambitions will help you make the hard choices.
Budgeting can tell you if your ideal landscaping project will cost $25,000 when you only have $17,000.
Better to find that out before you start rather than midway through new construction.
Avoid Discounted Danger
Beware of heavily discounted materials or services.
Cutting corners could easily mean a job done poorly, which will show in the final result. Conversely, giving anyone a blank check and telling them: “Go make it beautiful” will almost guarantee you will overpay.
Create a master plan and stick to it. You’ll face a hundred different options, products, and ideas every time you visit the garden center or talk with a contractor.
Unless you can have the entire landscape design installed at once, prioritization and discipline are the keys to success. Prioritizing can help you bite off smaller pieces of the plan that makes sense practically, financially, and aesthetically.
If solitude is your highest priority, perhaps planting trees is job number one. But, on the other hand, if the sound of a burbling koi pond or some other water feature is what you crave, perhaps that’s the first landscaping project?
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Landscape installation is generally a straightforward process.
In most cases, hardscaping (non-organic materials like patios, fountains, decks, etc.) is installed first. Then, irrigation systems and lighting follow next. Following that should be the organic materials like shrubs, perennials, annuals, sod, and trees.
There will likely be slight variations based upon site-specific issues, but keeping this order generally ensures that later work won’t compromise previously installed materials.
Regardless of your landscape design, when working with any home improvement contractor, make sure you’re in constant communication regarding progression. Ask questions about things you don’t understand.
Once everything is installed, there will always be an establishment phase for both organic matter and hardscapes.
- Watering requirements should be followed closely.
- Pay attention to year-round needs for your plants like fertilization, pruning, winter preparation, etc.
- Monitor irrigation systems for leaks and coverage
- Visually inspect hardscape items like retaining walls, pavers, decks, etc., for defects and settling issues.
Next, we offer you some helpful landscaping ideas to bring your new landscaping to the next level.
Landscaping ideas for curb appeal
Whether you’re all about first impressions or just want to smile on your face whenever you pull into the driveway, let’s look at some professional landscaping ideas to help you out.
Trim and neat
Overgrown foundation planting can block light inside your new home and obscure the architecture. If you have inherited a mature landscape, start by timing the shrubs, removing any deadfall or decaying organic matter, and splitting any clumping perennials.
Every outdoor space should have a focal point. This technique tells the eye where to focus first.
This element could be almost anything you choose—an exotic tree, a sculpture piece, some patterned hardscape flagstones; you name it. The trick is making sure it’s attractive enough to set the tone.
Don’t be afraid of variety
Shrubs in your back or front yard don’t have to be all evergreens or planted directly against the house, especially if your foundation walls are low.
Nature is rarely uniform, so try interspersing flowering shrubs with evergreens. You can group plants by height, then layer the groupings for a bolder look. Try different flowers in different flower beds.
Mix it up. Don’t be afraid of variety.
Landscape around your new home—conclusion
Newly constructed houses almost invariably have that builder-issue landscape that is threadbare or non-existent. Resale homes reflect the previous owner’s character and will likely not suit you.
One of the best ways to make your house a place of your own is to tailor this blank canvas, your new real estate, to your style.
The process of buying a home isn’t just about checking the latest rates or arranging for cable to be installed. It’s as much about the outside spaces as it is the inside.
At Homefinity, we strive to be a valuable resource for new homeowners both before purchase and after the deal is closed.
Contact us today if you’re interested in buying a new home, refinancing your mortgage, or just starting the process.
It’s quick, and it won’t cost you anything to talk. We’re always interested in your goals and want to help in the best way we can.
Some references sourced within this article have not been prepared by Fairway and are distributed for educational purposes only. The information is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not entirely represent the opinions of Fairway.