April 22, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 27
Home Improvement & Gardening
Coordinating indoor and outdoor spaces
(continued from page 25) damaging or removing existing trees and plant materials during the building process, so that the homeowner will not have to pay for costly replacements later.” Looking at both the landscape and architectural plans in advance also provides information about necessary permits. Determining which permits can be obtained simultaneously saves time and money. By understanding a homeowner’s goals and budget, the landscape designer can create a plan that will gradually phase-in various features over the course of several years. “A homeowner may want to add a pool, or an outdoor kitchen, but it’s just not in the initial budget,” she said. “We can create an area in the backyard that blends in with the rest of the design, and can ultimately accommodate a pool when the time is right.” Budgetary considerations also affect the choice of plantings. “If we know in advance the client’s long-term goals for the property, we can select a younger tree that will grow to the appropriate size as the property design develops, rather than starting out with a small, less expensive planting that will eventually have to be replaced.” Sometimes a builder, with the best of intentions, can create a situation that becomes a challenge. In one recent renovation, a builder constructed a retaining wall close to the house, leaving little usable backyard space. The homeowners wanted to increase that space, but the wall made it impossible to bring in any landscaping equipment. “As a result, all materials would have to be hand-carried onto the site, making the expansion project cost-prohibitive. However, if the builder had the opportunity to consult with a landscaper before constructing the wall, this problem never would have existed,” McMahon said. Working with a landscape architect at the outset of a project can help avoid issues like poor drainage, windows or doors that inhibit deck or patio construction, inconvenient settings for pools and entertainment areas, and inaccessible outdoor spaces. The landscape architect can also help the builder determine the best orientation of the house, ensuring that windows face the best lighting and views, and that the homeowner’s preference for privacy and curb appeal are maximized. Although the indoor and outdoor master plans should be created simultaneously, it can be overwhelming to have the builders and landscapers on the scene at the same time. Who goes first? “It depends on the project,” said McMahon. “If major grading changes or retaining walls are required, those take priority. Usually, though, the builder begins first. Then the outdoor hardscape elements are installed, followed by the rest of the landscaping.” By coordinating each of these steps from the very beginning, the work flow will be smoother and the outcome more satisfying to all involved. “Having the landscape designer, architect and builder work together makes for easier decision-making in the longrun and a smoother transition between indoor and outdoor space,” said McMahon. “It is the best way for homeowners to achieve their ultimate goals for a beautiful, comfortable and inviting home.” Borst Landscape & Design is located at 260 West Crescent Avenue, Suite 1, in Allendale. Phone (201) 785-9400 or visit www.borstlandscape.com.
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