Hidden Costs of Landscaping

1.  You need to landscape around your new house.

2.  You want to re-landscape your pre-owned house.

3.  You want to create an outdoor environment that you can enjoy, including a water interest and an attached covered wooden deck with an outdoor kitchen, dining, and lounging area with an outdoor fireplace.

4.   Most of the houses in your neighborhood have remarkable landscapes and you want to fit in.

5.   You are passionate about plants, trees, and gardening.       

6.   You want to go green and create a sustainable environment. 

If you plan to prepare for, at least, the first six reasons above, it is important to be aware of some of the costs that you might incur before you begin a project of this extent. Then, you may find that the true cost of the project is much more than you anticipated, and you may wish to alter your original plans to fit your financial requirements.

Reason #1.  Most new houses now-a-days do not include landscaping. You would be starting out fresh and if that’s the case then it would be prudent, to hire the services of a reputable Landscape Architect/Designer. He or she will know just the right type of plantings that will thrive and survive in your locale, show and tell you how to care for them, and in the long run save you lots of money.

Reason #2. A complete makeover of your home’s landscape may not be needed.  However, this is where I can help. As an experienced landscaper, I can save you from a lot of grief and unnecessary expenditures. He should know how to move and transplant some things instead of replacing them as well as enhancing and changing the present appearance of your surroundings.

Reason#3.  In this case it would be best to take a careful look at your location and consider the climate and the seasonal weather conditions that would determine the amount of time you would have to use and enjoy your intended outdoor living accommodations.  Perhaps the most hidden of landscaping costs involves features that require the use of utilities such as plumbing for water supply and fixtures, electrical wiring for lighting and appliances.

Many people think only of the cost of the equipment, and the cost of installing it, failing to consider how their water and electric bills would increase from the additional usage.

However, the current national interest in the conservation of energy has successfully produced ecological energy efficient products such as light bulbs, digital motors and heating elements that serve to diminish the cost of those additional applications; even more so if you are able to further minimize your costs by doing some of the work yourself.

There is no reason for Reason #3 if you only use it as a show for your neighbors. Like most of these luxuries they must be used frequently to mitigate the extra expense.

All of the utilities that will be used outdoors should be equipped with timers to regulate the energy while it is being used. Reserve the use of your outdoor lighting for times when you are using it. Water features, whether elaborate or simple require energy and water thereby doubling the expense unless it re-uses its own water, although there will always be some water lost to evaporation.

Reason #5  If you are truly passionate about gardening I will be able to advise you on what to plant when and where. This information would result in less expense in the long term and also cut down on the amount of maintenance required.

Reason #6. Going green is not as complicated as it seems. It is an ecological truth that has taken a long time coming of age and being given the attention it rightly deserves. So, if your interests are growing in this way, you will find it much easier now than it was before.

You should also be aware that whether you go green or not, it would help you to ascertain the condition of the soil around your house. Determine what kind of soil your plants will need to grow to your expectations; this will make a difference in whether your plants live or die.

The costs of adding fertilizer to sandy soil or gypsum to clay soil can begin to add up. This is where the aforementioned landscaper would most certainly be useful. He can help you remedy any problems with the soil conditions. Choosing plants that grow well in the soil you have, or in near conditions, can save you a great deal on soil modification.

It may actually save you money to take whatever time you need to gather as much information as you can before you start a project as important as this. The more informed you are about the various costs of your landscape choices, the easier it will be to make the right decisions. While the up front costs may not be too unreasonable, you may find that as you continue to enjoy your new landscape, the later costs may mount up unless you take the appropriate precautions mentioned above, and enjoy your landscaping to the fullest.


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