When you begin the process of landscaping you home, you will realize that the numbers add up quickly. Metro Atlanta is a great place to enjoy outdoor living throughout the year and there are almost limitless features which can be incorporated into your yard. With all of this potential sitting right outside your backdoor, it’s important to invest some time in researching your options and creating a realistic budget for the project.
Basic Landscape Budget Numbers
It can be very hard to begin to pencil in numbers for a landscape budget if you have never completed any major landscape projects in the past. But a good place to start is a very general number. According to House Logic, a budget of 10-15% of the value of your home is a realistic starting point. They also point out that though this could initially seem like a high number, keep in mind that a good landscape design can increase your property value by as much as 28%. So with a professional design you stand to see a very good return on your investment! Also realize that the 15% number is not going to cover the cost of a high end custom outdoor living space complete with swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and dining areas. But again, a solid design and a quality finished product will greatly increase the value of your home and your ability to enjoy outdoor living.
Your Due Diligence
In most cases, homeowners want to determine their budget before they begin meeting with landscape and pool contractors. Knowing your budget helps to set realistic expectations and also to have all of the potential contractors providing quotes and designs for roughly the same finished product. That allows the homeowner to compare all of the quotes on an equal playing field. To determine a budget without getting quotes you may want to research quality landscape contractors. When getting quotes from true professional landscape companies/firms, don’t be surprised to if you are ask to pay a consultation and/or design fee. Quality designs take time, resources, extensive knowledge, and specialized software to protect your investment.
Be certain that all of the potential contractors are licensed, insured, and hold the proper industry certifications. Next, visit the contractor’s websites to see examples of their work and to review their services. Look for landscape contractors who specializes in outdoor living construction services such as swimming pools, outdoor patios, outdoor kitchens, etc. Additionally, look for landscape contractors who have an established place of business. If something goes wrong, and you need to track down your contractor, you want to know they have an actual office or shop where you can go visit them.
Be Willing to Work in Phases
One of the most important parts of your landscape project is going to be a professional quality design. This plan will include everything that you would want to have in your dream backyard. And in many cases all of those features are going to cost more than your current budget will allow. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on even the smallest features of your dream outdoor living space. It simply means that you need to work with a contractor who is willing to complete your full design and then begin the build process with Stage 1. Working from a complete plan, but installing in stages, allows you time to save for additional features and work towards your goal of the perfect backyard.
Be Sure to Check with Your HOA
In the Atlanta area, it is not uncommon to live in a community with a Home Owners Association (HOA). These HOA’s impose certain landscape guidelines and restrictions. It is important that you understand what your HOA requires you to include in your landscape and also what they do not allow. In most cases, landscape contractors are familiar with larger HOA guidelines but ultimately, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to be sure their property meets the requirements. It can also be helpful to understand the submission and approval process that your HOA follows for new landscape designs. Knowing about any plant count requirements and hardscape limitations imposed by your HOA can help you to fine tune your landscape budget before speaking to any contractors.
Leave some “Wiggle Room”
Finally, think of your budget as a guideline and not necessarily the maximum that you can spend. There are always little extras that you will want to add such as a specific tree that catches your eye or an upgraded tile or paver for your patio. Having a little bit of wiggle room in your budget will allow you to add those final finishing touched to personalize your outdoor space and make it exactly what you want.
To learn more about working with the award winning, professional team at the Dogwood, contact us HERE or give us a call at 678-368-7000. And remember, Your Backyard Has Dreams Too!