The money angels have given you a big break, and you have the right budget to build your dream backyard. Soon, you’ll be spending more quality time at home relaxing or entertaining your friends and family.
You’ve pinned all your design ideas — and made a wish list of your favorite outdoor features.
Ready-set-go! You hire a landscape contractor, evaluate your space, start planning, do a cost breakdown…
After an assessment, your contractor gives you a run around of all the issues your land is experiencing and how much the installation of your desired outdoor features will really cost and… in just a few minutes, you’re watching clear sunny skies being covered by big dark clouds. What you envisioned before starts to slowly fade away.
It’s time to pull you out of that landscape rut. We’ll give you solutions to circumvent your budget challenges so you can build your perfect backyard.
1. Change the Structure of Your Fire Feature
Right now, fireplaces are the hottest trend for outdoor living. They definitely represent an architectural statement and become the focal point of your backyard.
But they are significantly more expensive due to construction time and engineering requirements to comply with code. Thereby, some cities/municipalities prohibit fireplaces.
If that's not an issue in your area, but you're tight on budget, there’s another way to light a fire in your backyard.
Choose a fire pit instead. Fire pits are a great alternative to save space and construction time.
At Techo-Bloc, all fire pits are built in stone so they last and don’t rust. They are also designed to be converted to gas or firewood to respect your city’s by-laws.
2. Cut Curves Out
Another element that will affect the cost of your patio is the intricacy of the design. If you want to add interest to your future walkways or retaining walls, you might want to go for curvy, circular or serpentine patterns.
The only thing is, they are considerably more expensive.
That's because they take longer and more effort to cut and build. Whenever a landscape contractor has to spend more time making cuts (cutting paving stones or wall blocks), it translates into higher labor costs.
So stick with rectangular or square designs if you’re budget is tight.
3. Do It in Phases
If you don’t have enough of a budget to build your entire dream landscape project this year, you could work out a master plan now for future building. This means building your backyard in phases over the upcoming years.
In the long run, this approach might come out to more expensive, due to the increase in labor costs, requests for additional permits for complicated work, re-planning, replacing possible damaged material that was installed in the first phase, inflation, etc. And there's always a chance you might change your mind on the initial design or that the situation of your property changes.
If you really can't stand looking at your backyard right now for the life of you or if you're short on funds — but you know more money will be coming in the future — phasing is a good solution.
Make sure you focus on the most important things or more complex work first. Talk to your contractor about prepping the site for future add-ons; plumbing, gas and electrical utilities before the paving work is done can save you time and money in the long run.
4. Don't Slide Sown The Slippery Slope of Leveling the Land
Is the slope of your land cutting away potential outdoor living space? Some people opt for leveling their land. This elevates/fills the ground up to the highest point to make for a larger usable/livable area and, therefore, creates a more suitable site for landscaping or other uses.
This is typically done using earthmoving equipment and other heavy machinery, which means more expenses.
Instead of leveling the land, consider building down into the slope (imagine steps down to an intimate fire pit or pool, like shown in the picture above). This way, you can gain privacy and save your wallet. Pretty neat, huh?
5. Avoid Raising the Patio
More and more people are interested in building raised patios. These give elevation, dimension, and yard separation.
They're beautiful, but they require that a landscape company has good experience installing large structural retaining walls. Raised paver patios are typically much more labor and material intensive, making them costlier than paver patios closer to ground level.
If your patio door is elevated from the ground, use that to your advantage by building sets of pavilions that create outdoor living zones and bring the height down to the ground in phases with steps.
This will reduce construction costs and increase privacy.
Be Budget Savvy
Hooray! You can find clever ways to respect your budget — or go slightly over budget — and still get the desired outdoor features.
It's just a question of picking your battles.
You might find some bumps in the road, but you don't have to let go of your "wants" just yet.
Play with the shapes, sizes, or heights of certain elements to install things that still fit your taste. Make smart choices money-wise and defeat your challenges like a champ.
Remember, your land doesn't own you; you own the land. And you control what you put in it.
So cut down costs if you have to — without sacrificing too much — and allow yourself to create a beautiful outdoor space.
Ready to start your project?