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Planning Saves Money - When Landscaping Your Property

For the homeowner, the terms landscaping or gardening encompasses many different things. But there are two primary keys to the success of any home improvement project;

Planning and Knowledge - landscaping and gardening a property are definitely home improvement projects.

backyard landscape home improvement
Figure 1 - Water feature in landscaping

In this article we will look at the planning stage.

Planning Your Landscaping

Unless you are quite wealthy, the best way to landscape a home is to break the complete project into a group of smaller sub-projects. The completion of the smaller projects, when completed will provide you with the look and comfort that you truly desire, ever if it takes a number of years to complete. However, breaking the project into a number of sub or smaller projects will only have a successful outcome if you have a vision of the entire landscape or gardening project.

Many homeowners waste hundreds if not thousands of dollars, landscaping portions of their properties without any consideration for the entire project. As an example, if you will desire lighting throughout your garden or landscape it is wise to install the entire underground conduit system at the same time, as this will avoid having to dig up finished portions of the total project in order to run an additional conduit to an outlying area. This also applies to piping for underground sprinkler systems.

Items such as conduit and piping are inexpensive and it is not necessary to buy the valves and wiring, as the case may be, until that portion of the project is undertaken.

landscape bridge home improvement
Figure 2 - Foot bridge in landscaping

If your project is installing concrete patios or driveways, paving a driveway, installing a deck, placing brick pavers or flagstone it is always a good investment to install at least one if not two 2″ PVC pipes below the surface and at least a foot on either side of the installation, even if at this point in time you have no plans or concepts for how they might be used. Make a drawing or sketch of where the pipes are located. By installing the pipes you will have given yourself the ability to run pipes or wires under the project without having to dig it up and redo it.

As with any project, big or small, proper preparation is one of the biggest keys to success. Know and understand the materials that you are using. As an example, in creating your garden the different plants may require a variety of soils and fertilizers in order to become hardy and survive the seasons. Materials to construct driveways, patios and walkways are laid down different depending on the foundation that the products are being installed on top of.

Read and pay attention to manufacturer instructions, believe it or not they know the best way to install and maintain their products. They understand and have experimented with the best ways to create a foundation and they really want you to be happy with the end result.

Backyard landscape use of retaining walls as a home improvement
Figure 3 - Terraced landscaping

Use tools that are specified, especially when cutting products. Make sure that all tools, whether powered or hand, are in a safe condition.

Front yard landscape home improvement
Figure 4 - Terraced entryway