Homeowners who are into DIY projects often get the itch to do outdoor work around this time of year. I can’t blame them — the days are long, the weather is warm, and there are still months to go before your yard is out of commission for the winter.
But if you or your client are looking to get started with a landscape renovation, it’s important to get your tools and resources in line. When you’re planning on scraping by without professional help, you need some guidelines to get started. Here’s my advice for planning to DIY a landscape renovation.
1. Start With a Defined Plan
Before planting, digging or paving, make sure you know the scope of the project. Any home improvement project is likely to get off schedule, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead of time. First things first, work on sketching out your desired landscape and sectioning tasks according to each area.
Most experts recommend sectioning your landscaping plans into defined areas including the garden, the yard, the patio, etc. Then, decide what specific tasks and tools are required to renovate your landscape. Once you have a plan, you can start acting on your DIY renovation.
2. Tackle the Hardscaping First
If your landscaping dreams include a new porch, deck, patio or pathway, then make sure you do the heavier construction work first. There’s no point in seeding your lawn or sculpting your flowerbeds only to tear it all up the next week.
These actions also require the most planning and experience. If you’re set on working without professional assistance, you’ll need to study up on crucial techniques and learn how to operate power tools or machinery. You may even need to rent the correct construction equipment for short-term use, so be sure to get in contact with a local rental company to get a quote early.
3. Focus on Edges
You’ve already defined your landscaping sections, but now it’s time to visually set them apart. When building your flowerbeds or scultping your pathways, make sure your plantings and design choices create distinct lines that separate your gardening from the rest of the yard.
You can achieve this by minding your edging. Cut your edge to create a defined line, then mulch your garden bed. Plants, stones and bricks can also help you create neat borders around various landscaping elements. This will look crisp, clean and professional, which can only help boost resale value down the road.
4. Choose Your Plants Carefully
Once the hardscaping and prep is done, you’re free to start planting. You’ll want to choose plants based on your own gardening experience, yard conditions, environmental factors and aesthetic goals. Landscaping may require ground cover, new trees and shrubs, and a variety of flowers, vegetables and herbs for robust gardens.
Take a few days to explore your options and consider your priorities. Outside of doing online research, consider heading to a local nursery to get expert input on available plants and their needs. You may decide to choose environmentally efficient native plants, or get an idea of how much care your favorite blooms will need each year.
DIY Your Landscape Renovation
A landscape renovation has many steps, depending on each homeowner’s specific goals. Whether you’re rooting out old stumps, paving walkways or simply reviving a garden bed, make sure you take the time to research each step carefully and plan out your equipment needs. At the end of the summer, you can take pride in your new yard — and find satisfaction in your back-breaking work.