Whew! We’ve been busy this summer and fall keeping lawns and landscapes shipshape. Now it’s time to help our clients make some plans for next year and years to come. One big question we often get at this time of year is how to determine a landscaping budget for the upcoming year. How do you determine priorities? Do you spend less and buy smaller– or buy larger, more established plants? We’ve worked with every kind of budget under the sun, and two key points always stand out:
- Think big picture: make a long-term plan and then break it down into bite-sized chunks that work with your budget.
- It’s always worth it to hire a professional landscaper: hiring a team that knows what to plant where and when can save you tons of money in the long run by avoiding costly DIY mistakes.
Planning Your Landscape Budget: Phasing Is Key
If you want a great looking landscape that fits your budget, work with your landscaper to design the whole project at once rather than working piecemeal. This saves money on the design phase and allows the full project to be completed more efficiently. Once you have the big picture in mind, then you can break things down into phases to fit your budget. Start with your dream and work from there, beginning with the most important basics and moving forward with the luxuries.
How Can I Phase My Landscaping Budget?
Here are a few examples of how to phase in a landscaping project:
- Clients often want to start with a great-looking lawn so we’ll usually put sod or seeding at the top of the list and include spring and summer mowing/lawn care in the budget.
- We’ll often begin with a simple hardscaping element that can be expanded–maybe a modest patio space for starters.
- Tackling drainage issues is usually an early priority to get the yard in great shape.
- If you don’t have a big budget for plants right away, let’s start with a few pretty flower beds and mulching in the front yard and then expand plantings down the road.
- Trees tend to be more expensive, so we’ll often save these for Phase 2, although we may work in one or two beautiful feature trees like Japanese Maples to make the landscape pop.
- Later phase projects are where dreams come true, and patience is rewarded. This can mean investing in hardscaping elements like an expanded patio and pathways, water features and pergolas. We can also bring in more trees and shrubs and expand flower beds.
Landscaping on a Budget: Go with the Pros
One of the big myths in landscaping is that DIY always saves money. While you can certainly save a little by mowing your own lawn, when it comes to bigger picture projects, DIY mistakes are often costly and aggravating. At the end of the day, what every client wants is the best-looking landscape that their budget will allow, and often even the hardest working DIYers usually don’t have the experience to get the esthetics just right. A professional landscaping company has the know-how to help you choose the right plants to get the most bang for your buck. They can help you prioritize, work in phases and make the best choices about what to plant when.
Landscaping on a Budget: Plan Ahead to Save Money
If our decades of experience have taught us anything, it’s that advance planning always saves money. Whether your budget is large or small, planning ahead creates efficiencies that lead to great value, and winter is the best time to plan. Getting the ball rolling early gets you the best spots in our schedule for installation once the warm weather rolls around.
We love winter planning because it gives us a chance to catch up and dream with our clients. We enjoy helping folks think big and then set priorities within a broader framework. We work with clients with a wide range of budgets, and we’ve got the phasing down to a science. Let’s get going now so we’re ready to roll come spring!