Building a new home from the ground up can be one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges a person can take on. You may have chosen your ideal location, and started the design process with the architect or builder of your choice. Bringing together all of the pieces required to create your dream home from scratch can be daunting. We’re here to help you with one of the most important parts, which is often under-considered or overlooked in the early stages of planning – your garden.
Budgeting for your landscape
Landscaping should be part of your planning when designing your new home. Most architects will work to consider the relationship of the home to the garden. Still, if you want to make your garden an impactful and well-utilised home extension, you should consider collaborating with a landscape architect or designer early on. Aside from adding value to your investment, forward-thinking can also alleviate some of the financial burdens a new home build can carry. Leaving major garden elements until after the home is built may end up costing you more in the long run.
A new build has the overall benefit of being a clean slate for landscaping works, including big-ticket items such as swimming pools and shade structures. However, early planning will negate those hidden surprises and allow collaboration between design and construction teams, ensuring things happen in the right order.
TDL’s residential landscape construction projects vary significantly in budget, with moderate to large design and construction projects ranging through the hundreds of thousands. A popular rule of thumb for landscape budgeting when building a new home is to allocate 10% of your budget towards landscaping. By that metric, a $750 000 home could have a landscaping budget of around $75 000. This rule usually assumes that hardscapes such as driveways, paving, and structures, will be constructed (if not designed) by the home builder, as is often the case, and will not capture your project with much accuracy if you’re looking for major works and hardscapes from your landscapers, such as pools and structures.
If possible, Engage a landscape architect early
While it’s never too late to reach out for help in designing your landscape, having the forethought to engage a landscape architect early in the design process will provide you with peace of mind and assist you when planning and budgeting your project. In addition, a landscape designer can work with your architect or builder to determine the best use of the space. In many cases, home builders will take on the hardscape construction works of the landscape, but that’s no reason not to have those works professionally designed!
Landscape architects have a unique skill set and can assist you in locating the best places for major landscaped elements like pools, pool isolation, outdoor structures, and sheds. For instance, the best position and size of your swimming pool is dependent on many factors, including access to the property, locations of neighbours, structures, services, and existing trees, the makeup of the earth beneath the house, the aspect of the garden, the layout of the house and the type of openings at each side, personal preferences, and the requirements of pool isolation and other approvals. A pool is a significant investment, so getting it right the first time means you can achieve the aesthetic you wish for and get the most out of your entertainment space.
Your landscape designer can draw up paving specifications and layouts, lighting plans, planting plans, and everything in between. Speaking to a landscaper early on also means you’ll have a better sense of how to prioritise the elements in your budget.
Know your priorities
Knowing how you want to use your outdoor areas while designing your new build can help you to create a meaningful connection between your new home and garden. A well-designed landscape will have a strong relationship with the home, and facilitate maximal use by the occupants.
When designing your home and landscape, the location of your street and available access will determine where you place certain aspects of your landscape design. Once again, prioritising the things you know you’ll get the most use out of may help you decide what to include – and what to leave out.
Is your block on a busy street? If so, creating privacy, quiet, and tranquility may be your priority. Clever design and planting can provide buffers from neighbours, busy traffic areas, or public spaces, without compromising your need for natural greenery and fresh air.
Windbreaks may be a priority if your property is close to the coast and subject to intense weather. Using a combination of appropriate coastal plantings and structures can serve to create privacy as well as shelter. Your landscape architect can suggest structures, shrubs, and plants suited to coastal conditions.
Additionally, if a pool is your priority, placement in relation to your home may be one of the most important decisions you make. There are several considerations:
- Is it a tight garden you’re hoping to fit a pool into? If so, swimming pool size, surrounds, location, and type must be balanced to use the space optimally.
- Will access to the garden be poor when the build is complete? Will there be access to services without demolishing a part of what you’ve just built – planning can save you heartache and money.
- If you have young children, supervision, safety, and play spaces may be your priority.
- Think about pool isolation when you’re nominating doorways and choosing window types, and in relation to boundaries, structures, trees, and level changes.
Whatever your priorities are for your new home, your landscape designer can work with you to achieve a seamless aesthetic that suits your lifestyle.
If you want some inspiration, check out some of the popular landscape styles, Perth homeowners enjoy Our Top 5 Elegant Landscape Styles, or you can read about some of our Luxury Poolside Landscaping Ideas
Some significant landscape inclusions to consider
Other significant landscape design inclusions to consider before the build is complete:
- Outdoor kitchen – power source and access to plumbing
- Decking – shape, size, and chosen material will determine the cost and maintenance requirements.
- Paving – area to be covered, the chosen material, the intricacy of design, and soil preparation are considerations.
- Carports, patios, and pergolas – size, desired materials, and position will determine costs.
- Lawn – the area covered and ease of access for maintenance (mowing)
- Reticulation and lighting – installing early while there is appropriate access.
How to engage a landscape designer
Identifying your priorities and having an idea of your landscape requirements before you approach a landscape designer will help them to work alongside you to achieve an optimal outcome for your new home.
Some of the necessary practical details your landscape designer will look for:
- Floorplan of your new house
- Feature survey or site plan
- Your tastes for planting, allergies or other requirements
- Availability of bore or mains water
- Property access
- Your budget – this will help them to design within budget
- Elements being constructed by your home builder
Because you’re building a new home, you will likely already have most of the necessary information to provide a landscape designer. Share with them your hopes for the landscape, budgetary constraints, and any plans, floorplan layouts, feature surveys and 3D models of the home you may have acquired.
Your landscaper will also need to know their scope of construction works. If your builder is dealing with all the hardscapes, but you still need a design and softscapes, let them know upfront.
TDL is uniquely positioned to provide the design and construction of your entire landscape. We can take you from initial sketch to construction completion and maintenance with a team of skilled and professional designers, landscapers, and horticulturalists. Get in touch to discuss landscaping requirements for your new build home today. Don’t let your garden be an afterthought – no home is complete without one!