Here are some very important points to think about before you attempt to start any work.
- Council Approval: Councils usually have height restrictions to the likes of walls, fences, pergolas, gazebos etc. so if these items are on the agenda, then it’s a safe idea to check with your local council in regard to their regulations.
- Underground services: Water pipes, Power, Gas, Phone, Storm water pipes, Sewer Pipes are all services that can hinder and cause problems if disrupted, and depending on the service can be financially disastrous. Always contact the authorities when attempting any major excavation outside your property on the nature strip for example, to check where these services are.
- Drainage: You may have a site that already has some drainage problems, or as the landscaping work is carried out, drainage problems are created, so dealing with both surface water, sub-surface and deep seepage must be a major part of your planning.
- Access: Whether having material delivered or removed, access can sometimes cause a lot of problems. If you have the space initially for deliveries then keep that space available as long as possible. Always thinking about the next job you need to do.
- Future maintenance: Access to your different garden areas must also be considered in your landscape design for garden equipment, lawn mowers, brush cutters, edger’s etc. especially if you have different levels or terracing.
A good idea when placing in fixed ground structures like paths, driveways etc. then a pipe can be placed underneath for future access to each side,
- Childrens play area: This is often part of the landscape that is left out when you’re thinking about your design, but whether it’s a fixture or an open area, consideration must be given to the safety and security of this play area. Equipment must be built in a safe fashion, keeping in mind that children very rarely think of safety issues or self-preservation.
- Area’s for pets: Aviary’s, kennels, hutches for rabbits, dogs or cats etc. consideration for the location of these is important as maintenance and security can be a problem.
- Utility area’s: usually the area’s allocated for the clothes line, garden shed, shade house’s, car port etc. Sometimes the visual effect of these items can be upsetting to the landscape so their location is important.
- Cost: Cost is always a major consideration to your landscaping, whether you end up just buying materials and doing the whole job yourself or splitting it with contractors. You have to be able to justify the cost against what you can achieve with the money spent. It’s called ROI, (Return on Investment).
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Here’s some more tips to consider:
Now, you might be considering digging out an area that’s fairly large in the hope that it will save you money, but a machine can do it in a tenth of the time, then leaving you fresh and scheduled to work on a more satisfying task.
Another point you might consider is to let your landscaping evolve over a period of time, start with your necessary hardware like your driveway, paths, retaining walls etc. and then add later your other additions.
This however can be difficult if starting with a newly built home, as some Councils require your landscape plan to be submitted as part of the DA. They also require the work to be completed by a certain date, before giving the final Cert. of Completion.
The materials you want to use: The materials you use are a major aspect of the theme you are trying to achieve. So apart from the cost of the material there are three other factors you should consider. The strength, appearance and the duration of the material which you want to use, each should be carefully thought out before you finally decide on your project.