Phase Your Outdoor Living Space

 Phase Your Outdoor Living Space

Mini Plans to Master Plans – A Creative And Affordable Approach to Landscaping

 

outdoor Living Space Rochester, MN

The ideal outdoor living space looks different to everyone. You may be looking to begin or add landscaping to that existing home, upgrading, downsizing, or have a “new-to-you” home. For some it includes a nice patio for entertaining and relaxing after a hard day’s work. For others it may include edibles so meals can be prepared using the freshest of greens. And for still others, a flower garden which can be seen from both inside and outside the house makes the scene complete. It is likely that your ideal outdoor space contains many of these ideas and probably more.   Whatever that particular dream is, most people would agree that it is no fun to have to sacrifice a desirable element of that ideal, whatever the reason.

For those who build their dream house, the funds have sometimes dried up by the time the outdoor living space is even considered.  Many who are new to home ownership find that interior renovation or simply regular home maintenance can consume the majority of their finances, time, and energy,  keeping their outdoor oasis seemingly out of reach.

One way to overcome the seeming unobtainable predicament is to plan at the outset to phase the installation over a number of years.  You will be pleased with the outcome, with years of enjoyment and the cost is not all up front . Another benefit to phasing is that waiting for a period of time allows you time to get used to your new home.

Whichever approach you choose, a landscape designer will be your best guide to desired outcomes– short and long term. Maybe you have lived in your home for years and have always dreamed of that special landscape feature(s). Maybe the outdoor living space is not working for your lifestyle. This is also a great time to get a landscape design build professional involved to discuss the many possibilities, and to create a master landscape plan to achieve your desires. A little planning can go a long way and stretch out over years with phasing to lighten the burdens of a huge project, turning it into little steps with big end results. In a summary– this can allow allocation of resources after the big build or renovation as well as provide for a longer adjustment period to the realities of home ownership. Consider the home’s age and the duration of time you will be there before considered spending begins.

There is no right or wrong way to phase a landscape project. It really comes down to priorities, function, and specific site considerations. Oftentimes, our clients like to get the front elevations taken care of first to allow the curb appeal time to mature and appear neighborly. Note, be sure to check your development covenants for landscape requirements, if applicable. Trees, hedges, and privacy screening are also  good things to consider first to allow for the benefits of growth and more immediate privacy. This way the landscapes can be enjoyed the entire time you live in your home, instead of just beginning to enjoy them when it’s time to move out.

Staging considerations for landscaping like access for equipment, materials, and labor are worth noting. Smaller properties with narrow side yards may need to be landscaped back to front, particularly if large hardscape projects like patios are desired in the backyard. Many times, retaining walls (new or replacement) are necessary to prevent erosion and enable proper drainage. For those in new neighborhoods, it can be nice to take advantage of that empty lot next door to access the backyard before it is built on and fresh sod is installed. Choosing pragmatic problem solving over aesthetic beauty is necessary in certain situations in order to build a landscape project foundation that is not problematic as the phasing advances.

Sargents Landscape Rochester, MN

In all of this, it is important to be working from a plan from the start. Get your landscape designer involved early, even if you don’t plan to do the big projects for a couple years.  A skilled professional landscape design/build designer will work with the architect or builder before the home design is finished. This can help provide a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces while saving time and resources in the long run. Moving sprinklers, trees, and plantings is unavoidable sometimes but with a landscape plan prepared early in the process, some changes and mistakes can be avoided and money saved.

Landscape and outdoor living projects can be as challenging and rewarding as interior projects. Over the years, our landscape firm has seen a huge increase to 95% of our landscape projects being phased. A well thought out landscape process with its priorities properly placed, in an order conducive to the unique project at hand should include the consideration of trees, patios, fire pit, water features, maintenance, privacy, and even native elements, converting your yard into something extraordinary, sustainable and usable. The options are numerous.

“New- to-you” landscaping should be fun and exciting whether new construction, remodeling or simply working with your existing landscape using ideas and resources you have been saving up. Planning and phasing can help move the creative process forward with that long term goal of creating a place to retreat to while life’s other hurdles keep you jumping!”

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