Written by Ducon Contractors and Homes.
Posted in Custom Homes, Home Building,
We wait so long for warm weather in Canada that we like to be able to have our indoor comforts outside when the good weather comes.
At Ducon Contractors we can help you move the vision of your new home forward to include landscaping that will suit your year round needs. We will recommend or work with landscaping contractors to ensure your property is as beautiful as your home.
Why involve your building contractor with your landscaping plans?
When your landscaping plans evolve with your home construction plans, it ensures that outside taps, outside lighting, weatherproof electrical outlets and gas lines for barbecues or patio heaters are located where you need them and that there is a complementary look and style to your outdoor areas.
Knowing where you want to have a deck, terrace or patio in advance allows your contractor to adapt your building plans to allow easy access from the living room or kitchen to the outside with sliding patio doors or insulated French doors. Your builder can also ensure that grades are planned in advance for proper drainage and that sun and shade spaces are chosen for optimal use and comfort.
What’s new in landscaping trends?
Formal outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular. Sometimes they include enclosed structures like solariums, pergolas or gazebos for greater privacy and shade. A garden can also be divided into outdoor rooms for relaxation, dining and children’s play using low stone walls, hedges, flower beds and interlocking brick paths to separate the different areas. Solar lights, a fire pit or patio heaters can add comfort, extending the use of patios and decks into the evening and on cooler autumn days.
Water features add interest to a garden whether it is a fountain, a fishpond, or a pool. Again, placement is so important in terms of shade, drainage and electrical power. Water features of any sort, when using electricity, must be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) or authorized electricians. As well, there are strict building guidelines for safety around pools; your building contractor can help ensure you’re compliant with all of these issues.
Many people leave house construction to the builders but prefer to take the DIY approach to landscaping. Although less expensive in the short term it can lead to more expensive problems in the long term unless you are really experienced in this area.
How hard can it be to build a deck?
Raised decks require a proper foundation, most often using a series of sonotubes filled with cement to minimize the affect of frost heave. Decks also need to be structurally strong enough to support additional features such as a hot tub or a solarium that you may wish to add in the future. All municipalities demand a building permit for a raised deck and there has to be an inspection prior to building.
Many people are unaware of all the safety requirements for a raised deck including the height of the guardrails, the width and height of steps and the requirement for a continuous handrail on the stairs. Building and home insurance inspectors can demand a rebuild if these are not up to code.
Interlocking brick patios, paths and driveways are not DIY
Functional outdoor living spaces have become a popular trend.
Many people like the look of walkways and patio areas in brick, interlock stone or concrete blocks in the high traffic areas of their yard or their driveways but they are not something most home owners should attempt on their own. Unless done properly by a professional they can become dangerously uneven and over run with weeds within a few years.
Professionals landscapers know that the base is critical to ensure a level weed-free pathway, this requires the proper sands and stones, compacting equipment and attention to drainage ensuring that they slope away from the house but also do not hold puddles themselves.
What else can a professional landscaper do for me?
There are so many new materials available for landscaping that the average homebuyer is unaware of and may succumb to impulse purchases from sale flyers that will not prove to be durable in the long run. Landscapers know what’s new, what works best and how to properly install them.
Even plant selection can benefit from the advice of a professional. They can advise what trees and shrubs will best suit your space and suggest a selection of flowers that will ensure you have a beautiful array of blossoms from spring to fall. They can help you plan your lawn areas to their best advantage and install underground sprinkler systems to keep every thing watered.
If it’s done right the first time, your outdoor living space will give you years of pleasure with a minimum amount of maintenance. If you’d like to put the finishing touches onto your home with a properly planned outdoor living space, please contact us.