How to Landscape a Backyard?

A small garden with plenty of creative touches including a live wreath, a lantern, a birdhouse and a rock stack.

Landscaping can improve a home’s value significantly—by as much as 15 percent, according to some research. But that’s only if it looks great. Landscaping that isn’t done well can actually have the opposite effect and diminish your home’s value. That’s why it’s so important to think through your landscaping plans and ensure that they’re done right.

We’ve rounded up some advice that will help answer how to landscape a backyard?

DIY Landscaping Vs. Hiring a Pro

When thinking about landscaping a backyard, many homeowners consider DIY landscaping. Usually this is a monetary reason—why pay for something you can do yourself?

The trouble is, landscaping is a bit more complicated than a lot of homeowners initially realize. Once they recognize what’s involved, it’s usually obvious why it’s worth paying a pro. Landscaping takes everything from skill and know-how to an eye for design. Even plant installation can require some vital knowledge. You’ll need to consider which plants are best suited to which parts of your property, both because of environmental conditions but also how big they will get.

For instance, a shrub might be small now but how big is it ultimately going to be—and at its full-grown size is it actually not going to be a good fit for that space? There is often a lot to consider. Even the root system of trees and shrubs can become problematic if not accounted for. A tree planted too close to a patio, for example, can actually start to lift your pavers and cause structural damage.

For these reasons, it’s often best left to a pro to handle your landscaping.

Backyard Design—and Designing for Small Backyards

When working with a pro, the backyard landscaping process will begin with a design that takes into account what you want your finished project to look like. A good landscape design is a mix of wants and needs from the client combined with the expertise of the professional. You have problems—they have solutions. For instance, you want to be able to create more shade on your property and a landscape professional will know just the right plants to do that.

A landscape pro will even have solutions for a small backyard. With a small space, you really want to maximize what you have while still making it aesthetically appealing. This will require that close attention is paid to details such as plant size, color, and even privacy. Oftentimes, with a smaller property, you’re right on top of your neighbor. But the right plant selection and landscape design can actually help you create valuable privacy.

Landscaping Backyards Before Selling

As we mentioned, landscaping is unequivocally linked to overall home value, so choosing to landscape before selling is a smart move. Adding outdoor living spaces, like those seen on HGTV, can really boost your home’s value—as well as your own enjoyment while you are living there. Down the road, when potential buyers see these spaces—and can envision themselves enjoying them to the fullest—it pushes them toward the sale.

How Much Does it Cost to Landscape a Backyard?

If you’re planning to have a backyard landscaped professionally, then you might be wondering how much you’ll need to invest. The truth is, the number can really run the gamut. There are so many different factors that can impact pricing.

The key is to begin any backyard landscaping project with a realistic budget. The first step in developing your budget is to determine exactly what you want your project to include. You might split your list into “must-haves” and “wants,” with the “wants,” being something that you’re willing to take off the list in order to bring the price down.

Oftentimes, if your list far exceeds your budget then you can talk to a landscape professional about having your project “phased.” This is a great way to work toward the ultimate dream backyard that you desire but doing it in affordable stages. Of course, this will only work if a professional design (or “master plan”) takes your future plans into account from the start.

Choosing a Backyard Landscaping Pro

Your next step is to meet with a professional and start discussing some of your ideas. They can help guide you on what can be achieved within the confines of your budget so that all of your needs are met. This will help you get the backyard you’ve been dreaming of while also boosting the value of your home making it a win across the board.