Basic Landscape and Garden Design Tips For New Homeowners

A lot goes into moving into a new home. It can be an exciting, exhaustive, and sometimes scary process for not only the new first timer, or for the well-seasoned owner who’s moved more than a few times in their lives. The amount of energy, money, and time spent moving and eventually establishing yourself into your home and your community are well worth the effort- and that includes how you change and establish your outdoor landscape and garden areas.

The property the house sits on deserves the same attention as the house itself, and for many, a lot of pride is taken into making their landscapes and gardens not only their own, but also well-kept and attractive. But starting from nothing or something unattractive, overgrown, or simply something that doesn’t work can be a daunting task.

Here are some basic landscape and garden design tips for the new homeowner and even some execution ideas for the sake of organization.

Please note: Before you begin any changes in your landscape, make sure you’re aware of existing HOA bylaws or covenants in your neighborhood.

Start Living the Space First

I always recommend that new homeowners simply live in their homes for several months before they start making changes. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, plant some containers- but don’t remove beds, add plant material, add new beds, create paths, or construct living spaces until you know how you’ll use your property.

You’ll begin to notice that there are some things about your new landscape that concern you above others. Maybe prevailing winds are cooling your home too much in the winter and you could use a windbreak to help. Maybe you need some shade somewhere on your property where your family likes to play the most.

You’ll learn about where the most used pathways exist around your property, where established areas for certain jobs are naturally occurring (like where you like to play, where you visualize your vegetable garden in the sunniest spot next to the best water spigot, where you tend to want to put yard waste, and where you think a tool shed would work well).

Privacy screen needs, windbreaks, steep slopes that are hard to mow- these are all things you’ll discover need immediate attention. Establish the few pressing needs you find yourself wanting first, and start your landscape plan from there.

Establish the Budget

The best way to approach setting ideas into action with landscape changes revolves around one simple thing – how much money can you spend on your projects? If you have the money, you could hire a landscape architect who you will work with to establish all your needs at once, and then hire a landscaping firm help to get it done.

But, if you’re like most homeowners, you might need to think about which projects should come first, and if you should go Do-It-Yourself or not. One common mistake a lot of new homeowners have is they underestimate how much money landscaping actually costs, so projects often go partially unfinished. Be sure to do a lot of research before you buy anything and take on only what you can comfortably afford. For some, this may mean small weekend projects until the budget loosens. If this is the case, start with the most pressing needs first such as repair needs and projects that simply make the landscape livable.

Get your Plans on Paper!

Before you buy one brick or toss your spade into the lawn, make sure you have an established plan, written down and drawn out, step by step, so that you have a beginning and a goal in mind for one specific project. A designer can do this for you and work with an installation team, but if you’re going DIY landscaping, you can easily write and draw down plans yourself. Decide on a solid plan and stick to it, so you don’t get ahead of yourself.

If you’re using hardscape materials, make sure you calculate how much you’ll need accurately. If you need help, you can contact a professional or the company that makes the material you’ll want to use and they can help guide you through an estimation process so that you don’t buy too much, or too little of a product. Make sure you have all the tools needed to install the product properly.

If you’re going to be planting materials, check your states invasive species list to avoid planting possible pests into your landscape. Make sure your choices of plants are well suited for the application you want them for and if you can provide the care they’ll need so that they stay looking healthy and happy for years to come. Create a plant list and work with a reputable nursery that offers a guarantee on their plant stock.

Get Ready for Hard Work.

Ahh, the joys of DIY and homeownership on a budget! And, if you hire all your help, the stress from working with others on plans for your own home, and having to deal with installers you don’t really know and construction issues aren’t easy either. Whether you’re laying the foundation for a new patio yourself or living through weeks of endless noise from jackhammers and bobcats, you’re about to have your work cut out for you.

Set aside plenty of time to get your work done, or simply do what you can in the time you have and don’t stress about it. Sometimes things go well during installation of a project, and sometimes they don’t. Expect blisters, maybe a twisted ankle, dirty nails and clothes, and maybe even sunburn if you’re installing yourself. If not, expect a messy house and strangers wanting to use your bathroom and the lack of privacy can get to some too. This is another reason I always highly recommend one simple job at a time to get it finished quickly before too much damage happens and you regret the whole experience before it’s even finished.

