People often don’t think of the landscape until their home construction is completed. Sadly, this is a mistake beset with missed opportunities. It is best to develop a master plan for your homesite before your home is built. This way you can look at the possible views from inside your home if you position it in different ways on your property. You can consider better ways to layout the driveway and walks. And, very importantly, you can avoid creating unintended, awkward outdoor spaces that are created by placing the home without outdoor considerations. Even in a subdivision situation, you have options.
How to work with your building contractor to get the landscape you want.
If you’ve hired a building contractor you may have already committed to a landscape budget. However, if the contractor has not provided a landscape plan or you don’t like what he has shown you, you can develop your own plan. We’ll work with you to develop your custom plan, making it perfect for your family. (For more on our services look to the left column for options.) Once completed,you can show the contractor your plan and discuss what your landscape budget will cover. It will likely cover only a portion of your master plan since the builder’s budget typically is focused only on the street front view. However, what it does cover will installed per your plan eliminating the need to remove or retrofit decks, irrigation, plantings, and lawn. Removal is costly and retrofitting typically, well, looks like retrofitting. Also, during this phase of construction we can set up the irrigation and lighting so that they can be added on to as you install your master plan.
The following is a short list of the items we have removed or couldn’t remove that could have been avoided by having a master plan before the home was completed.
Irrigation Valve Boxes. We have found these installed by the front entrance of the home as visible as the front door, in the middle of the only place a needed path could go; along side the entrance walk. It only takes a little fore thought and these highly visible locations could have been avoided. To move them after they are installed is expensive.
Big plants in small spaces. If a planting bed is 4′ wide do not plant a plant that will be 8′ wide when it is mature. This appears to be common sense, but it happens often. The costs incurred here include purchase and planting of the first plant; removal of the plant and planting it in an appropriate location; and stress to the plant.
Big plants in inappropriate locations. Last year we removed a plant that when mature would be 8′ tall and wide. It was placed in front of a gate along the side yard. While a gate can be 3′ wide, the side yard was only 8′ wide. The installed plant left no room for a walk or gate. The costs incurred here include purchase and planting of the first plant; removal of the plant and planting it in an appropriate location; and stress to the plant.
The typical subdivision concrete pad for a back yard patio. More often than not these pads are too small and often at an awkward elevation for easy use from the the access door. A custom master plan would have avoided this problem by illustrating the dimensions, layout, and elevation wanted for the patio. The cost to remove the pad runs $1,000.00 and up. The cost to install the desired functional patio in pavers run from $7.00 a square foot up.