HOLMES: Making the grade with your landscaping

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Mike Holmes Home builder Mike Holmes says it is important for homeowners to understand when they need a professional when they are making landscape improvements.  Holmes group photoHome builder Mike Holmes says it is important for homeowners to understand when they need a professional when they are making landscape improvements. Holmes group photo jpg, CA

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Smart landscaping adds to your appeal, but landscaping serves other purposes as well. You can use your landscaping to create privacy, add functionality to your exterior, and protect the exterior of your home.

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If you are planning to sell your home, take care of the exterior. It is the first impression of your home.

KNOW WHEN TO STOP A PRO

If you are planning on laying composite blocks or building a retaining wall, I recommend that you hire a professional landscaping company. A lot can go wrong if you don’t know all of the necessary steps.

Retaining walls also require a lot of planning and, depending on the height, a permit, so check with your local building authority. Remember that the purpose of the retaining wall is to hold soil behind it, so you want to be sure that it is done properly and safely. Choosing the wrong material or improper installation can lead to failure. Always check the level surface before you put your stones down. When planning a retaining wall with proper drainage, it is important to know what type of soil you have. When laying composite stone, you may also want to include a trench drain to aid in drainage.

Hire a reputable landscaping company and make sure you have a contract. Your landscaper should consider what existing landscape features need to be removed and how you plan to use your outdoor space.

KNOW THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LANDSCAPING

Do you have children at home playing in the yard? Think about ways to keep an eye on your kids while they play outside.

You use your landscaping to keep your home cool in the summer. Of course, when it’s too hot outside, we go to the shade first. Shade offers protection from the blazing sun and trees are nature’s umbrellas. So how do you create shade outside of your home?

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One way is to strategically plant trees. Just make sure you consult a professional landscaper before planting. The last thing you want to do is plant a tree too close to your house. While it offers plenty of welcome shade, tall trees right next to your property can draw water right onto your roof, wearing out and leaking it. And the roots can wreak havoc on your indoor systems if they enter your leaky tiles or pipes.

If you want to add privacy to your landscaping, consider adding a fence or planting shrubs around your property. You might be trying to block your neighbors’ view of your yard, which I don’t think is a bad idea.

Would you like to create an outdoor area with a fire pit? Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are great additions to your space. I love having an outside fireplace. There are many types, sizes, and heat source options. However, first make sure that backyard fire pits are legal in your area.

AVOID PLANTING AGAINST YOUR FOUNDATIONS

Many homeowners tend to love the idea of ​​a garden right next to their home. I think it’s a bad idea. You want some space between your foundation and your yard to keep water out.

When you plant trees, they are a permanent part of your landscaping. Choose the location wisely and make sure they are not too close to the house. When choosing plants, I recommend looking for plants that are native to your area. Instead of planting shrubs and flowers right by your house, consider planting flower beds or raised beds.

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PAY ATTENTION TO THE EVALUATION

We all know that water needs to drain from the outside of your home. That is why the correct classification is so important. Drainage is the most important aspect of any landscape.

As water flows back towards your foundation it will find a way to get into your home. If you see large puddles on your lawn, it could indicate a sorting problem. You want your yard to slope away from the home so water can drain away from the foundation, not towards it.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR EXTERIOR

Also examine your driveway. Do you see cracks in your concrete or asphalt driveway? Small cracks can be fixed with a repair kit from your local hardware store.

If you have large trees above your deck, keep them nice and pruned, and don’t forget to inspect your trees for broken branches or other damage after a severe storm.

So this summer, inspect your front and back yards and make sure your landscaping adds to your appeal by adding privacy, functionality and protection to your home. Come on.

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