When you’re getting major work done on your house, it often makes sense to budget for landscaping following the work. Sometimes the money might be a bit tight to do both, but if it’s do-able, it can really add to your enjoyment of your home, not to mention adding real value to your home!
When might landscaping be a smart investment, and what are the best ways to approach it? We’re glad you asked!
Why might you need (or want) landscaping?
Some types of home alterations, such as ground floor extensions, can result in areas of your garden requiring remedial work, especially if heavy equipment has been involved. Turf can be damaged, soil can be compacted, and sometimes garden features need to be removed to provide access or enable extensions to go in.
Another time landscaping may be required is when extensions open up the house to the outdoors…and the old view is less than spectacular. This is where landscaping can really make a difference, both to your experience of your home and its market value. Studies show that a well-executed landscaping project adds around 10% to the value of a home.
What sort of landscaping?
Well that completely depends on what you want to get out of your garden, whether you have kids and many other things, but over the years we’ve found that a few common elements seem to work for most people:
- Unless you’re an avid gardener, a low maintenance garden will look good with less effort, and there are many approaches to this, from going native to smart planting for your conditions. Choose a local landscaper who knows the ‘lay of the land’ for the best advice here.
- Consider shade and privacy – well-chosen trees and hedge plants give both and you’ll appreciate them during the hotter months.
- If you have kids, a garden with a variety of spaces, places to hide (from each other and you!), and plenty of scope for adventure will keep them outside, active and entertained far longer than a more formal, ‘adult’ garden.
- When planning your garden, plan it from the perspective of your new extensions (which may not be built yet), as your vantage point/s will most likely change.
Money Saving Tips
Good landscaping doesn’t have to be expensive. One of the most expensive components can be buying the plants, especially larger ones. You can save money by buying smaller plants and being a little patient, but an even better tip is to use what you’ve got. A good landscaper can transform your garden by removing what’s old and tired (de-cluttering!), and trimming or relocating existing plants to create a whole new feel to your garden.
The DIY approach is also a big cost saver. If you know what you’re doing, or are prepared to learn how, getting hands-on in the garden is as satisfying as it is money-saving. Everything from laying turf to transplanting shrubs can be done by the keen DIY-er, and you’ll free up money for either a rainy day or to put that final touch of luxury on your new extensions!
One final note is that if you do hire professional help with the landscaping, don’t automatically go with the cheapest quote. There are a lot of unqualified operators out there that just don’t have the experience to give you a garden you love spending time in and that will look great for years to come. Ask to see some of their previous work, listen to the ideas they suggest for your garden and remember, you get what you pay for!