While DIY projects are a great way to make you feel involved in the maintenance and beautification of your home, they are not without risk. Some projects are inherently dangerous, while others are deceptively difficult.
One of the most common DIY projects for homeowners in Minnesota is landscaping and gardening to improve the curb appeal of their home or to make their backyard more usable. While it seems as simple as planting a few bushes, landscaping is a much more complicated process than many DIYers might think. A professional landscape design will help you eliminate mistakes while giving you a yard you’ll love for years to come. Avoid these mistakes with a professionally designed landscape plan.
Good landscape design takes into consideration all aspects of your yard before selecting plants for each area and element. When you’re tackling the project yourself, you may be tempted to mimic a design you saw in a catalog, or use the same plants your neighbor ordered from the nursery.
It’s important to remember that not all plants will work in your yard. A professional landscape design will indicate what plants will work in each area, where they should be planted, the most aesthetically pleasing layout, and how many should be in each space. Furthermore, the design will consider the nutrient profile of your soil, so each plant will have the right materials to thrive.
Neglecting Your Indoor View
Many would-be landscapers forget that the landscaping is visible from inside your home just as much as it is from the outside. Whether your landscaping is in your front yard or your backyard, you’ll be able to see it from inside your home.
A landscape design will take into consideration the way the design looks from both inside and outside your home. This means, the design will consider where your windows are, the way plants will obstruct your view of the yard, and the way the design affects your family’s comfort inside the home.
Forgetting the Budget
Landscape design is tailored to a specific budget. Each element, plant, and feature works to create the look you want without blowing your existing budget. Without a clear design plan, it can be tempting to keep buying plants until you feel satisfied with the look of your yard. Often, this leads people to overspend on their landscaping plan. When you have a clear design laid out, you’ll know precisely how much each element should cost and how much you’ll have left to spend on other additions.
Skipping Certain Features
Landscaping is about more than just planting your favorite flowers in a flowerbed. It’s about creating a beautiful design you can enjoy spending time in. While plants are certainly a part of it, aspects like pathways, fountains, and retaining walls to keep erosion at bay are just as important as the plants you select.
A landscape design lets you plan how you’d like to use the space and makes arrangements for hardscape design. Hardscape refers to the use of stone and other hard materials to create a man-made structure or feature in your landscape design. These elements include walkways, retaining walls, patios, and even sitting areas. While it may seem unnecessary, these aspects help your plants thrive and minimize the impact you’ll have on the design while using your yard and enjoying the scenery.
Regulations, Permits, and Requirements, Oh My!
Many HOAs and neighborhoods have very specific requirements when it comes to landscaping your yard. These requirements may cover the type of plants you can use, the density of the plants, the amount of hardscaping you can do, and even the height of fencing or border materials.
Each neighborhood is different, and not knowing the requirements may result in having to redo your landscaping. When you work with a clear landscape design, you’ll be able to present the HOA with a plan for each part of your landscaping, complete with the type of materials, the plants you plan to use, and modifications you’ll be making to the area. Presenting the HOA with the plan gives them the opportunity to inform you of any code violations before the project gets started.
Neglecting Your Lighting
Many people believe that landscaping is something only enjoyed during the daylight hours. However, landscaping is visible all day, even into the late evening. When you have a landscape design created, the designer will take into consideration the placement of outdoor lighting so you and your family can continue to use the space, even when the sun has set. Outdoor lighting can illuminate paths and walkways while also drawing the eye to individual features you wish to highlight.
Not Treating Your Landscaping Like an Investment
Upgrading your landscaping is an investment in your home. Even small changes can boost your home’s resale value. Moving forward without a design is no different than purchasing stock without researching the company first. A design will keep you from wasting money on elements that won’t work in your yard and will help you identify the best areas to change. Furthermore, a landscape design will help you implement features that will keep your yard in the best condition possible, reducing the risk of flooding, erosion, and poor drainage.
A professional landscape design plan will give you the tools you need to create a one-of-a-kind landscape design without wasting your money or your time.