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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.