5 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Custom Home

Written By: Mason Shaffer

May 5, 2021 9:40:56 AM

One of the best things about building a custom home is that you get to make all of the decisions and therefore create a place that is truly your own. While a lot of the attention might be fixed on the home itself (and for good reason), it’s important that the exterior elements are not overlooked. This is just as much an opportunity to create the perfect landscape as it is the perfect home.

In fact, the last thing that you want is to make mistakes when landscaping for custom homes. Now is the time to think about planning for the outdoor spaces so that the property can truly be enjoyed to the fullest. After all, the outdoor appeal is what draws so many people to Bozeman and Big Sky, MT in the first place. You want to be sure that you’re capitalizing on that.

Landscape Planning for New Custom Homes: Mistakes to Avoid

Let’s look at some of the biggest mistakes that can be made when creating a landscape design for custom homes so that they can be avoided.

Here are 5 that come to mind.

1. Failing to Think about the View from the Windows

One thing that is so beneficial about creating the landscape design for custom homes ahead of building the home itself is that you can think about all of the views from the windows. You’re already likely thinking about capitalizing on the views outside by putting windows in certain spots.

But it makes sense to also think about the landscape you’ll be adding and what will be visible in different parts of the house. Is there a specimen tree that the homeowners love that they want to see from their kitchen window? Will they be adding a wildflower meadow and want to be able to view it from inside of the home?

These are important considerations. Failing to think about the view from the windows is a missed opportunity.Planting viewed from outside

2. Blocking a View

As much as you want to think about enjoying views to the fullest, you also want to plan ahead so that you aren’t obstructing any views. One of the most frustrating mistakes is when the views are not taken into account and a structure, like a pergola, is installed and completely blocks the view!

Maybe the kitchen window had an amazing view of the scenic mountainscape. But a poorly placed pergola now obstructs that view entirely.

When creating a landscape design for a custom home, the placement of any and all structures on the property must be taken into full consideration. They obviously need to go in a location where they look great. But they should not negatively impact a view or another area of the property.making sure best views can be seen from everywhere

3. Planting in the Wrong Place

There’s a saying in the landscape industry that goes, “right plant, right place.” It’s a simple way of saying that certain plants need to be installed in certain areas of the property (depending on specific site conditions) in order to perform their best. If plants are installed in the wrong place, they’re never going to perform optimally.

When you’re thinking about hiring a professional for landscape design for a custom home, it’s important that they have the horticultural expertise to make these wise choices. Otherwise, the landscape is never going to look or perform its best.

But on top of the environmental considerations that need to go into play when choosing the “right plant for the right place,” there’s also a critical element of design to it. You want to make sure that the plants all look good together. Everything from the color scheme to the layout and the groupings really comes into play with creating an aesthetically appealing design.

When landscaping for custom homes, it’s ideal that all of this is thought about upfront as opposed to being an afterthought. This will be truly critical when it comes to getting the best results.Right plants, right place

4. Failing to Think about the Future

During a custom home build, it’s easy to get caught up in the “here and now.” But it’s important to remember that the landscaping is a living and evolving thing that is going to change over time. What the plants look like now is not what they’ll look like 5 years down the road.

This brings up a few important points.

For one, it’s essential that you are choosing a landscaper who has the horticultural expertise to think about the long-term. They should know what the full maturity of the plants they’re installing will look like. For example, the last thing you want them to do is install a tree too close to a patio and have its roots start to lift up the pavers.

The full maturity of plants also comes into play for things like proper spacing in a plant bed. You have to consider how much room plants will need as they grow.

But failing to think about the future also comes into play with the ongoing maintenance needs of the landscape.
Maintenance team caring for a landscape
We’ve written an article about designing a home landscape and reminding folks that it’s important to remember you’ll have to maintain it, too.

That’s because people do tend to get caught up in making decisions that look the best (and sometimes fail to think about what will perform the best). Most of the time, people want a low maintenance landscape that doesn’t mean constant work to keep it looking great. These decisions are best made during the design and planning process.

5. Not Considering the So-Called “Small Details”

As a custom home builder, you know that the small details really do matter to your clients. The same goes for landscaping for custom homes. Every detail should be thought-out in advance and nothing should be overlooked.

This includes everything from the location of electrical outlets to optimize your clients’ use of the space to the foot traffic patterns that people will likely follow while walking through and around the space. The way the wind blows, where to optimize views, strategic plant placement, and so many other details come into play when creating a landscape. It’s important that your landscaping partner takes all of these details seriously.

In fact, we’d go as far as to say there are no “small details.” Every single detail matters when it comes to creating the landscape and the home of your clients’ dreams.All the small planting details

Smart Landscape Planning for New Custom Homes

Success with a new custom home comes down to forming a partnership with a trusted landscape partner. With how important the “outdoors” are to your clients, you want to find someone who takes the entire process seriously.

At Blanchford Landscape Group, we are used to working hand-in-hand with custom home builders that we have partnered with. We’re here to help with some of the complexities of the project and to be their “outdoor experts.”

You’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re responsible for so many elements of the custom home build that you want to know you can rely on someone to handle the outdoor portion of the design. We’re here to be your trusted partner.

At the end of the day, we also understand that it’s your reputation on the line. That’s why we’re here to make YOU look good. You can count on us to have your back. We are proud to be the type of landscaping company that other professionals have turned to for our expertise and guidance.

If you’re a custom home builder in the Bozeman or Big Sky, MT area and would like to learn more about how we can help on your next project, let’s connect. We love partnering with winners and would love a chance to succeed together.

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Topics: Landscape Design, Custom Home Builders

Posted by Mason Shaffer

Mason has earned both a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture prior to joining our team in 2011. Outside of work, you will find Mason spending quality time with his wife and two little girls. They will likely be exploring the outdoors, camping, fishing, golfing, planting, or just playing in the dirt.

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