When it’s all Said and Done, BRAG!

Your hard work is starting to make your new home look and feel like your own. Invite family and friends over to enjoy, and post lots of photos on your favorite social media site. Enjoy the congrats and envy, you earned it!

Finding Good Landscape And Gardening Ideas

The first of the landscape and gardening ideas is to do a site analysis. Look over your property and list what are its strengths and weaknesses. What do you like about your property? What do you not like? How can you correct or improve the things you don’t like? If you begin this way with your landscape and gardening, ideas will come to you.

Now make a sketch of your property. Make the sketch large enough for you to stay as close to scale as possible. Be sure to include your house and any other buildings, including details like doors and windows. Also include trees and any other plants you want to incorporate into your landscape and gardening ideas. Be sure to mark the compass points.

Walk around your property at different times of day with your sketch on a clipboard and mark which areas are sunny and shady at given times. This will help you when it comes time to decide what plants should go where. It will also be useful if you are going to plant shade trees. You might also want to make note of prevailing winds in case you should want to build or plant a windbreak.

Good landscape and gardening ideas will come to you if you observe your property from a variety of vantage points and make notes of the good views and the bad views. Can neighbours see into your yard? If you build a raised deck will you be able to see into your neighbour’s yard?

Now make notes on slope and drainage. Do you have high ground you can take advantage of? Is there a low spot where water pools? Whatever design you decide on, it is important that water drains away from your house, not toward it. A good idea is to go outside during a rainstorm and see which way the water runs.

Take note of any interesting features your property might have: rocks, proximity to a stream or other body of water, or a special view of a natural feature or a dramatic urban skyline. How can you best work them into your design?

Go inside your house and note what you can see from various windows. What aspects of your landscape and garden would you like to see from your kitchen, bedroom or living room?

Now that you have done your sketch and made your notes, you will have some good landscape and gardening ideas.

Landscapers and Gardeners – Grow Online

Landscaping is first and foremost a visual art. Those involved in the art as professionals and who wish to advertise their services can do no better than utilizing a web site to display their skills. A well executed Internet layout is ideal for addressing not only the visual appeal of a gardener or landscaper’s professional skills; it is also the perfect forum for discussion of the many details that go into a quality landscaping effort.

Consider the alternatives. Radio advertising is pointless, television is usually too expensive – and at best, offers sixty seconds of exposure – and direct mail is also limited both by expense and by the amount of physical space provided for a professional to prove his or her worth. A website, by contrast, can go as deeply into your skills, your knowledge and your portfolio of accomplishments as you wish.

Every architectural firm of any size or stature uses the web to showcase the castles they have built. A landscaper’s website can provide the same arresting photography found in the best architectural presentations. With the unlimited space available for photographs, landscape websites can illustrate the juxtaposition of the design as it relates to the structures that the completed landscaping surrounds.

Some landscaping websites even use video clips – and that does provide an added dimension to the relationship of landscaping and the surrounding structures. However a quality photographer can provide almost the same quality imagery with a collection of stills.

Your landscaping website can discuss the philosophy of landscaped design. It should, as a promotional point, emphasize the importance of consultation with the client. On a web page, you can not only discuss this point but show four different preliminary sketches provided to a client in a previous job that illustrate the way different landscaping approaches to the same structure can radically alter its exterior presentation.

A website can then go a step further and talk about the care and feeding of a landscaped site. Many homeowners that employ professional landscapers are concerned about the amount of weekly labor that the final result will require. A landscaper’s Internet site can devote a page to the popular options available for home gardens that are discussed from a maintenance perspective.

A good landscaping or gardening website ought to have an advice section on plant care. It will provide the site with more depth and it will address issues that potential customers may be confronting with their current gardens. This section is less about low-maintenance gardens and more about how-to advice and tricks of the trade.

Protecting plants in winter, anchoring young plants or trees in windy areas, how to make runoff work as irrigation for your garden – there are endless issues that can make a landscaping website a source of quality information as well. This approach to the craft is going to pay off through the image of helpful professionalism that a quality advisory section provides.

