Buffalo & WNY Lawn & Landscape Blog

Building a New Home? Don’t Forget to Plan for These 3 Items.

Jun 30th, 2015
Tags: Landscape Tips
Building a new home is an exciting moment. It’s a time when your dreams and planning come to life. There are few moments better than watching the place you and your family will call home being constructed. Stud by stud the framework goes up. You’ve planned for everything; the color of the paint, type of floors, molding/trim work, doors, windows, cabinets and appliances and even lighting and outlet fixtures. However, far too often most builders provide a very low budget or no specific budget at all, for three very important items.
1.       Grass: There are two ways to achieve a lush lawn on your property; seed or sod. Both have pros and cons:
·         Seeding is the less expensive route and a great option if you are on a budget. It is easier to apply and less labor intensive, which is often essential for new homeowners with limited “extra” time. Seeding your lawn allows the root system to develop in native soil, rather than introducing an established root system from another soil mix. However, seeding does take longer to grow and isn’t able to handle being walked on at first. Additionally, with seeding you may need to repeat the process in areas it doesn't come in.
·         Sodding is the more expensive route (often 4 times more than seeding a lawn), but could be worth the price. It does take more labor, and is harder to apply, BUT  sod does grow quickly, and can handle being walked on right away. The best part is that in one day, you can have a brand new green lawn. With sod there is always the chance that the root system will not grow into your soil, and end up perishing.  Finally, new sod also requires a tremendous amount of water to help keep the sod from drying out and dying.
 If you live in an area with a home owners association you will want to check with their requirements as some may require sod throughout some or all of your property.
2.       Landscaping: Landscape is a great way to add beauty and additional value to your new home. Some home owners associations may require a specific number of trees and/or shrubs along with certain breeds of trees and/or shrubs around your property.  A few things to consider when installing a new landscape around your home:
·         Are the plants indigenous to the area? While you may love palm trees you see along the beach in Florida, unfortunately, they will not do so well in with the harsh cold and snow conditions we have all come to know in the Buffalo & WNY areas. It’s always a good idea when buying your plants to visit your local garden center. They are a great resource, and will have a great stock of plants that are ready to grow in your new landscape.
·         What are the sunlight & watering needs? One thing to keep an eye out for when selecting your new landscape is the requirements for survival.  For example, Bright Lights Plantain Lily (Hosta) requires full to partial shade. You don’t want to plant this Hosta in and area in full sun or it will quickly die. Some plants are also listed as more “drought tolerant” than others. Keep this in mind if you do not have a watering system or have soil mix such as clay that doesn’t hold moisture very well.
·         What are the maintenance needs of the plant? Some plants may require regular attention and even hand pruning to keep the desired look. If you have no experience in maintaining plants you may want to look for plants that are lower maintenance. While there are really no “no maintenance required” plants it is possible to find plants that may only need attention once or twice a year.
3.       Patio: Be sure to ask your home builder about the grade of your lot with the style of home you selected. In some cases your back door may be several feet off the ground. If the builder didn’t spec for any patio you may have just a set of stairs, or even worse a boarded up door. Your back yard is an area for entertaining and the place your kids and pets will spend most of their outdoor time.  What are your patio needs and your budget? There are several options: 
·         Wood/Composite Deck: If your back door entrance ends up being several feet from the grade, a deck may be your best option compared to the cost to build up a concrete or paver patio.
·         Concrete Patio: Concrete is a great option for a lot with little drop in grade. Not only is it low maintenance the cost of concrete may be lower than pavers.
·         Paver/Natural Stone Patio: If you’re looking for beauty and elegance then pavers or natural stone will be the way to go. Design options are endless. While there will be some light maintenance of the patio, the benefits to you include less worry! A concrete pad cracking due to settling. If your paver patio begins to see some settling over the years, you simply pull up the block and add more base as needed.
Building your home comes with many challenges, decisions and exciting moments.   If you have any questions about any of the information provided here, or would like some help bringing your vision to life, give us a call!