When building a new home, most of the attention is on designing the house itself, and rightly so! However, the areas outside of your home, both front and back yards, are often overshadowed by the new construction in the design process, and it results in a below average looking landscape and makes it more difficult to re-landscape later on. Taking the time to design your landscape is important. Your yard is the first thing people see when they pass by or come to your house, and it may also be where you gather friends and family for a cookout or garden party. It can make a good or bad impression on your guests and neighbors, so you’ll want to make an effort to plan ahead and hire a landscape designer to help make your yard beautiful and functional for welcoming and entertaining guests. 

USE YOUR RESOURCES

One of the great things about landscaping a new construction is the fresh soil that gets turned up by the builders. Usually, the first layers of soil are clay and useless or harmful to a beautiful landscape. If you are fortunate to still be in the building process, take advantage of this opportunity and ask your contractor if he/she could set aside the good soil and dispose of the clay for you. Then when the project is finished, they can spread out the good soil over the entire landscape. This will significantly benefit your yard and plant life for years to come.

Ask your builder if they can set aside and spread out the good soil for you at the end of construction. This will save you time and effort in landscaping after your build and improve your plants' longevity.

MAKE A PLAN

Whether you hire a landscape designer or tackle the project on your own, you need to have a plan. Consider how you will use the space. Is it the entrance/walkway to your home? Do you want to have an outdoor kitchen, pool, garden, etc? Will you frequently entertain guests or relax alone in an outdoor oasis? Once you decide on your outdoor area’s purpose, think about any hardscaping you want done. Will there be a walkway, gazebo, patio, porch, stairs, fountains, etc? Be realistic, how much time do you or your family spend outdoors? This will help when deciding what to put in your backyard and how much to spend. If you go all out, but never use the space, you’re wasting money. Remember, less is more, if you aren’t sure, but it’s better to spend the time planning with a Landscape Designer who can help you figure out what you want, what works, and what will suit your lifestyle. Your landscape designer can also make suggestions of plants, hardscape, and other elements that would best suit your personal style, budget, and vision.

PRIORITIZE

Since the front of your home is what people see first and gives your home the “curb appeal” effect, you should complete the landscaping in the front yard first. Start with the hardscaping. Hardscaping includes walkways, fountains, fences, basically anything not plants or part of the land. Laying the hardscape first will prevent plants from being damaged during the installation process. Once you’ve laid the hardscape, begin planting and spreading materials. Plant trees for shade, line a walkway with flowers or bushes, spread mulch in plant beds, and most importantly (if your contractor didn’t do this for you recently) make sure the soil you plant in is fresh and nourished. You may need to add nutrients to your soil before planting, and this is well worth the time and cost. It will keep your plants from withering away faster than you can say begonia. Then, of course, don’t forget to complete the backyard, especially if you intend to host and entertain guests and family members there. Do your hardscape and then use foliage and flora to “accessorize” or accent your yard.

Finally, once all of your hard work is done, show it off! Invite friends, family, neighbors, and more to view and enjoy the space you’ve created both in your new construction home and the newly landscaped outdoor areas.