Probably the hardest thing to accomplish is coming up with an idea that will suit your homes specific current layout and what will work and what wont. Seeing other yards and trying to picture how their appealing look could fit in your picture sometimes would work, most of the time not. How can I accomplish what I want my yard to look like with shrubs, rock terraces, flower beds, maybe a small pond and different layouts of attractiveness without hiring an expensive company to do this for me?
First of all is the perfect picture to go by. A “blueprint” or a plan, in terms to speak with. Next, what do I need as far as tools. Will I have any scraps or extra dirt to get rid of. These are things to consider. Tools for this are usually basic and scraps can be kept to a minimum if you use your material wisely. In other words, if you are using cut-able material such as wood or weed barrier and plastic material, use long sections where long sections will fit the best and use cut-off peices for ends and corners. Dont try to peice together long or straight “runs”. This will result in ugliness and weakness. Dirt can be transfered from one spot to another and alot of times, all used up. If you pile dirt as you dig, which you will, lay some plastic down first to keep it from killing the grass and it makes cleanup alot easier. Dont leave scraps and tools laying around in your own way, this will also help you see your own progress as you go. When you stop and look around, you wont see a mess, you will see “progress”.
Again, tools are usually basic, depends on what you want to work with. A shovel, a rake, wheelbarrow, hand or electric saw, hammer, stringline, a level (you can use a two-foot long level by laying it on a longer 2×4 or something rigid and straight to get your length, long levels are expensive), You probably know the tools necesary, just be sure to think it through first. Be sure to clean your tools when you are done with them and if you dont have a place to store them and if you’re gonna be using them from time to time, consider a storage shed along with other yard tools. Keeps them out of your garage!
Consider water run-off, you dont want water running towards the foundation of you house. This will damage your foundation. Try not to make much water run on someone elses property. These two factors can be avoided with teracces and you might have to manage your dirt to slope away from your foundation.
Safety. Look what is overhead if you are doing anything that would interfere with power lines and cables. The biggest overlooked thing is “buried” utility wires and cables. Water lines are considerable to. Look in your phone book or contact your utility company for a “CALL BEFORE YOU DIG” number to call. If you are unsure of buried utility locations in your yard, do not dig before they locate and mark any lines!
This brief explanation should be helpful with what you might need and some things to consider. If you have children or know of one(s) that might benifit from “hands on” fun, then I encourage you to let them help and be sure to practice safety measures with them!
About the Author
I have been in the house building and foundation placement for several years. By being in this field of work have seen homes from start to finish, worked with and around many different types of companies from plumbers to roofers and everything in between. Yes landscaping companies too. They are usually very good at what they do but nowadays, very costly. Having your own plans, wether building or landscaping can be a big factor in keeping cost down. For your own basic to extensive landscaping plans that you will have forever, visit a site called Home and Garden Plans. This is a very reasonable way to go and you will be satisfied with what you get and there is literally hundreds of plans to work with!
Have fun, be safe and enjoy your adventure along with the results!