Landscapers and gardeners are fortunate with regard to the opportunities that the Internet provides for them. The goal of their work is aesthetic pleasure: the beauty of a creatively planned and well tended garden and outdoor area. Nothing maximizes the attractive features of real estate – both indoors and out – like a website that combines the right imagery with just enough well written commentary.

Design Your Landscape and Garden

Landscape and garden design are umbrella terms for a variety of disciplines that focus on the practical, aesthetic and horticultural aspects of an outdoor area of land, generally attached to a property. Whilst having shared purposes, the two activities can be defined separately – landscaping focuses on the relationship of the garden with its surroundings, the integration of nature with man-made elements such as pathways or the home architecture itself, and the practical side of garden maintenance and upkeep. Garden design is traditionally concerned with the choice and distribution of various plants, flowers and shrubbery around the lawn area, but depending on the desired garden, can involve the planning and design of water features, patios, decking and garden boundaries. When landscape or garden planning, there are key elements to be considered in each case:

Landscape Planning

Practical considerations such as climate, topography, soil and irrigation, planning permission and construction. View the landscape in terms of things that need to be retained, modified or replaced – with attention given to how original natural features can act as ‘borrowed scenery’ for a garden. The overall ‘genius loci’ – this term refers to the ambience or atmosphere of the garden area.

Garden Planning

What will the garden space be used for – i.e. raising vegetation, sports, relaxation.
If you are growing plants or vegetables, they need to have a cohesive growth cycle and bloom-time, to enhance the aesthetic or practical function of the garden.
What man-made elements need to be introduced? This can cover water features, raised flower beds, greenhouses, decking, paved or gravel pathways.

Planning your Garden

Starting at the front of the property, it is important to remember that your front lawn provides the first impression of a property to any visitor. While a back garden is more secluded and normally has a number of utilitarian functions (clotheslines or tool sheds, for example), the front garden connects your home to the wider surroundings, and provides a platform for aesthetic display through flower and shrubbery arrangement. Decisions must also be made about human access from the street – will you need driveways or pathways? Do areas need to be covered by gravel, paved slabs, or tarmac?

Generally the backyard is planned more with your personal recreation in mind. If you plan on entertaining guests in the garden, you might want to think about dining areas, seating, lighting and heating, and cooking structure like outdoor kitchens and barbecues. Having children can have a big influence on garden design – areas for sports such as basketball or soccer need to be devised, and the safety and positioning of elements such as ponds or pools should be a consideration.

If you are a green-fingered gardener keen on raising flowers or vegetables, it’s important to outline their arrangement before planting, to ensure maximum aesthetic value or harvest yield. You will also need to decide how to house your vegetation, whether in raised flower beds, rock gardens or greenhouses.

A Landscape and Garden Software

You don’t need to be a professional landscaper to design a garden, and you don’t need to a technical drawing expert to use the special Landscape and Garden software. The hard work has been done for you. Using such software is the quickest and simplest method of starting to plan your garden design.

Knowing that a well-designed front and back yard can really boost the resell value of your property means that proper planning and design is imperative, before you start digging holes and ripping up trees around your house.

Landscaping and Gardening Tips For a Tight Budget

Having a beautiful, landscaped garden is everyone’s dream. Unfortunately, such beauty comes at a price. Generally, the more complicated and classy the garden looks like, the more costly it is to build and maintain it. Exotic flowers, expensive materials and landscaping service can all take their toll on the budget.

But there is no need to despair. Here are some ideas so an enthusiast can save money in growing and maintaining a beautiful garden.

Let us begin with topiaries. A useful landscaping and gardening tip is to avoid buying expensive topiary forms. Instead, a cheap tomato cage could be used. The legs of the cages could be tied down using a plastic coated wire or a twist wire. The plant can then be formed with the wire as its framework.

For sturdy custom stakes for climbing vines and hanging plants, used pipes could be employed. An even better stake would be an old or inexpensive expandable curtain rod. The gardener can actually extend it as the climbing vines grow!

Another item that eats up the budget is fertilizer that is sold in a gardening supply store. A good landscaping and gardening tip would be to engage in composting. Compost can be produced by putting dry leaves in a container. Cover the container with clean garden soil and place it upside down so that it comes in contact with the ground. After a few weeks, a brownish, black substance can be collected from the container. This substance, or compost, can be used as plant fertilizer.

