Insight, Swimming Pool Design
8 Tips for Creating the Ideal Backyard Living Space
Ever wonder what really makes one person’s yard stunning and what makes another’s mediocre? Let’s take two examples. Each spent similar amounts of money and have a similar checklist of individual features. But in the end, one is relaxing and inviting and there’s a party there every weekend; the family eats dinner on the deck every night. The other is rarely used. It feels “wonky” and disjointed. Visitors can’t quite put their finger on what’s wrong, but they’d rather be inside.
BEFORE: Why is there a fake rock waterfall on the end of this geometric pool?
Obviously, if you’re going through the time and expense of an extensive residential pool design and yard redesign, you’d want to do whatever you could to ensure success. Did you ever wish for the “magic formula”? Well, there are a few things that will make certain things go the way you want and result in the perfect back yard living space you dream of having.
Here are the 8 most important things about residential landscape design that the buyer needs to know in order to make the best possible decision.
1) Good design is the MOST critical element of what clients will spend their money on, as it will enhance the remainder they spend on the tangible “bricks and mortar.” Most people mistake my “every day” low budget jobs for high end jobs, because of the sublime esthetics they embody.
2) The client needs to understand that their initial ideas may not be the right solution for their yard at all. They need to know how to recognize someone’s talent, and then trust in that person to lead them and educate them about any misguided preconceptions that they might bring to the table.
3) They should pay for design, whether it’s residential pool design and/or landscape design as a professional service and not expect to get it for free from a salesman at a pool company or landscape company who is not educated in the arts.
4) They need to keep a well-oiled construction team together and not piecemeal out their job to parties that haven’t worked together before and may not share the same level of craftsmanship or work ethic just to “save a buck.”
5) Cutting corners is extremely expensive. If you cut corners when it comes to design, you get something ugly. If you cut corners in construction, you get something that falls apart and has to be rebuilt. In the end, you have to endure the pain of living with or tear out and spend the money twice. Do it right or don’t do it at all.
6) It’s better to wait and get what your property deserves than to rush and install something of lower budget that compromises the end potential.
7) Take what you think your project should cost, double it, and that is what a good starting budget is. Quality construction is always at least double what you expect, and often 3x that of what hearsay (builders, neighbors, realtors, friends) will suggest for you, if not more.
8) There is a vast difference between a horticulturally-gifted landscape designer and an architecturally-minded one. The latter is what you need first. He shapes the space and then calls on talented plant people to fill in the planting details after he has given form to the overall layout, and that is the proper sequence.