When I finish remodeling a house, one of the last things I do before showing it for sale or rent is make a run to the garden center and pick up some finishing touches for the outside of the property. I don't go into anything elaborate as I am not trying to personalize the place to my tastes. However, a few plants judiciously place add tremendous value to the curb appeal of the house. They make it look finished – that the building was not just dropped onto the lot.
Is home landscaping different than other landscaping?
You see some of the high-end office buildings with elaborate landscaping – and you are impressed. That is what they are trying to do. This is really more than most people want to do with their home – even if it is a McMansion.
Home landscaping is no different than any other kind of landscaping. It is just a matter of degree. Where the office park may have dozens of trees and shrubs around their buildings, you may need only a dozen or so. It is natural for people to want their home to look as good as possible. Who doesn't want the kind of yard that the whole neighborhood is envious of? The beauty of home landscaping is that it does not have to be hard and much of it you can do yourself.
All it takes is a bit of elbow grease and some time to design your own home landscaping. Yes, I said design. To get the best out of your investment, put some thought into the project. You will be much happier than if you just grab a little of this and a little of that at the garden center.
There are many products on the market that will help you to find the best home landscaping idea out there. You can choose to use home landscaping software for one. These programs can be a great help as you are trying to decide what will best suit your home and yard. With these programs, you get to see some different layouts and options that may work for you. This is always good when you are trying to narrow down your choices.
If home landscaping software is not for you, you can try doing a search online for some creative home landscaping ideas. The internet is full of interesting sites that you can use to help get everything done the right way. It is important to do plenty of research before you start your own home landscaping so that you keep the number of mistakes made down to a minimum. If you do make a error, don’t worry about it, pretty much anything can be fixed.
Before You Grab a Shovel
Before you start your home landscaping adventure you will need to look into any gas and electrical lines that may be running through your yard. If you have a Miss Utility phone number in your area, she can get these things marked for you. If not, check with your local utility companies.
This is very important if you are planning to be doing a lot of digging. You cannot afford to hit any of these things, not only can it cost you a bundle to fix, it can also be kind of dangerous. Hitting an electrical line with a metal shovel could be a shocking experience. If you survive you will have to deal with grumpy utility workers, or ones laughing at the silly homeowner who didn't check things out first.
Checking with Big Brother
You will also need to find out about zoning restrictions and HOA regulations that could affect your home landscaping. In some places, you cannot have trees too high and even some fences are not allowed. Find out these kinds of things before you start your home landscaping work and you could save a lot of time, money and fighting a battle you probably can't win.
Working with the Pros
After you go through the planning stage and come up with the winning combination, you may find that you have a Cadillac plan and Volkswagon budget or ambition. You can either scale back your plans or hire a professional landscaper for all or part of the project. They can help with design ideas as well as advising on what vegetation works best in your climate and soil. You are paying for their experience as well as labor.
Whatever you do, keep in mind that these plants will need to be maintained to keep them looking good. Be sure you are familiar with their care and feeding. You want to get the most for the time and money you invest in beautifying your home, so a little education goes a long way to keeping things beautiful. Good luck and happy pruning.