E X P R E S S I O N
Can I do my own landscaping? DIY tips and tricks.
5 June 2020
Yes! With a little preparation and the right plan, you can start a DIY landscaping project. We've gathered the information to get you started today as well as some helpful advice to keep things running smoothly.
Some things to think about first.
1) How difficult is the project and how much experience do you have in the area?
If this is your first time attempting anything resembling landscaping or construction, keep your project simple and small. Jumping straight into a retaining wall project on your first attempt may leave you with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Backyard Edition. Great first timers include garden edging and non-weight baring gardens.
2) Have you done your research?
By reading this, I'd say you are at that point now. Look into specifics of the project you are attempting and make sure you understand building codes and compliance otherwise you might get an angry letter from council come your way. Even worse, if somebody is hurt and your project is non-compliant, you will be in a world of trouble. We can help, we offer DIY consultations and guidance to ensure you adhere to all the laws and are on the right track for a structurally integral project, learn more here.
3) When do you need it finished?
If this is your first time, it probably isn't wise to start a project mid November when you have all your family visiting over Christmas. Don't add stress to your shoulders by rushing a completion. You need time to think about the process and be able to take your time with all the steps. At the same time, make sure you've allocated a finish expectation otherwise DIY projects can often be started and years later are still sitting unfinished. Think about and manage your time, do you have weekends available for the project, every second weekend, afternoons?
4) How is your space used?
Do you have children or pets? Make sure your landscaping is considered and is safe and practical for your family and lifestyle.
Design first, install third.
The biggest issue we see with DIY projects is that the design has not been considered. Elements such as position, practicality, style and purpose are integral to your landscaping project. The second biggest issue we see is measuring. Measure twice, cut once is the golden rule of construction. You can end up with a poorly shaped design or wasting materials which ends up costing as much as having a professional install your landscaping in the first place. For tips on designing your landscaping, have a look at our design tips.
How do you do your own landscaping? Landscaping for beginners.
1) The first step is simple, clean your space.
The most overwhelming part of landscaping is often the mess and clutter in your area. Just pick a spot and start clearing the area, once you have completed this you'll be surprised at how much easier the project feels.
2) Any structural elements should be installed first.
It is much easier to dress your hardscaping with plants and gardens than it is to try to protect your plants during construction.
3) Consider size of plants.
When considering all your softscaping, make sure to do research on the growth rate and size of the plants otherwise one plant may take over your garden and suffocate the others or could encroach on spaces you don't want it to.
4) Focus your energy.
Your front and backyard landscaping are going to bring you the most value in selling and your lifestyle. Don't forget about your sideways though, simple pathways with pebbles and steppers can ensure these areas are not an eye sore and are safe and practical.
5) Don't install anything you can't maintain.
Have loads of free time now? Think about down the track, will your situation change? If so, can you dedicate the same time to maintaining your outdoor space? If not, it's better to stick to low maintenance options or ask an expert to install an irrigation system for self-care.
6) Lastly, don't be afraid to get help.
There are Gold Coast landscapers that offer design consultations for DIY projects, this is helpful for designing, measuring and planning your process.
How can I landscape my yard cheaply?
1) Understand your project and set a budget. Know what you will need for your project, do you need timber, screws, brackets, specific tools? What do you already have and what will you need? Be realistic and set your budget according to a well thought out plan otherwise you may run out of funds before you can finish.
2) For gardens, opt for mulch over pebble for a cheaper alternative. You can make your own mulch from leaves and clippings or you can purchase mulch, the cheapest alternative is budget mulch. Garden edging is quite cheap, as low as 30 cents per block.
3) Paint rather than replace. If something is starting to look a little sad, a clean, touch of new paint or a stain and oil could be all it needs to breathe back some life into it.
4) An outdoor fire pit is a great option for a cost effective outdoor space. Fire pits can be created from almost anything including bricks if you're building one or even old wheelbarrows for a rustic alternative. Just make sure you research to ensure your medium is safe and can handle the heat and place your fire pit away from any growth, overhanging trees, structures or your house.
5) Solar lighting can be purchased relatively cheap and can bring gardens and trees to life. It creates a completely different atmosphere at night.
6) Some simple elements that offer big investments include turf, turf edging and low-maintenance plants and gardens. New turf can be quite pricey but you may be able to save your existing lawn with lawn seeds and fertilizers,
7) Research your suppliers to compare prices and pick up materials when you can to save delivery charges.
Got any questions about your DIY project? Drop a comment below and we will assist in anyway we can. Alternatively, request a DIY Consultation and Guidance from our expert landscaper.