How to Shop for Landscaping When Looking at the Value of Landscaping
Landscaping, properly planned and built, will increase your enjoyment of your home and yard enormously. In fact, MONEY Magazine reported that landscape has a recovery value of 100-200% “if it is well done and harmonizes with nearby foliage.” That makes it a smart investment. However, shopping for any large purchase can be intimidating and frustrating. When you’re making a large investment, you don’t want to make a mistake.
We encourage you to follow these steps to avoid those mistakes.
Clarify your objectives. This is where our Landscape Planning Sheet is helpful, but you can start by asking yourself these simple questions: Is there a style of landscaping I prefer? Do I like things more natural or neat and formal? How do I intend to use my yard? Which area of my yard do I want to start with?
Consider the things you like and don’t like about your current landscape. What do you want to change? What new design ideas excite you? Collect ideas from magazines, books, other people’s yards, and websites like Houzz or House Beautiful. Think about what plants you like and don’t like. Visit Frederick Meijer Gardens and local garden centers to learn what plants you enjoy and that do well in Michigan. We can help too. We have a broad, time-tested palette of plants we have selected for color, hardiness, and low maintenance and can help you in plant selection.
Determine your project budget
Landscape projects should always be viewed as an investment. If you’re landscaping a new home, we strongly recommend budgeting 10-15% of the home value for plantings, walks, patios, lawn, irrigation, etc.
There are two key components to determining your budget; The extent of what you want to do and the details of the project.
- By extent, we mean the size of the project. Figuring out how much to do is a major key to determining your budget.
- Detail is a bit trickier. For example, the choice of a particular material or plant size can make a big difference on budget. Little things can add up.
A knowledgeable landscape consultant can help you clarify your ideas. Take the time to discuss all the options and determine your project budget before work begins. Set a realistic budget. All the planning and design work is for naught if the budget can’t support it.
Ideas to help stretch your budget. For many of us, our goals exceed our budget. If this describes you, we suggest a few alternatives:
Install your landscape in several phases over a period of years. This way the final result will meet your original goal with the costs spread out over time. This way you won’t have to reduce your landscape dreams.
Reconsider the hardscape features. Accept a lower-cost walkway or patio material, or simplify the extent of your landscape plan to save money.
Plant smaller plants. If you’re willing to be patient and can wait for smaller plants to grow, your savings will grow as well. The nice thing about reducing plant size is that it doesn’t cut the attributes of the installation. Be aware that the cost of landscape bed preparation will be the same no matter what size the plants. If you cut the plant size in half you will not save half, but you will save some.
Do some of the labor yourself, such as removal of existing plants and sod. This can potentially save quite a bit, but you have to be thorough.
If your goals still exceed your budget, cut back on the overall extent of your project.
You may want to focus on the main intent of your landscape project and cut out the extras for now. Hold off on the water features, paving, and lighting for a later time. You can always add them later. Try to be very specific about your goals and realistic about what you’re willing to spend. You will be rewarded with an easier process to reach your project goals.
Choosing the right Landscape Contractor
Inform your opinions by looking at the contractor’s design and work on similar projects. The worst idea is to go with a company just because they mow your lawn. Just because they may do a good job at maintaining your current landscape doesn’t mean they’re capable of the landscape design/build concept. The two services are apples and oranges.
Make sure the designer has a vast horticultural knowledge. Many landscapes may look great when they’re first installed but the plants may soon wither, die, or be too large for their location within just a few short years.
What appears on paper as equal work for vastly different prices usually means that when the work is done, you’ll find you got what you paid for: Less.
If your project is extensive, make sure the contractor you choose has the ability to “put the project together.” Look for a reputable company with a good history and proven track record of performance.
Find out if the company warrantees their work and plants, and if so, for how long. Are they good about honoring warrantees or will they resist?
How Clark’s Landscape can help.
The professionals at Clark’s will bring creativity and imagination along with more than 60 years of practical experience to your landscape project. At Clark’s we want to help you beautify your home. We will work alongside you to fulfil your landscape dreams within your precise budget. Since 1956, quality service before, during, and after a landscaping project has helped Clark’s reputation to grow. Our crew leaders are dedicated people who still honor old-fashioned values like pride in their work and respect for their customers. Each of the jobs they install is checked by the designer you are working with to ensure that your every need and detail is met.
Individual, personalized attention to quality service has been the cornerstone of Clark’s Landscape success.
At Clark’s the same designer/consultant will design, supervise, coordinate, and follow up on your project. That makes Clark’s the smart choice to bring your investment to life.