Some plants need to be grown in large containers. A good landscaping and gardening tip would be to fill the bottom of the container with aluminum cans before adding garden soil. They make a good substitute as fillers. Also, the container is lighter to move or carry around.

For pathways and border stones, do not use bricks. Instead, it is cheaper to use broken pots or crushed gravel. They also make the garden more natural looking.

Brick pillars, which are often used to decorate the sides of pathways and driveways, add excitement to a garden. Unfortunately, if a mason is employed to construct them, it would cost the gardener hundreds of dollars.

A better way is to take heed of this landscaping and gardening tip: use recycled bricks. On a level area, put four bricks together to form a square. Put another layer of bricks on top of the foundation. Add another layer until it reaches the desired height. Top it off with a wide stepping stone.

These are just a few money saving landscaping and gardening tips. With the tips presented above, it is a pleasant surprise to know that most of the inexpensive but effective ways in gardening and landscaping comes from simple things inside a home.

Home Improvement Loans Turn Your Home Into A Paradise

Home is the place where most of our time is spent. It’s the place where we feel most secure. It’s like the fortress which saves us from all the possible troubles that we can have.

These are a few reasons why our home should be at its absolute best. Things which can make it that can be minor or major.

If that is the case with you but you do not have sufficient funds with you to afford home improvement then home improvement loans are tailor made for you.

Home improvement loans are loans which are specifically designed for people who want to make changes to their home but they can not because of their financial standing.

A person may require a home improvement loan to make major or minor changes to their home which may be one of the following.

o Construction of the house

o Adding of a bedroom, kitchen

o Restructuring

o Landscaping the garden

o Adding to the safety of the house

o Electrical and plumbing work

o Renovation

o New furniture

Any work or changes that we make to our home is good for ourselves only as the owners will eventually benefit from the changes that take place in the home.

Benefits of going for home improvement

By going for home improvement we will raise the value of the house which will help us in negotiating a better deal if we want to sell the house.
Home improvement is better than moving to a new home both in financial and emotional terms.
Home improvement provides a lot more satisfaction to the owner of the home.

There are two ways of going for the home improvement loans

Secured home improvement loans is a way where by a borrower will have to provide collateral as a security to the lender which may be any of his assets. Such as borrowers car or his machinery. However if the borrower provides his home as a security this method of home improvement will be known as home equity method of borrowing home improvement loan. By this method we can get loans up to 125% of the property value.

Another method of borrowing home improvement loans is through unsecured means where the borrower does not have to provide any collateral to the lender as an obligation. However the borrower may have to pay a higher rate of interest to cover for the risk factor of the lender.

Home improvement can be required by any body therefore these loans are available to everyone even to people with bad credit. People who have faltered with their payments in the past such as CCJ’s, People in arrears or people who have filled for bankruptcy. Bad credit is determined on the basis of a credit score which is a three digit rating which tells the lenders about the financial credit worthiness of the borrower. A credit score of below 600 usually leads to bad credit.

For applying for home improvement loans all people need is to go online and fill in their personal and loan details form after that the loan decision will be made by the lenders in a day or two.

Benefits of taking home improvement loan through online lenders

o Fast approval of loans

o There are a vast majority of creditors so you can choose your alternatives

o You can apply even if you have bad credit history

o You can borrow up to £75000.

o You can avail a few tax benefits as well.

o With so many creditors you always get the best deal which includes low interest rates and easy repayment schedule.

o While online you can use other services available online like debt calculator, loan calculator etc.

o If you are not sure about anything you can also interact with our experts and discuss your problems.

Home is the place many people worship because for them it is a place where their god is. Therefore we should always keep it as it should be as a temple. “Home sweet home” is how the phrase is and if we keep making the efforts for that then it will keep our life sweet as well.

Fancy A Dream Home Get A Home Improvement Loan

Guess where most people spend their time well it’s their home. No wonder that people would like it to be perfect. So would most of the people as well. A perfect home depends on how an individual wants it to be. Perfection varies from individual to the other.

Most people love their home that’s why it should be perfect in fact it should be reflection of perfection. If you love your home as well than it should be as you want it to be not as it is. If that is the case with you and you want your home to be your paradise but you cannot afford it then a home improvement loan can help you in your quest.

