- Posted by plantpro
- On August 24, 2018
- 0 Comments
Beautiful landscape design increases the value of your home, boosts your curb appeal, and extends your usable living space to the outdoors, making your yard an ideal spot to relax and entertain. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) suggests starting with a budget of 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value when you begin to plan your landscape. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of those dollars.
1. Seek Inspiration
Maybe you already have a Pinterest page full of pictures of your perfect outdoor living space. If not, that’s OK. Browse design magazines and save images that speak to you. Although you may not be able to replicate the exact look in your yard, it will help you begin to narrow down the almost endless options.
Chat with neighbors who have yards you admire. Find out what plants have worked well for them in your soil and climate. A professional landscaper can also provide advice about choosing the best native plants.
Consider what you want most from your landscape: beauty, tranquility, security, recreation? These factors will all play a role in creating the master plan for your yard.
2. Analyze Your Property
First, walk through your property and take a comprehensive inventory of the work that needs to be done. Note areas where you’ll need hardscaping materials, empty spots to be filled, and existing plants that can work if pruned, thinned or relocated. If the work is extensive, list the items in your inventory in order of priority.
Repurposing existing landscape elements and materials is an excellent way to stretch your landscape budget. Think outside the box and brainstorm strategies to spruce up flower beds and features that need some TLC.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be flexible. While ideally most of the landscape budget could be earmarked for fun items, chances are that you’ll need to dedicate at least some of the money to structural updates like pruning and irrigation. Identify these potentially problematic items ahead of time so you won’t be surprised midway through the project. You should also add a buffer of 5 to 10 percent of your total budget amount to fund unexpected expenses.
3. Make a Wish List
Now that you have a list of items that need to be fixed, you should also think of one or two key features that will improve your quality of life. This could be an outdoor barbecue, a gorgeous flower garden with a sitting area, or a patio with an awning for pool parties. You likely don’t have the budget to splurge on all three, so decide which marquee item your family will get the most use out of and add it to your budget.
More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to landscaping, especially if you have a small yard. Plan on just one or two show-stopping features, since crowding your lawn will reduce the impact of your landscaping efforts.
4. Check it Twice
Maybe you think your landscape inventory is complete, but double check by making sure you’ve accounted for the following items:
- Regular lawn servicing and maintenance
- Installation of irrigation features
- Tree pruning and limb removal
- Excavation, grading, and sloping
- New shrubs, trees, and plants
- Mulch or dirt
- Water features such as pools or ponds
- Hardscaping, which includes arbors, pathways, and patios
- Retaining walls or fences
- Vegetable or flower gardens
- Exterior lighting
- Integrated seating
- Firepits and outdoor kitchens
5. Develop a Timeline
When deciding how much to spend on landscaping services, think about how long you plan to live in the home. If you’ll be there for years to come, you may want to make a multi-phase plan that allows you to upgrade the outdoor space over time. Homeowners on a tight budget can undoubtedly have the landscape they’ve always wanted if they take steps to get there each year.
6. Consider Return on Investment
Balance the cost of ongoing maintenance with the value and beauty the new landscape will add to your property. If you choose a high-maintenance feature such as a pond, you’ll need to factor those costs into your budget. In general, about 65 percent of the budget should be spent on the backyard and 35 percent on the front yard. The ASLA estimates that a comprehensive outdoor upgrade can increase your home’s value by 15 percent, while House Logic places the number at 28 percent.
7. Seek Professional Advice
Once you have a general idea of what you want, it’s important to find a professional landscaper that can help make your vision a reality. Our landscape company serves homeowners throughout southern Florida from our convenient location in Homestead and designs landscapes ranging from tiny gardens to grand estates. We’ll help you choose plants that grow well together, map a complete plan for your landscape, and check in with you every step of the way. Call us at 786-574-6872 for your free estimate.