It’s been nearly three months since we finished the landscape remodel and we’re still tweaking a few things, but all-in-all we’re done.
I was going to include detailed before and after shots but we just trimmed the mesquite tree and it’s all piled up in the front yard. So I’ve included a couple shots of the front and back but I’ll do more later, after bulk pick-up. In the meantime, here’s a short list of tips you may want to bookmark if a yard re-do is in your future:
- When you’re obtaining bids, be sure to ask about their warranty on the work (hardscape like pavers, masonry work, etc. and the plants. With Outside Living Concepts we have a four month warranty on the plants which we are now approaching. There are a few plants that haven’t made it and come October they will be replaced per the contract.
- Think ahead about the details and discuss them once you’ve made the hire. You may have a picture in your mind of how you expect certain details to turn out but if you don’t show the contractor(s) photos and/or discuss them specifically, you’re bound to run in to issues. Here’s where I didn’t have a specific conversation and a few aspects of the project turned out other than I had envisioned:
-Curbing. I was seeing the s-curve in my mind and it came out block style. Turned out the be fine. -Pillar caps. We did discuss the color of stone but not the design of the trim around the cap. I can live with it but had we discussed it, I’d like it more. -Boulder placement. Came out nice but I would have staggered their height along the patio and used an odd number, not even. -Plant placement. Think ahead to the eventual height of the plants and be sure to stagger color and height for how it will look long-term. -Ask for a watering schedule. For the first two weeks, after two weeks and general for summer and winter going forward. This goes for plants and grass. -Manuals. Be sure to obtain any manuals for new equipment like watering timers, lighting, etc. and ask for a quick tutorial if need be. -Call references and GO SEE THEIR WORK. Call for sure and if you can see examples of their work, even better. That’s a big one. You’ll really get a feel for the quality & level of detail. -Show examples of what you are looking for. We showed examples of the paver steps and it took a few times to get it right, even after showing an actual example. Magazines and pictures work, too.
- St. Augustine grass is heartier if you have kids and pets and requires less maintenance. It’s a little more expensive but worth it if it needs to hold up to more activity.
- Don’t skimp on one area if it may compromise the entire project. We ended up taking out our old landscape rock because it clashed with our new colors, which ended up costing us more in the long run.
- Be very specific about your watering system and make sure if you’re adding grass or significantly more plants that your existing system can handle the new load.
- Make sure you do a final walk through and have your punch list ready of the things that aren’t 100% up to par. Be prepared with that list and ask for a time-line of when the final items will be complete. Follow-up if they are not done in a timely fashion.
So those are the major take aways from this most recent project. Hope they help if you’re in the market. Feel free to email or call with specific questions and watch for the next project….it may be those concrete floors I keep talking about but can’t bear the thought of the mess!