A home improvement loan is basically a loan offered to people who want to make major or minor changes to their home. The changes can be major or minor. Examples of the changes are

o Adding or renovations of new rooms

o Central heating

o Landscaping

o Adding of luxuries like fireplaces or swimming pool

o Plumbing roofing or safety repairs

It could be a minor change or a major change which can completely turn around your home. A home improvement loan offers you an opportunity to make that improvement to turn your home into a dream home.

There are various ways by which an individual can go for a home improvement loan.

Secured home improvement loan in this loan the borrower provides a security to the borrower. The security could be any thing either a car or any other asset of the borrower.

Home equity is another type of secured home improvement loan where the security provided by the borrower can be only his home for which the loan has been taken.

Home improvement is basically an equity loan where the security is essential for the borrowing of the loan. However if the loan amount is under £10000 then an unsecured home improvement loan can be borrowed. An unsecured home improvement loan does not require the borrower to provide any kind of collateral to lender. These loans therefore carry a little higher rate of interest (about 1% – 2%) then the secured loans. This is the result of lender covering up for his risk factor. The usual interest rate is around 11.4% (variable)

Everyone in this world has home even people with bad credit history,
People like, CCJ’s, defaults, arrears, late payments or people who have previously filled for bankruptcy. A credit score is given to all UK people who have previously taken loans. A score of below 600 is the one which causes the bad credit history. A home improvement loan is now available to these people as well.

Applying for loans is easy all the people who want to get the home improvement loan need to do is go online and fill in their requirements after they have found themselves a lender. If approved they will get the loan very quickly.

There are other benefits of home improvement as well which many people do not know about.

o If you go for home improvement it increases the value of the home which helps the owners when the owner wants to sell the house. It often helps in getting a better deal for the home as a furnished home would fetch a better price then an unfurnished one.

o For most people pride is the most important thing and a dream home would be the thing that provides that pride.

o For people with bad credit history it is an opportunity to improve their credit score if they follow the repayment plan as it should be

A home can be the best place to be once you come from your work if it is properly maintained. A poorly maintained house is no good to anybody so a home improvement is an absolute necessity. A home improvement loan is designed for people who are not financially capable of going for home improvement with several benefits by keeping the borrowers financial capabilities in mind.

Tips for Home Improvement Home Equity Loan Financing

No one will argue that increasing the value of your home through home improvement projects
is a great idea. However, large home improvement projects can become quite expensive. Home
improvements lighten your wallet and empty your savings account. Careful planning and
thinking about all your financing options is necessary before beginning your home
improvement project. Below are a few tips for home improvement home equity loan financing to
take into consideration.

Home improvement home equity loans are becoming one of the most popular loans when it comes
to home improvement. Because the interest is deductible from your taxes, It’s a viable tool
for borrowing money. Interest rates on home improvement home equity loans are usually lower
than the interest rates of other types of loans. Another good thing about home improvement
home equity loans is that they are fairly easy to get.

Home improvement home equity loans are great loans for home improvement because the project
can greatly increase the appraisal value of your home. This is a loan that is obtained to be
able to get additional investments for use in the future. Home improvement projects such as
bathroom additions, bedrooms and home extensions can increase the value of a house. However,
some home improvement projects don’t really result in increasing the value of the house. The
construction of a swimming pool is one such project.

Take care when getting a home improvement home equity loan. Don’t forget that the collateral
that you are putting up against the loan is your own house. If you can’t make the payments
and make them on time, you could end up losing your home. You borrowed money for the sole
purpose of improving your house and losing your house would be a disastrous situation

Many people use home improvement home equity loans for other reasons. The money is sometimes
spent finance other expenses such as vacations or everyday needs. Steady appreciation of
their houses is what people rely on to be able to pay for the debt. If the value of their
house depreciates at the end of any period, they are in huge financial hot water. This is
why home improvement home equity loans should be used for the improvement of your home
because the risks of depreciation are lower.

To avoid being indebted because of home improvement projects, these tips for home
improvement home equity loan financing should be kept in mind. Home improvements are a great
way to increase the value of your house but always use your head when getting home
improvement home equity loans to finance these projects.