It’s never been more important to feel good about our outdoor living spaces. We’re starting to wind down from a busy year as more Edmonton homeowners have replaced their travel plans with landscape makeovers! While enjoying a fully-updated landscape can feel like a vacation, these renovations are significant investments that call for long-term thinking. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself before planning your landscape project.
1. What Features Do I Really Need?
Online research, like scrolling through Pinterest or Google Images, is a great way to get inspiration for your landscape makeover. However, it can be easy to get into the weeds with dreamy, covetable features that serve more form than function. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a few bells and whistles, but we recommend starting with the “must-haves.” Consider your lifestyle and the features your landscape needs to have to best serve your family. For instance, you might be certain that you want a larger patio for entertaining, a play area for the kids, and an attractive walkway that connects your garage, outdoor living spaces, and home entryway. Once you’ve decided on a basic framework, your designer can help you narrow down which extras are smart to keep.
2. Which Features of My Property Do I Want to Highlight?
A landscape makeover can include anything from a subtle update to a complete transformation of your yard. When planning your landscape design, we advise clients to consider the elements of the existing space that are worth keeping. For example, if you have some beautiful mature trees on the property, it’s often best to keep them and build your design around them. Or, if your property has a great view, the landscape can be designed to help frame the best viewpoints from your seating areas.
“Consider how the features of your landscape makeover will suit your family members for the foreseeable future.”
3. How Much Time Can I Devote to Maintenance?
When we’re excited about bringing our dream landscape into fruition, it can be easy to overestimate how much time we’ll want to spend maintaining it. It’s very important to be realistic about maintenance, as proper maintenance is a major factor in the longevity of your investment. When working with our design team, we like to know how much time you currently spend working on your landscape and whether a low-maintenance design plan is the best fit for you. Talk to us about the kinds of maintenance tasks your new design will present and how often they’ll need to be done. This information will be helpful whether you plan to take on maintenance yourself, or if you need to outsource the maintenance tasks later on.
4. How Will My Family’s Needs Change in the Next Five Years?
Through all the seasons of our lives, there are always changes to anticipate. Some of these changes move slowly, and others (like the growth of our kids or grandkids) can seem to happen overnight. Consider how the features of your landscape makeover will suit your family members for the foreseeable future. An all-purpose sports court will get plenty of use, whether your child is seven or seventeen. If an older relative is likely to join your household in the near future, their needs might also factor into the final design.
5. How Long Do I Plan to Own This Home?
While some homes are passed down as heirlooms, most of us will eventually sell. While landscaping is one of the highest-return investments you can make into your home, the design plays a considerable factor in the kind of buyers you’ll attract. A versatile design with lots of features for entertaining guests is likely to be seen favourably by just about any buyer. Inversely, some novelty features that you might love (like large-scale, custom statuary) might be a deterrent to another buyer. While your home should always reflect the lifestyle you want today, thinking strategically about the future of your investment is never a bad idea.
While these five questions can help you gain some great insights into the design you want, there’s plenty more to consider as you move forward with your renovation! If you’re planning a landscaping project in Edmonton, start with a consultation with our team. Along with these questions, we’ll walk you through the other unique considerations for your home to create your ideal space.