Building a new home is filled with decisions. Which lot will you pick? Which floorplan? What color scheme will you use? Not to mention hundreds of other upgrades, options, and selections. But when you build a new home, it isn’t just the home you need to plan for: You’ll also have a yard.
We’ve all heard about the importance of curb appeal, and when you build a new home, it’s up to you to create it from scratch. But how do you begin to know where to start with landscaping? Here’s a quick guide to get you going.
Find your starting point
When you build new, you start with a blank canvas—and while that can sound fun, it can also feel intimidating. The good news is that many builders will have a builder-grade landscaping package that comes with your home. Understanding what that package includes will serve as your starting point.
In most cases, it will cover planting for the front of your home, and at times, it may include a few trees through the remainder of your property. Many builders will offer upgrade options, which could shift anything from the size of the included trees to the quantity of items included. If you’re looking for the easy, most direct path to landscaping, a simple builder upgrade may be just the ticket.
Think beyond the trees
When you consider landscaping, think of the full yard at your disposal and how you want to use it. Do you need a big green space for the kids to play? A pool? A large, covered porch to enjoy morning coffee? Or is a large-scale entertaining space more your speed?
Plan around your overall vision for the space before you start popping in trees and other landscaping elements. You may be able to include certain elements—like the covered porch—in your initial build. Others, you’ll want to ensure aren’t hindered by the initial builder landscaping. Work with your builder to come up with a cohesive plan that will support your long-term vision for the space.
Don’t underestimate the power of privacy
One of the biggest tells of a new build versus existing community is the landscaping. Trees offer a significant amount of shade and privacy—but they take time to grow. Putting in some privacy trees, like large-growing arborvitae, for example, can be a great day-one investment. They’ll take some time to grow, but if you plan for them early on, your space will transform in your home’s early years.
Think about maintenance
Yard maintenance isn’t for the faint of heart, and some landscaping takes more care than others. Do you mind mowing, or will you hire someone to do it for you? Do you have the patience to care for roses and other high-maintenance plants, or are low-maintenance shrubs more your speed? For every plant or tree you choose, consider the level of care it requires—and whether you want to be responsible for the long haul.