With all the new home construction that is going on nationwide you may find yourself with a new home and if so more than likely you will need to do some landscape design. Most homes are sold with no landscaping or just the front yard completed. If you are one of the lucky individuals that purchased a new home and find yourself with an empty backyard you may consider some garden structure projects like a gazebo or a garden pergola.
Pergolas can be free standing framework structures or may be attached to the side of your home or other buildings such as your garage. There are columns that support cross beams, which also support perpendicular joists. You then have the option of installing wooden slats for partial shading if you decide. This type of garden structure offers a perfect area for small tables and chairs, an excellent spot for morning coffee and the paper!
A gazebo is also a free standing structure but with a peaked roof. It is generally a polygon with 6 or 8 sides, or some structures are round. It may have an open design or installed with a roof. These structures are ideal for a barbecue area or possibly installing a hot tub.
Both designs offer many options for adding elegance and class to your landscape design. You may consider adding patio furniture to the gazebo area or if you have a garden pergola you can use hanging plants and raised flower beds for color. The preferred wood is offer treated redwood because it will stand up to the harsh elements.
5 Considerations For That Backyard Project
You have a brand new home and everyone wants a backyard that is inviting – somewhere to go hangout. But there a few mistakes and pit falls you want to be sure to avoid. What can start out as a beautiful retreat can quickly become a backyard nightmare. Make sure you know your “retreat commitments” and you’ll be good to go. Here are 5 specific considerations to evaluate before diving off on that next project.
We all see those beautiful gazebos that seem to have become very popular. You can find them at any Home Depot, Lowes and even Target garden centers. Some are so fancy it’s almost like having a living room in your backyard – with built-in tables, plant stands, lamps and a variety of awning styles. Before investing in one of these pre-built “get-a-ways”, you really need to evaluate if it will work in your climate. How will it hold up to the wind, rain and sun? What looks beautiful when you buy it can quickly become faded and worn if you live in an area with harsh conditions. You may have to be willing to be vigilant in bringing things in and out of the elements. Do you have the space to store all of those extras during the months you can’t leave them outside? It looks great in the store, but how practical is it really for the outdoors? How hard will it be to replace fabrics once they get worn out by the elements (which can happen very quickly)? These are all questions you really need to ask yourself before putting out the money for one of those beautiful outdoor spaces.
Landscaping adds beauty and value to a home. But there are some things to take into consideration – especially if you hire someone to come in and design and do the landscaping. Unless you then have the budget to have someone maintain that beautiful landscaping, make sure you don’t have something more difficult to keep up with than what is within your abilities and time. Perennials add lasting color year after year but they also require a lot of work to keep them coming. If you don’t have the time or the know-how, then go with something, such as bushes, that can take care of themselves. There is nothing worse than beds of flowers that were once beautiful, but are now overrun with weeds and plants that haven’t been taken care of. It requires more than a sprinkler system to keep those plants beautiful.
Ponds and waterfalls can make a relaxing space. Once again, make sure you know what you’re in for. Maintenance can be high. Leaks and broken pumps can turn that peaceful water feature into a major headache. Aquatic plants can be expensive and sometimes have to be replaced every year. Do your homework ahead of time to avoid any future pitfalls and to know what you’re in for.
If you are working with a clean slate, be sure to project yourself into the future. What will those trees be like in 5 years and how will they affect the rest of space – other landscaping, deck space, pool space, etc. Plan for the future, otherwise you may find yourself doing a lot of “do overs”. Most people tend to “over landscape” when the space looks bare and forget to think ahead.
Consider building a deck with low maintenance materials. The investment upfront can save you time and money later. Who wants to keep refinishing the deck every couple of years? There are so many options out there now. You can have a deck with long lasting beauty for years to come and it won’t require any work on your part! Another option to consider would be a stone patio. Create a stone patio using stone indigenous to your area and not will it bring beauty to your backyard, but will hold up well over time.
