March 14, 2020
Are you wondering how to landscape a new construction home?
It’s often the last thing on people’s minds when undertaking a large project such as building a home and rarely is there the leftover budget for this important final phase of the project. However, the landscaping is like frosting on the cake or the period at the end of a sentence.
Typically, I like to use landscaping to not only enhance the architecture but also to create a visual buffer where it is needed. Architecturally, we are not always able to create a perfect elevation due to site restraints, shrubbery & perennials allow the eye to stop and rest before embracing the structure.
Foundation plantings (plants that buffer between the yard and house) are essential and non-negotiable. A nice combination of perennials and bushes with clumpings of 3 or 5 create pattern and interest. Creating privacy with evergreen trees and shrubs works in your favor as they grow fast into privacy screens.
Hardscape (patios, walkways, and walls) are beautiful ways of blending the structure to the yard. A shallow garden between the drip edge and patio provides that visual buffer that softens the eye. Grasses and lilies are wonderful to plant in this space because they are hardy and can take snow load from the roof while providing soft lines in the summer and fall months.
I suggest setting reasonable budgets with your builder BEFORE starting construction. Make sure that absolutely everything is figured into the numbers so that when surprises arise (and they WILL) there is room in the budget to address them leaving your landscape budget free to spend appropriately.
Note: Do not start a project without an appropriate budget, there is no such thing as a “Budget Fairy” and going over budget is far too stressful.
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET: This is set with your General Contractor. Allow for a 20% overage from whatever number he provides for those surprises.
MATERIALS BUDGET: You are in charge of the appliances, countertops, cabinetry, tile, hardware, plumbing fixtures, and faucets so make sure you have set your expectations appropriately.
LANDSCAPING BUDGET: Hardscape is roughly $100-200/sf depending on materials. Plantings are vitally important to the finishing touches on a project. At the very least, get a solid planting plan together so that you can attack this on your own or hire an installer. Be sure to purchase quality plants from a local nursery. If your landscaper is planting trees, make sure that they ensure the trees for at least a year.
If you are looking for a landscape plan, feel free to reach out and we can discuss.