Summer is a great time of year for home landscaping projects. The weather is pleasant and the soil is soft and malleable. However, current labour and supply shortages might eliminate the possibility of hiring a professional contractor.
Don’t let these shortages throw a spanner in your plans. Here are seven tips to help you plan your own summer landscaping project.
1. Assess Your Land
Before you break ground or draw up a plan, you first need to assess your land and identify all potential obstacles. Walk around your property and observe anything that might give you trouble. Here are some objects you may encounter that will affect your plans:
- Natural water sources
- Underground utilities
- Tree stumps and roots
- Animal nests and holes
- Poisonous vegetation
You will probably have to do some preparative manual labour to remove these obstacles and make room for your project’s big features.
2. Research Licence Requirements
Depending on your project’s size and design, you may need to acquire special licences. Most landscaping projects don’t need any permits, but you should research your local regulations just to be 100% sure. Many different renovations that you might want to include in your project require government approval.
3. Sketch a Grid Plan
Every successful landscaping project starts with a simple grid sketch. Measure and draw your plan on graph paper or with online design tools like Google Sketchup. Draw the fixed features first, like buildings, trees, and roads. Then you get to play around with design ideas. Add shrubs, patios, or whatever else you want to include in your project.
Once you draw your vision, colour in the images to bring the sketch to life. It might seem like a trivial step, but it will help you visualise the end result and allow you to compare different colours, textures, and patterns.
4. Establish a Budget and Timeline
Now that you have a sketch to build on, you can establish a budget and timeline. Put aside the necessary funds (plus a little extra) for tools, materials, and other project expenses. Set target dates for the project’s launch, special milestones, and the project’s completion. A detailed schedule is extremely important for keeping your project on track.
However, your initial budget and timeline don’t have to be permanent. They should be flexible enough to account for unexpected delays and human error. Summer weather is usually good for landscaping, but sudden thunderstorms, heat waves, and dehydration also come into play.
5. Focus on the Must-Haves First
Once you start landscaping, focus on installing the larger must-have design elements before moving on to the smaller details. Structures like patios and fences will immediately give your home an aesthetic appeal and might increase its property value before the project is even finished.
With the big-picture stuff out of the way, the final stages of the project will be much simpler. You’ll be able to experiment with the smaller elements like flowers, shrubs, and light fixtures and find design ideas that complement the project’s primary features.
6. Study Similar Projects
Since this landscaping project is your first DIY attempt, it’s a good idea to study similar projects. You might pick up cool landscaping tips and tricks, discover a design feature you really like, or learn how to avoid project-specific mistakes.
A sketch is a good start, but it can only give you so much information. You need to see real-world examples of similar projects to effectively visualise the final result in your own backyard.
7. Dispose of Waste Properly
Most of your project’s waste will be the roots, undergrowth, and other debris you remove to install the design features. Instead of throwing this stuff away in the garbage, burn it in controlled piles or rent a dumping service to dispose of the debris responsibly. If you have any leftover materials, recycle them, donate them, or save them for other projects.
Make Your First DIY Project a Success
You might not be a professional landscaper, but that doesn’t mean you’re incapable of planning a DIY project. Remember these seven tips to make your summer landscaping project a success. You know your property better than anyone else, so trust your instincts and draw up a plan to revitalise your landscape!
Rose Morrison is a home living writer with over five years experience writing in the industry. She is the managing editor of Renovated.com and loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth.