It’s March. April, spring and warm temperatures are just around the corner.
A big part of that is setting – and sticking to – a budget that allows for two things:
- To have a gorgeous outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining family and friends
- To increase the overall curb appeal and value of your home
In order to make certain you get maximum value for your dollar, here are some budget basics to follow.
Your budget should be…
- Realistic: It would be nice to have unlimited funds at your disposal. Since most of us don’t, we need to be honest about what we can afford to spend.
- Organized: Most landscaping projects have multiple facets, like installing new patio stones or building stone steps. Divide your budget according to everything you want in your project (including labour if you’re hiring a landscape contractor).
- Trackable: Every dollar you spend is an investment. Lost or wasted dollars can hurt your project. Make certain everything (such as delivery costs or pizza costs if friends are helping you) can be accounted for.
- Flexible: Every project, no matter how big or small, will encounter some unexpected costs. Give yourself some flexibility (and peace of mind) by budgeting for any pop-up or additional costs.
How to make your budget
Planning the project is fun and exciting.
First, create a general list of everything you’d like to include in your new landscaping, such as:
- Fresh mulch and topsoil for the garden beds
- A new retaining wall
- An outdoor kitchen or firepit
- Landscape lighting
- A new irrigation or sprinkler system
- Decorative landscaping rocks
Once you know everything you’d like to have, it’s time to narrow it down and make a priority list of the areas and items you want to focus on.
Something else to consider: if you have multiple areas you want to upgrade (such as your front lawn, side walkway or backyard patio), then it makes sense to break up your landscaping project into different stages.
That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed. And you’ll be able to give 100% attention to each separate area.
How to stick to your budget
After you’ve pulled out your calculator and determined how much you can spend, the next step is sticking to that number.
Some ways to do that are:
- Try to do as much of the work yourself as possible
- Only purchase your items from a reputable landscape supplier
- Keep on the lookout for deals and specials on the materials you need
- Subscribe to landscaping blogs which are informative and helpful
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If you plan on using a professional for some or all of the work, make sure you get a clear and accurate estimate first before signing a contract.
And if your landscape contractor will charge for consultation time, make sure you get that in writing and know exactly how much that’ll cost.
Whoever is doing the work, save every receipt you possibly can.
There are certain expenses you can actually claim at tax time (for example, if you own a rental property, you can deduct the cost of landscaping the grounds around your rental property in the year you paid the cost).
Other costs to consider in your budget
Earlier, we talked about delivery costs as a budget line item.
Here are a few other items which will impact the overall cost of your landscape project:
- City permits (if needed)
- Seasonal charges/price fluctuations in certain materials
- Any storage costs to be incurred
- Purchasing new tools for the project
Make your dollars go further at Grand River Natural Stone
We’re all about helping homeowners in Southwestern Ontario achieve the landscape of their dreams.
How? By providing a wide range of products at fair prices and topping it off with expert advice.
Once you have your budget set, contact us to learn more about our products or for a FREE (now that’s a great price) quote.
You’ll be amazed at how far your dollars will stretch with us!