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Things to Know Before Landscaping Your New Development Home

You've just bought a brand new home, so new in fact that the other homes in your neighborhood are still being build.

Chances are, your yard isn't landscaped and you want to start planning your new yard.

There are some things you should know before having your landscaping completed. We'll go over what you should know before starting your landscaping project in this article.

Speak With Your Home Builder for Approval

New development homes require a "lot grade certificate" from your home builder. Once you have this certificate with approval, your landscaping can begin.

Home builders will tell you your yard is "graded", however, it is only graded to allow for proper drainage for your yard. In other words it's a general grade for us landscapers to use so water drains off your yard properly.

What Happens if We Don't Have the Lot Grade Certificate?

If you don't have a lot grade certificate and you move forward with your landscaping anyways, your home builder may require that you remove or alter your landscaping. Costing you more in the long run. A properly educated landscaping company will ask you for this document prior to beginning any new yard project. If they don't request this document, you may want to continue your search.

Landscaping A New Yard is More Than Just Laying Sod

New yards in Winnipeg typically require that we add 6+ inches of soil before we put the sod down or install the rest of the landscape. This can amount to a whopping 50 - 100+ yards of soil. This step cannot be skipped, the grading that was completed to your yard will not function properly without bringing the yard to the elevation it was meant to have.

Skipping this step can result in water drainage issues, settling ground around your home, poor plant and lawn health, and further costs down the road if your home builder sees the soil wasn't brought to the proper elevation.

Not All Soil is Created Equal

Using the wrong soil under your lawn can be a disaster. The soil is the foundation your landscaping will sit on and is a very important detail.

Using some soil types will cause a sinking, squishy lawn; leading to foot imprints and a bumpy, uneven lawn. Ensure your contractor knows what type to use, a "4 way mix" vegetable garden soil is not the right soil for your lawn, we see this mistake constantly and it's very important the company knows the difference.

Some Yard Features May Be Required In Your Area

Some neighborhoods require you to follow specific guidelines with your landscaping. For example, some neighborhoods require you to place a specific tree in your front yard, others may require a specific grass such as "Karl Foerster".

Lot's of builders require 50% grass/lawn in the front yard. Your home builder will have more information regarding requirements for your specific yard. Not following these specifications can lead to further costs.

Landscape Deposit Refund - Getting Your Money Back

Most home builders withhold a landscape deposit that is refunded when your landscaping is complete, as long as you complete your landscaping within a specified amount of time.

Once your landscaping is complete, phone your home builder, they'll come out to inspect the landscaping. If approved they'll send any refund available to you based on their requirements.

Some builders require only the front be completed within a year. Ask your home builder for more information.

Why You Shouldn't Complete Your Front Yard First

Most home builders require that you complete your front yard landscaping within a year of purchase, however, it's typically best to complete the back yard first if possible. While installing your back yard landscaping, we'll be required to move a lot of soil and product with heavy equipment.

If you complete your front yard landscaping first, it will get damaged while completing the back yard in the future. When the time comes to complete your back yard, we will need to damage and repair a path to the back so we can use the equipment in the backyard. Completing your front landscaping first will cost you more.

The Importance of a Landscape Design

Unless you just want sod in your yard, it's always best to design your yard before it's landscaped. After all, we wouldn't build a house without a design, why is it not standard for landscapes?

Spending money on something where you don't know the end result can lead to issues and disappointment. Furthermore, while our crews are working, they use designs to ensure your projects are built properly to specifications.

We've found that in cases where designs are not used, our staff are more unsure on what they're building, projects take longer, staff have more questions and are generally confused on what they're completing.

Using 3D CAD design software, we can create a virtual tour of your property so you'll know what you're getting and our crews know what they're building. This step is so important that we often times include it in our pricing or won't build a project without one.


Following these guidelines will ensure the landscaping process on your new property is smooth with little to no issues.

If you have any questions regarding the process of planning and building your new landscape, we would love to help! Call us at 1-877-NUT-ERRO or contact us using the form on our 'Contact Us' page.

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