Guest Post: Planning Your Landscaping

Planning Your Landscaping
By: Guest Contributor, Mike Holmes

Are you taking on any landscaping projects this season? Now is the time homeowners usually start to plan. Most people want to jump right into landscaping and get their dream backyard ready for the summertime. But, take your time to plan out your landscaping — it can lead to serious issues for you and your neighbours.

Protecting Your Home

I always tell homeowners to keep the garden far away from your home and leave the ground near the walls undisturbed. In the spring time as snow starts to melt, you may notice water in your basement. Your landscaping might be the reason water is seeping into your basement this year.

Your house needs to breathe. If there isn’t enough space between your house and any shrubs or plants, moisture can build up which can lead to mould, termites, and other insects. You don’t want to create the perfect environment for these kinds of things—especially right next to your house.

Think About Safety and Security

Landscaping is also about safety and security. Do you have kids that you want to keep in view when they are playing outside? Are there pets you need to protect? Do you want your landscaping to increase privacy?

Landscaping can also protect the exterior of your house from bad weather, sun and heat. What you do on the exterior of a house will affect its interior. You have to be smart. Think about how you can take advantage of sunlight in the winter. If you live in an area with strong winds, think about using your landscaping to block those tough winds that can damage your home’s exterior.

Planning It Right

Just how trees keep us cool outside, they can help keep us cool inside too. They provide a natural way to block the higher temperatures from entering our homes. If you’re thinking of doing some landscaping, plant a few extra trees around your house. Keep in mind that large trees have large branches and foliage. This can direct more water to the house, including the roof, siding and foundation, which leads to more wear and tear.

Planting a garden against your home’s walls might seem nice. But by planting right against your home, you are creating airspace in the firmly packed soil. So when you water the plants, where do you think the water is going? Its going straight to your foundation and can cause a leaky basement. Keep gardens and plants away from your home’s walls.

I’m not a landscaper but I care about landscaping. Why? Because landscaping affects a home. Most people think landscaping is a way to feature the house – increase its curb appeal. But more than just eye candy, landscaping around a house serves a purpose. Plan it right or bring in a pro to help you.