Investing in a new landscape for your home is a smart decision. Not only does it boost curb appeal and give you and your family a beautiful and functional outdoor space, landscaping increases your home value while providing long-term ROI (return on investment). Unfortunately, most of us don’t have an infinite budget to just “go for it”. So, we’ve compiled some strategic tips to help you get the yard of your dreams no matter your financial limitations.
How & Where to Spend
Choose Your Must-Haves
Prioritizing your most important landscape features is a good place to start when planning your yard renovation. How do you intend to use your space? Be sure to recognize high-use areas such as walkways, patios, and lawns that you definitely want to include and highlight in your new yard design. Significant repairs to existing features, like your irrigation system, should also be on the “must-have” list so your landscape is fully functional.
Those “would be nice” elements are probably minor in the full scope of your landscape, plus they can always be incorporated at a later point. Ultimately, it’s more economical to choose a few important aspects on which to focus rather than trying to include everything on your list.
Make a Statement
Perhaps you’ve always wanted a stunning water feature… we say just do it (and so does Nike)! Choosing a single statement feature, plant, or structure on which to spend the bulk of your money can help you map out your landscape plan and budget. A statement piece will be the most visible aspect of your new yard, so it will be well worth the investment. Plus, it can set the stage for the rest of your landscape design.
Good Dirt Goes a Long Way
The single most valuable investment in your home landscape is soil improvement—healthy soil means healthy, productive, and beautiful plants! Plants in poor soil conditions often struggle to survive and are vulnerable to pests and diseases, while weeds often thrive. As they say, “it’s better to put a $1 plant in a $10 hole than a $10 plant in a $1 hole.”
We create our own proprietary sustainable soil by grinding and composting virtually all maintenance and construction debris from our landscaping job sites!
Invest in Long-Lasting Materials
Your landscape is exposed to weather (lots of rain in the Pacific Northwest), so it’s worth investing in high-quality hardscape materials that stand the test of time—it will save you money and stress in the long run! Pavers are typically a better choice than poured concrete which is prone to cracking. Pavers offer more color, pattern, and texture options, as well. And not to toot our own horn, but Dennis’ 7 Dees is known for its excellent hardscaping work!
How & Where to Save
Creating a new landscape can take a lot of planning—we’re here to help and make sure you make the right choices along the way. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead so you’re not going over freshly installed work or having to dismantle new work because a critical step was missed. Taking the time to do this can help you avoid added expenses and frustration. Here are a few simple tips:
- Begin with infrastructure items like demolition, irrigation, and drainage.
- Work your way physically backwards out of a project so you’re not trampling over new work.
- Maintain access for equipment and personnel to do the work efficiently, especially if your project will be phased over time.
Work With What You Have
Try to find beauty and practicality in your current outdoor space. What works? Can you paint the fence instead of installing a brand new one? Perhaps that tree would be better in a different spot. A feature can look completely refreshed when the elements around it are updated. Think about what you can alter, relocate, or keep as is. If possible, save mature trees; those are expensive to replace.
You can even reuse materials you already have, like stone or brick, and utilize or transform them into a new hardscape, decorative feature, or raised bed. Keeping existing elements will save you time and money, plus it’s more sustainable—used is the new new!
Be Patient—Buy Smaller Plants
Patience is a virtue, and it’s also more affordable. Buying smaller plants is wise for a couple of reasons. Younger plants are often more successful than established ones when planted in new soil, and a 1- or 2-gallon plant only takes about two years (depending) to reach the size of a 5-gallon plant, which can save you thousands of dollars! Just remember to leave your new plants plenty of space to grow in.
Understand Maintenance Needs
The more you know, the more you’ll save. That being said, lawns are very high maintenance. Consider perennial plantings or the one-time cost of an easy-care hardscape instead of a needy lawn. Other ways to save on maintenance costs include xeriscaping (water-wise landscaping), choosing native plants, and avoiding fast-growing or fussy plants that require lots of attention.
Fill Spaces Without Draining Your Wallet
If you need to fill space on a tight budget, we’ve got you “covered.” Groundcovers are a great way to, well, cover ground in between ornamental plantings while providing texture and interest. Groundcovers also help prevent erosion, potentially saving you pricey issues in the long run. You can also plant annuals in those bare spaces for fresh, seasonal color.
If you’re looking for a no maintenance space filler (or an affordable solution to drainage problems), consider a dry creek bed—a decorative and functional landscape feature constructed of river rock and accent boulders. If you want to create more privacy, but don’t have the funds for a fence or hardscape, think about planting privacy hedges or vines on a trellis instead.
Be Frugal With Furniture & Décor
This is an easy place to save, as the style and budget options in this category are endless. If you’re not loyal to a specific brand name, try a similar piece from a lesser known brand that is not as costly. Even better, buy used and/or buy local! As far as garden décor and patio furniture go, we have a great selection to choose from at each of our garden centers.
Regardless of your budget, we can help your dream outdoor space come to life! Submit a request for a free consultation today.