Every child loves having their own play set. Ranging from the simple to the elaborate, these can be a wonderful addition if your child will get a lot of use from it. But when it comes time to sell your house, these can sometimes be more of a negative than a plus. If the potential buyer has no need for it, they may require it to be removed before they buy which can be quite a hassle – and then there is generally a bare spot to deal with once the equipment is removed. So make sure you consider all of the options before adding one to your backyard. Do you live near a park? While having a setup in your own backyard can be very convenient, many times children quickly get bored with the same old thing. You might find that the wonderful play set goes largely unused and you might be wishing you had that space for something more useful such as an entertaining space.
The key to any landscaping or backyard retreat “space” is to do your research ahead of time. Ask questions regarding maintenance, future costs and what kind of time it will require from you. What starts out as a great idea – detailed landscaping, pools, hot tubs, decks – all require upkeep and that means money and time. Will you really get the use out of it you are hoping to? Know what you are in for BEFORE you start the project. And when you finally do decide on that perfect backyard project you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come without it being a backyard nightmare!
Backyard Project Tips
As the air begins to warm and the seasons change from winter to spring and then to summer, most people are beginning to think about outdoor activities they can do in their backyards. Some people are looking forward to playing some favorite sports, or using their pools. Some people are thrilled about gardening. While these activities are a fun way to spend your time outdoors, they are not the only backyard activities to do when the weather is nice. Here in the United States we love to fill our backyards with stuff; we have our pools, garages, work sheds, barns, trampolines, and other fun toys to keep us busy.
When you look around your yard you might see that some of these things need to be remodeled, or replaced altogether. Summer weather offers the best opportunity to get these backyard projects done. Where to start? That is always the first question asked about any project, whether you are rebuilding or building from scratch.
The first step in any project is to make plans. If you already know what you plan to do then you can easily move on to the next step in the process. For those unsure of what they to do, or build, a visit to the library to see what projects are out there is the easiest way to decide where to start. You can find many books that offer complete directions to build anything from a bird house to a barn. A lot of do-it-yourself home projects come with video tutorials especially for those who have never built anything before; however, even experienced builders may learn a thing or two from watching videos. Once you find what you want to make, it might be wiser to buy the book, or video, so you can have it for as long as you need it.
Once you have decided what you want to repair, rebuild, or build from scratch, and you have read through the instructions a few times, then it’s time to get your supplies. A lot of home projects are going to call for the use of hammers, saws, wood, nails, and a host of other common tools. Check that you have all the tools you need before heading to the hardware store. Nothing is more frustrating to the home builder than finding out that he does not have a tool that is vital to the project. All projects are going to require a different set of materials, so follow the instructions for your project and make sure to buy enough materials without running out. It is always best to buy a bit more than you need in case you make any kind of marking or cutting errors. No one is perfect, and mistakes can be made. Better to be safe, than sorry.
As mentioned, summer is ideal for outdoor projects because of the beautiful sunny days. However, we all know that summer is also ideal for thunderstorms and rainy days. If your project requires more than a day of work, it is best to keep an eye on the weather well before you start your project. Roofing and painting usually take a few days to complete; you would not want weather to ruin either job. Smaller projects can be finished in a matter of hours and are usually built to withstand the rain.
Working and completing any summer project can be a great backyard activity. But what do you do if something needs fixing or building and you don’t want to do either job? The simplest solution to this dilemma is to hire someone to do these projects for you. You can get the job done, and get it done right, and you only have to lift your fingers to pay the workers. Most large home improvement projects can be completed by those who know what they are doing. If you are thinking of doing a project way beyond your knowledge then don’t hesitate to hire a professional. After all, the purpose is to get the work done so that you can enjoy your backyard even more. Nice thing about hiring someone – you get to sit outside, enjoy the nice summer temps, and watch someone else work. Finding and executing that perfect backyard activity to fill your summer just got a bit easier.