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Finishing Your Backyard

New construction homes are wonderful because they are in tip-top shape, but they don't usually come with finished landscaping. After choosing all your finishes and waiting patiently to sign the papers, you're finally home! Now its time to tackle the dirt- and rock-covered backyard. Here are some landscaping tips to take you from rocks and dirt to a beautifully planned backyard your family can enjoy

Make a Budget

It is easy to get distracted while planning a good backyard space. There are so many options like playsets, in-ground trampolines, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens. Knowing your financial goals and prioritizing is the best way to stay on track. Before you buy the fun stuff, you need to buy your basics like rock walls, sod, fencing, and patio materials. Calculate the costs of different types of materials, such as a PVC fence versus a cast iron fence.

Hire the Right Professionals

If you are hiring out the heavy construction work, be sure to interview multiple contractors and get bids.  You may be surprised at how much the labor costs can vary and will appreciate a good deal when it leaves you more money for fun. Ask to see photos of work they have done, and there may even be some homes they did in the local neighborhood. You can ask for the address so you can drive by and see their work in person. This can give you a good idea of the quality they produce.

Know your Property Lines

This is crucial when landscaping your property. You don't want to find yourself in trouble for encroaching on a neighbor's property line. To learn where this line is you can make a quick trip to the county recorder's office, where they have access to this information. When you are choosing your fence for the yard you might want to consult with your neighbors. They may be willing to split the cost of the portion that runs along their property line. 

Retaining Walls

If your lot is sloped you may need a retaining wall to help level off the yard. These walls vary in price depending on the materials you use, but can really help make the yard usable. Rock walls have more of a natural look with stacked boulders, but there are many other blocks or cement walls that can be made. A contractor should be able to survey the yard and let you know what they recommend.

Finishing your backyard is exciting and a great investment in your property value if you spend your money wisely. Find a good local contractor to help you get started.