January 12, 2020
When you buy a brand new home, you have a unique opportunity to develop your landscaping from the very beginning.
Residential estate developers understand the importance of landscaping. More than ever, they are paying attention to the natural environment on their building sites, carefully preserving trees and other natural vegetation on building sites whenever possible. Green spaces and attractive landscaping of common areas are an integral part of larger community developments. Walkways and driveways are designed to enhance the appeal of individual homes.
Some new home builders offer extensive landscaping options or ‘packages’ that include patios and other built structures as well as plantings. This allows you to finish the look of your home and enjoy all of the benefits of your purchase immediately.
Most builders’ networks include landscape contractors who they can recommend. You can then deal directly with the landscaper who will design and help carry out your landscaping plan. Your builder should be happy to work with you to accommodate any garden requirements resulting from your landscaping plans.
There is a lot to think about when you begin your landscaping from scratch, whether you work with your builder, hire a landscaper or do it on your own.
Planning is everything. It helps you to develop a full vision of your entire outdoor space and, just as important, to avoid mistakes.
- Begin by developing your wish list – everything you have always wanted, from gardens to water features to pergolas. Then assess what you want to take on right away and can afford, and what you want to phase in over time.
- Soil preparation and water management, particularly drainage, are crucial. Talk with your builder about the soil type on your property, landfill, foundation height, termite protection and backfill around the house. It’s important you do not fill or build over any termite management systems around the edge of the home. Ask about drainage patterns, and consider the placement of gutters and downpipes in your landscaping plan.
- Develop your plan, at least in general terms, and review it with your builder for advice and suggestions. Larger windows or different placement may offer a better view of your planned deck or pergola from inside. Electrical cables can be run outside for lights and transformers. Plan for future outside plumbing needs, or have a natural gas line brought outside for an eventual barbecue.
- Today’s trends favour pergolas, which are open outdoor living areas shaded with lattice and climbing plants; low-maintenance stone patios; and naturescapes, such as rock gardens and ponds. Explore your options thoroughly.
- Be realistic about the amount of garden upkeep you want or are able to do. The use of low maintenance lawns and other ground covers, native plant species and mulch can help to reduce mowing, watering and weeding.
Landscaping is an integral part of your new home. Talk with your builder or landscaper about ideas and options.
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