Landscape Design and Build

Crafting Your Outdoor Living Space

       Creating An Escape Space of Your Own                                             

By Jeff Feece, Sargent’s Landscape Design, All Rights Reserved
Photos Courtesy of Fagan Studios, Sargent’s Gardens and R Thomas Sobotta


When buying or building a home three primary considerations come into play: location, lot, and structure. When building, the home’s structure often dominates attention, but location and lot remain vitally important in making the home work for you. Well designed and properly installed landscaping can dramatically increase your usable living space, property value and quality of life. 

In terms of property value alone, the 2012 Minnesota Garden Journal reports, citing Texas Tech, Michigan State and Texas A&M studies, “the investment in a good landscape can increase the perceived value of your home by between 5% and 11% and yield on average a 109% return on every dollar spent.” These studies also found that the sophistication of the landscape design was “the most important landscape factor, accounting for 40 – 45% of the value added to a home.”

For these reasons, whether building or revitalizing an existing landscape, a) dedicating resources to the landscaping and b) working with a professional landscape designer is very important to optimizing your home’s value and enjoyment. A landscape can be designed after the home’s structure is completed, while still planning the structure or at outset of construction. Wherever you are at in the build/buy process, developing a relationship with a professional landscape designer is the place to start.

Your property, home and outdoor living needs are unique, sometimes in large ways and sometimes in many very small ways. Talented designers can artfully frame the home from the street, create a beautifully appointed entry experience and fashion private spaces which are appropriate for everything from a game of tag to entertaining to outdoor cooking and dining. Layering in a sensitivity to your property’s natural resources such as water, soil and wildlife is also the responsibility of the landscape professional. A professional designer can add another layer of ‘life’ to your property by intentionally designing habitat for birds, bees and butterflies.

A beautiful design must be carried out in a professional manner, with proven building techniques and quality materials, if it is to achieve the intended look and feel. A professional landscape designer will have access to qualified landscape installers. Qualified landscape installers are true crafts people with a wide range of abilities in landscape construction plus the tools and equipment to get the job done right.

That being said, a design-build landscape firm is a great option. In this business model your designer doubles as a project manager and customer service representative, working with you from the initial design consultation through to installation and final billing. This unique approach ensures a seamless experience and a finished space true to the design.

If you are looking to install the landscaping yourself, developing a plan with a professional landscape designer remains the place to start. A good designer will design the space to fit needs and aesthetic desires, guide you to proven, stylish plant and hardscape material plus share best installation techniques.

Southeastern Minnesota offers tremendous outdoor living opportunities. There are as many ways to incorporate outdoor living as there are personalities and lifestyles.  A professional landscape designer will use a trained eye, the right questions and a creative imagination to create a plan that ‘fits’ just right for you. You can choose a good professional landscape designer who offers the design-build process for a turn-key approach or one that services those who choose to do it themselves. Whatever your approach, working with a professional landscape designer will maximize the value and enjoyment your outdoor living space provides. 

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