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What to think about before designing your yard

Reaching your outdoor living goals:

Four areas to think about before designing your outdoor living area.

There is no doubt that many around the world are eagerly embracing a new year. As a local landscaping company in Western North Carolina, we’ve seen a definite increase of homeowners that were looking to expand their outdoor living space. Whether to host small gatherings or just have additional space away from the family, the need to fully utilize every inch of one’s property is trending – and rightfully so!

Creating more functional outdoor spaces on your property is an excellent goal to have. It increases property value (if done correctly), the amount of usable living space, and promotes an overall healthy outdoor experience.

What’s happening on the property currently?

Many clients call us with an idea in their head, but aren’t comfortable with the process to reach their goal. During our consultation sessions, we often discuss the steps it takes to get their dream landscape, which sometimes means heavy modification of the current land. The best way to really start an outdoor project, is to really understand the property.

The topography of your property is extremely important in a landscape design, as proper drainage and grading is essential for the safety of you and your home. The best design and implementation will successfully promote water moving away from any foundation or high traffic area. Additionally, retaining walls and slope management can provide
extra usable space if your property isn’t flat, which is common in WNC.

The amount of sun and shade an area receives will significantly impact the microclimate that is your property. Breaking down your area into four categories: full sun, partial shade or deep shade; will help you identify the plants that will thrive or struggle in those areas. Additionally, you can alter your property to either enhance one or the other to tailor to your preferences.

What’s my overall theme of my project?

The theme of your design is ultimately the driving force behind your investment. It’s the reason you’re taking time, money and energy to alter the land. A theme could be the need to host larger outdoor parties, or the desire to brighten up the neighborhood with seasonal colors.

In most cases, the outdoor area should enhance and reflect certain aspects of your home. Identifying if a symmetrical or asymmetrical design will work is a mix of personal preference and what’s capable with your land.

Point out key characteristics around your home that you’d like to be focal points, like entrances or views from inside, then work out from there. Many of our clients want use plants that compliment their interior and exterior colors, patterns and textures. This also includes architectural structures and hardscape features, like patios and pergolas.

We often suggest driving through the neighborhood, or searching examples online, that can help influence your
design. If you decide to use an outside party for both design and installation, this information is great to bring to your consultation sessions.

While your landscape design is meant for you to enjoy, take into account who will be enjoying the property in the future. If you see yourself selling the property eventually, think about how that could translate to a new homeowner down the road. If you plan on growing a family in the home, think of future plans that might involve more activities.

What do I want the most out of my investment?

Being in the industry for over 30 years, we’ve worked with clients at all stages of home renovation projects. More often than not, we have to really center people back to the beginning steps and overall process. After you developed your theme and style, it’s great to look at the each step it will take to achieve your goals.

Once you recognize what’s important, you can allocate resources, like time and money, appropriately. If a
retaining wall is needed to achieve a much desired paver patio, then look at different styles and techniques to help fit it all within your budget.

There are so many different types of materials and techniques. Sometimes it just means playing around with
different products to get the most out of your investment.

How much privacy do I want?

Western North Carolina is an extremely desirable area, which inevitably means more homes being  constructed. Depending on your property and where you live, you may be subject to surrounding properties being developed on. It’s often overlooked as part of the design process, but taking into account your surrounding properties can really benefit you over time.

Privacy is very much an individual preference for many homeowners. For some, they don’t want to hear, see or interact with their neighbors, while others are an open book.

A common design is more about aesthetics in the front yard and privacy in the back.

If you are looking to create more of a private area in your outdoor living space, there are ample opportunities for both natural and custom built fencing. With a natural fence out of trees and shrubs, we typically suggest
layering to create depth within your yard. Utilizing fencing material in a landscape design is also a great way to take advantage of your property, especially if you have kids and pets.

If you’re looking to invest in your landscape this year, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts. We’ll walk you through the process, solidify what’s going to bring you true happiness, and help you achieve your outdoor goals.

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