Create Your Ideal Landscape For Your Colorado Springs Home Using One Of Two Methods
You can learn how to plan a landscape in one of two ways. One involves doing it all yourself and the other involves finding a professional to work with.
Find both methods, questions to ask yourself and a professional landscaper, setting a budget, and what to keep in mind when planning in the post below-
Shouldn’t We Ask A Pro?
“We could, but I like to try things myself first,” Dan says with a smile.
Anna sighs and smiles. He does enjoy learning new things, the more challenging the better. “So, you’re goal is to plan our landscape and then…?”
“Then we’ll see if I can DIY it or if we need to call in a pro,” Dan promises. “I like learning new things but I’m not going to try here. I could end up wasting a lot of our money trying to learn and messing up a big project like this. If anything I can ask the contractor’s crew how to do stuff. I can learn by watching.”
Anna beams a smile. “That sounds great to me! So, Mr. Dan The Man With The Plan, what’s your first step?” Dan grins. “I just have to follow the process. Then our landscape can be as beautiful as one of these 9 projects around Colorado Springs.”
Here are the 8 steps on how to plan landscaping Dan found online-
8 Steps For Planning A Landscape
- Think about what you want from your landscape
- Set a budget
- Think about safety issues
- Measure out your landscape
- Map out dimensions on grid paper
- Plot positions of features that won’t change like driveways
- Draw different basic plans and designs including where electrical and irrigation systems will go
- Add in the extras
*Further down we talk about how to find your ideal landscaper if you decide to hire a professional
Some Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Landscape
- Will your yard be mostly viewed from the indoors?
- Do you need lawn space and other areas for kids or pets to play?
- Do you need barriers to create privacy or muffle street noise?
- Will you be entertaining outdoors?
- Do you want customized elements like a flagstone patio, deck, fire feature, or water feature?
- Stamped concrete isn’t a good option for several reasons
- Are there specific plants you want?
- Do you prefer low-water and/or low maintenance plants?
- Do you want a sprinkler system with water-saving features?
Setting A Budget
A very general rule of thumb for new landscapes is to budget approximately 10% of the price or value of the home. So for a home in the $250,000 range, you should plan landscaping in the range of $25,000.
In some new neighborhoods, covenants often require that landscapes be installed within a certain timeframe. To meet that deadline, you might not be able to do your project all at once.
What To Keep In Mind When Planning Your Landscape
You can save money, time, and effort by having a design and a game plan.
For example, moving heavy concrete blocks to build a wall at the back of your property requires access and heavy equipment. It’s better to build the wall before your sprinkler system, lawn, and other plants are in place. This way you can move the equipment without damaging anything.
You have to do your entire project at once either. Many homeowners space out or stage their landscaping so it gets done over a longer time span.
Develop a master plan design that includes everything you want in your yard. This might include one of these 3 backyard addition ideas. You can work with your landscape designer or contractor on a staged plan. Get the basics first and then move on when it makes sense financially.
“And that’s pretty much it for how to plan a landscape on my own,” Dan says. He scrolls down to find out about hiring a professional landscaper.
How To Find Your Ideal Professional Landscaper
First, you’ll want to decide on how you want to get your landscape plan.
One way is to work with a professional landscape designer or landscape architect first. You can give them your wishlist and they can design a detailed drawing around it. This approach allows you to get the master plan for your yard before you take your design to contractors for bids.
The other way involves working with a “design/build” landscape contracting firm that has designers on board. This option is more of a “one-stop-shop”. The company that consults with you on the design can also install the landscape. The designer’s fee is often incorporated into the overall cost of the landscape work.
Questions To Ask When Looking For A Pro Landscaper
- How long has the firm been in business?
- Have they got you covered with the right insurance?
- Ask to see proof of insurance for liability and workers’ compensation.
- What’s the educational background and work experience of the employees?
- Will there be a Certified Landscape Technician (CLT) working on your property?
- What professional affiliations does the company hold?
- Is your prospective contractor a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado?
- Does the firm intend to use subcontractors? If so, who and in what capacity?
- Ask for client references. Take the time to check references and visit properties where the contractor has worked.
- Did the contractor display good work habits like returning calls promptly and keeping appointments, honor the terms of the contract, and meet the customer’s expectations for technical competence?
- Was the contractor responsive to concerns expressed by the customer?
What Should Be On The Contract
Ask for a detailed contract with job specifications. Be sure the contract includes:
- The scope of work—what’s being done
- Total costs
- How and when payments are due
- How disputes will be resolved if they arise
Both the design and the contract identify the scope of the work to be done—in other words, these documents specify what you are buying. If there is a dispute, these documents will be used to resolve it, so be sure you are comfortable with the final details.
You May Also Like To Read
“So, what do you think, Dan?” Dan sighs and rubs his head. “I say let’s try to put something together first. Then we can find a professional landscaper to finish it or put it all together. We should also take a look around this website and see what else we can find that might help us.”