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So you just bought a brand new home. What are your landscaping responsibilities? In this post, we discuss what home builders provide for landscaping as well as some tips for landscaping new homes, including mistakes to avoid and the impact of house settling. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about new construction landscaping:
A typical standard would be that the construction company will excavate the ground after your home is built. “Obviously, when they're building the home there's all the ground around that has to be cleaned up. They [the construction company] would excavate that to the point where it's gotten low,” says Kurt Gibson, Director of Construction Management with Brookfield Residential. In addition to excavating, most builders put about six to eight inches of topsoil on top of the excavated soil to help root new plants and sod when the time comes.
Kurt says that as a builder himself, he usually will go ahead and install front yard sod in addition to excavating the soil. However, “Not every builder does, but some will do that. Not a lot of builders do a complete package, at least on the production side of the building.” So, don’t expect the construction company to build your house and do the landscaping as well.
There are important things to know when landscaping a new home from scratch. From waiting for your home to settle to ensuring proper grading, here are a few new construction landscaping tips for you to follow:
As we said above, most construction companies don’t provide much more than excavation and front yard sod in terms of landscaping. However, you should ask to know for sure. You will most likely have to contract another company to finish the landscaping.
Every home is given a grade certification from the city that certifies the specific grade of each individual property. The point of a grade is to ensure water flows off your property and away from your neighbors. Kurt says “a lot of times, misconceptions, people will come in and start grading their own yards and digging things up, changing the grade. And then what happens is that their neighbors end up getting water. Sometimes it can cause water in their basements.”
To avoid these grading issues, it is best to call an expert out to give their opinion and advice before going forward with any major landscaping projects.
A new home takes time to settle. Settling is a natural process where the ground underneath your home slowly compacts and adjusts to the weight of your home. The process can take about a year, especially in a climate with four distinct seasons, and you should wait until it is complete to start any landscaping projects.
Despite what some may think, landscaping is a very important aspect of new home construction. To ensure it is done properly without causing damage to your own home or your neighbors’ homes, you need to take your time and hire the right people. Kurt advises to not try to speed up the settling process by dousing the ground around your house with water as this can force water into your basement and, even worse, your foundation.
Deciding how to landscape your new home is one of the most important decisions you can make and there are plenty of things that go into it. Use the tips above to navigate the tricky waters of new-construction landscaping so you can end up with the yard you have always wanted. Check out our blog for more design tips including the best paint colors for your new kitchen, the best indoor flowering plants to brighten your home, and how to landscape your new home.