Landscape Planning For New Home Builds
When building a new house, you’re not only planning the design and layout of your home, but also of the yard and the surrounding landscape. By planning the landscape of your home and working with a professional, you can dramatically improve and enhance the look of your homes exterior, curb appeal, and yard.
Before making any major landscape decisions, it’s important to understand how you intend to use your yard and what features are important to you and your family along with what works best for your property based on your lot size, location, foundation, and elevation. In a previous article, we mentioned the benefit of selecting a home builder before buying land since a builder can help you locate property that best fits your needs for landscaping and outside hardscape features.
*Anderson Homes includes a complimentary site evaluation to help you evaluate topography, grading, drainage, landscaping, soil, site clearing, and other factors to help determine lot improvement costs and building considerations, all of which can impact your options for landscaping. See what’s all included in our Site Evaluation – Here
Questions To Consider When Planning Landscaping Projects:
– Do you have any pets that require space outside?
– Do you have any young children who will need a play area such as a sandbox or play set?
– Would you need open areas for activities and sports for older children or active adults?
– Do you plan on entertaining outside regularly?
– What views from the house and outward would you like to maintain, privatize, or create?
– Do you want to create habitats that attract butterflies, bees, songbirds, hummingbirds, frogs, or other wildlife?
– Do you want any specialty areas, such as for growing vegetables, fruiting plants, cut flowers, roses, trees, etc?
– Do you want to include any water features, such as a fountain, pond, hot tub, or pool?
– How much time do you intend to devote to the maintenance of your lawn, gardens, and landscape? The more incorporated into a landscape, the more maintenance time required.
Determine Your Landscaping Budget
Next is deciding on a landscape budget. Generally, 10% of your home’s value should be dedicated to landscaping, including plants and hardscaping. However, this could be lower or higher depending on your needs and if other high-end specialty projects are required. Working with a landscape architect or designer can help you plan available space, recommend a list of plantings, provide hardscape materials, locate any underground pipes/cables/or lines running through your property, and take charge of the project.
The 3 Phases Of Your Landscape Vision:
The design phase involves adding ground wiring, irrigation systems, fencing, building retaining walls, digging to install a pool or pond, pouring concrete or installing stone for patios and walkways, or anything else built outside the house. All hardscaping features are completed first so that plants going into the landscape are not damaged and can then be implemented around or within hardscape features accordingly.
Good, healthy soil is key to successful landscaping. It’s likely that your soil is compact from equipment used during the construction of your home. Compact soil doesn’t properly store water and can increase erosion and runoff, which is why it’s important to prepare the yard for grass when the season is right.
In Wisconsin, spring and early fall is the best time to seed and grow grass or lay sod because of the mild temperatures combined with rain to help grass quickly root and grow. If growing in the summer, additional care and watering may be needed due to higher temperatures and increased sun exposure.
Once you have established healthy soil and grass has been seeded (or sodded), you can start adding mulch and ground-covers to plant flowers, bushes, shrubs, trees, and other plants. If planting trees, it’s important to plant them far away from the house (10- 20+ feet away, depending on the size of the tree) since they will grow in height and their roots can cause structural damage if placed too close to the foundation, walkways/patios, or even underground pipes.
To further enhance your homes appearance and curb appeal at night, you can install low voltage landscape lighting around your home and yard. lighting helps improves the security and safety of your property while also highlighting your home’s architectural features and drawing attention to prized plantings and trees.
Uses fixtures that focus light onto your paths and walkways. Primarily for safety, this lighting still creates aesthetically pleasing lighting effects for your outdoor landscape.
Accent Lighting :
Focuses light onto a specific object or landscape feature, but allows for more peripheral lighting and dim illumination of surrounding areas. Creates curb appeal but emphasizes individual areas like a tree or a garden.
Spreads light among your outdoor landscape and creates a more general mood. Certain areas will still be emphasized but generally isn’t focused around a single object or feature.