How to set up a landscaping in phases to work within a budget and timeline
Have you ever gone sightseeing in your town or city and longed for the kind of yards you see that are exquisitely well-kept, lush, inviting, and gorgeous? If you’re like many other homeowners, you probably would love to have landscaping for your home that includes every feature you need and want, along with beautiful plantings, a water feature, and more.
Jake’s Designs has been in the landscaping business for a while, so we know that some outdoor improvements are a bit costly. For example, the landscape of your dreams could cost up to $100K. That may be too much to spend at one time, but when you space out the additions over a couple of years, not only will you be investing smaller amounts, but you can break down your project into logical pieces.
Here at Jake’s Design’s, we like to make an overall blueprint. Once the entire landscape blueprint is in place, we can proceed in an organized and orderly way. Our team will be guiding and informing you as we continue.
That’s why we suggest to some of our customers that taking their landscaping planning one step at a time is often an excellent choice. Instead of one massive, expensive landscape project, you can start slowly, take little bites at a time, and eventually have outdoor spaces of which you and your family can be proud. Plan your landscaping in phases!
Be ready changes that inevitably occur and for unexpected expenses. Work closely with your landscaper to ensure that the project is rolling along according to plan.
Will you begin your endeavor in the front or back of your home? Most homeowners feel it is best to start and complete the front yard first. It is, after all, the first thing you see when you drive up to your house. Curb appeal also can define the value of your entire property.
Budgeting Your Landscape Project
Phased installation means you will be creating your landscaping element by element. As your budget allows for additional components, you can move to the next stage. A two-to three-year landscaping “blueprint” is likely to include the following steps:
1. Considering the Entire Project – Phase 1
- Now is the time to decide on precisely what you want your front and backyard areas to look like and what features you want.
- The planning you do now will be the roadmap we will use for the whole project.
- This plan will be useful to every contractor and designer over the time you work on your outdoor area.
- Most importantly, we do not want to move on to phase 2 and discover we will have to alter phase1 in one way or another.
(This is why we lay gas lines and electrical lines, if needed, before, say, pouring the patio slab. Once the concrete is installed, we certainly do not want to tear it up and waste your phase 1 installment costs.)
Perhaps your landscaping plans include a large patio, an outdoor kitchen, and a fireplace. Let’s look at the chronological steps:
- Figuring out what parts of the area to be covered needs to be graded or prepped in another manner.
- Then, we will draw up a plan that shows where you want your outdoor kitchen; your fireplace; any outdoor lighting, and all the necessary wiring.
- Once we know the location of each part of your landscaping design, and the wiring is in place, we can begin with concrete, bricks, or flagstone installation for your patio. Surfaces, in landscaping-speak, are the parts of your yard you want to be usable spaces. If you pour or pave your patio first, you will have it to use throughout your phased installations.
- Hardscapes are commonly the first significant piece of the puzzle after the completion of grading and prep work. Hardscapes include:
- Porches and fencing
- Sidewalk and driveways
- Patios and gazebos
- Parking areas
- Arbors, etc.
Now that we have step 1 completed, you may decide not to move on to phase 2 for another year or so. We are entirely OK with that. We want you to enjoy your patio, “as is,” until you are ready to continue.
When you and your family decide the time is right, we can make the next step your kitchen and lighting if that’s the way you want to go.
Nothing complements your yard as much as creative and useful lighting. Light a garden bed, or use lighting features on a walkway for safety. Discover a unique way to light an outside stairway. Remember that electrical wiring is needed, so the wire must be laid before you add a patio, deck, or other hardscapes. Jake’s Designs can assist you throughout this process.
Now your fireplace can be built, and the project is complete. But, we’ve noticed, over the years, that after the main features are in place, many folks want to continue, with our help, to plant, add features (water feature, plant settings, etc.)
Planting Trees and Grass
- Because most trees grow rather slowly, it’s a good idea to get them planted as soon into the project as you can, but our array of beautiful trees for planting is ongoing and customized to thrive in our part of the country.
- As trees grow, they protect the plants, grass, or flowers beneath them and provide shade.
- After that, it’s time to put in your grass, turf, or other ground coverings.
- Having a lawn is almost a necessity for children and pets.
- Grass also helps control erosion and gives your yard a neat and attractive look.
- You will want to become versed in the types of plants, grasses, and shrubs that are most well-suited to your part of the country.
Some common add-ons are:
- Water features, fish/koi pond
- Outdoor kitchen
- Fireplaces and firepits
- Arbors, patios, decks, fencing
- Kids’ play area
- Garden art
- Underground sprinkler system
- Architectural renderings, and more
Carefully monitoring your budget is essential if you want to stay within it and want your landscaping to work toward increasing the value of your property. Research to find the average costs of what you will include in the project.
Although the do-it-yourself movement is trendy, fun, and sometimes a sensible way to go, not everyone has the skills or time to undertake a home improvement of this scale. Xeriscaping, for example, is very different than laying concrete.
Hiring a professional, experienced, and skilled landscaping contractor/designer is usually the best choice. The pros will meet with you and assist you in making decisions for your outdoor spaces that make sense and will enhance your property. Homeowners need to ask themselves what they are qualified and capable of doing and what they should pay a professional to install, build, or create.
- Decide what you want to have included in the job.
- Clearly define the work area and all accesses.
- List all materials needed.
- Ask if permits are required.
- Clarify your timetable and budget.
- Realize that you may not completely understand the steps necessary for installation of some additions. A patio, for example, needs to have an infrastructure, a structure, and enhancements. These three components require three separate costs.
- Take time to understand your property. Your landscaper will be happy to answer any questions concerning implementation strategies.
- Make sure you hire a landscaper who has a methodology and steps that help him or her understand who you are and what you want.
The professionals at Jake’s Designs have years of experience, understand your needs, and will thoroughly analyze your site to bypass any challenges. Our approach is different than most.
- We donate usable materials.
- We recycle excess materials.
- We believe whole-heartedly in sustainability.
- We work and live in the Colorado Springs area.
- We care deeply about the work we do.
Here’s what our clients say about us:
Delightful team to work with at Jake’s. They provided a great design and implemented it according to plan. Their crew was fantastic to work with and kept us updated on everything that was going on. Follow up work that came with the new season was conducted with the utmost professionalism and expertise. I would happily use Jake’s again and again. – Jeff Eckles
Danni is amazing. She listened to what we wanted and put together a beautiful design. Jake’s Designs is easy to work with, are extremely professional, they follow up and follow thru as they promise. Finally, their prices are very fair. Highly recommend this team! – Bea Wilds
Contact us for information on your landscaping in phases initiative. You’ll find, as have many other homeowners have found, that Jake’s Designs is a terrific partner throughout your landscaping journey.