The Drawbacks of DIY Landscaping
We’ve all looked at a daunting home project with the intent to tackle it head-on. But despite our best intentions, life happens, and the project goes unfinished. Or we’ve attempted to make an effort, but the result isn’t quite what we expected.
The same principle applies to your home’s landscaping. This is why it’s sometimes best to hire professionals to tackle these projects. With the help of the pros, you’re more likely to have your vision come to life and completed on time and within budget, even if life gets busy along the way.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Any Landscaping Project
While a DIY landscaping project may sound fun and you might be up for the challenge, make sure you’re prepared before taking on this big endeavour.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is This Your First Landscaping Project?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll need to do plenty of research to understand the work that goes into landscaping projects and to help you determine your landscaping needs.
If you’ve done landscaping projects in the past, then you should already have an idea of the amount of work to expect.
How Large Is the Area You Want to Landscape?
Depending on the size of your property, it can take a long time to complete a landscaping project simply because of the scope of the project. A smaller area is easier to work with on your own compared to a larger property. And larger properties will need multiple workers to get the project completed in a reasonable timeframe.
What Kind of Plants Do You Want?
The type of plants you want may not be suitable for your property’s soil, sun exposure, and microclimate. Also, some plants are harder to maintain than others. So you’ll need an in-depth knowledge of plants before you start your project.
How Much Time and Work Are You Willing to Spend to Maintain Your New Yard?
If your answer is not much or no time at all, then you’ll need to hire professional landscapers to take care of your new yard for you. They’ll also know which plants are low-maintenance and which require more care.
Cons of Doing Your Own Landscaping
While the idea of tackling a landscaping project on your own might sound fun, it’s actually a lot of work.
Here are some of the main drawbacks of DIY landscaping:
Lack of Plant Knowledge
Most people don’t have the in-depth plant knowledge that is required for a successful landscaping project that will thrive for many years. Therefore, choosing plants can be an extremely overwhelming experience. And removing existing plants can also pose a challenge.
Some plants will thrive in the unique conditions of your property while others won’t. And some plants are high-maintenance while others can take care of themselves for the most part.
Also, in order to have an attractive landscape, you’ll need to choose your plants wisely, especially if you want colours and blooms throughout the seasons.
This means you’ll need to spend hours researching the best plants for your property’s location, soil type, sun exposure, drainage, and other conditions that affect this unique microclimate to choose the right plants that will thrive in your landscape.
Landscaping is hard physical labour and a major time commitment, especially when you factor in the regular maintenance that is required to keep your landscape looking great.
It could take months or even years to get your dream landscape. And you’ll have to work evenings and weekends to get it done and to also maintain it.
So unless you love spending your free time working in the yard, the amount of time dedicated to your landscaping project may be too much for some people.
Lack of Specialized Tools
Landscaping projects often require expensive tools and equipment that you likely don’t have already, and probably don’t have any experience using—which becomes a safety hazard.
Along with not being worth the risk to your personal safety, these landscaping tools can end up costing you more to complete the project yourself than it would to hire professional landscapers.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Landscaper
There are many benefits to working with professional landscapers for your project, including:
Landscaping requires extensive knowledge to best enhance the natural features of your property and to create a functional and attractive environment. Professional landscapers have this knowledge, including how to deal with issues that come up in landscaping—such as dry patches of lawn and poor drainage—maintenance issues, and an in-depth knowledge of plants.
Landscapers will also know which plants will thrive on your property based on the unique environment, such as soil conditions, sun exposure, and climate.
Professional landscape designers rely on their expertise and years of experience to come up with many quality design ideas. They can generate new design ideas, spin ideas, and improve on existing versions using their design experience and talent.
Since every garden, yard, and property is unique and also belongs to a larger ecosystem, site analysis is essential in landscape design. Professional landscapers perform site analysis before starting a project to better understand how the natural elements will influence their design.
Stay on Budget
DIY landscaping projects can end up costing you more in the long run than hiring professional landscapers, putting you at risk of going over budget with unexpected costs.
Professional landscape designers are familiar with the costs for any project size. So they can provide you with a realistic estimate to help you stay within your budget.
By providing a reasonable budget range, they can help you determine whether you can afford to complete the project all at once, or if you need to complete it in budget-friendly phases.
Professional landscapers are efficient with their time and have multiple workers, which means your landscaping project will be completed much faster than if you did the work yourself. Also, by leaving the landscaping work to the pros, you can save yourself plenty of time and energy, including for regular landscaping maintenance work. This means you’ll have more time to enjoy your weekends and vacations in summer.
While a DIY landscaping project may sound like a fun idea, make sure you understand the work that goes into these projects so you can decide whether it’s really something you want to do on your own, or if you’d rather enlist the help of the professionals to make your life easier and your landscape project turn out better.
With the help of the pros, you can save money, time, and your body from the strenuous work landscaping projects entail. And you can enjoy your new, quality landscape much sooner than if you did the work on your own.
In 2008, following a successful career as a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Jonathan Robert stepped into the landscaping industry, starting Jonathan Robert Landscapes. In the years since he’s quickly earned a reputation for high-quality work with creative designs and has been recognized in several industry-leading publications. Jonathan’s always got an eye on innovation and is always looking ahead to see what’s on the horizon in the industry. He works hard to stay on top of current guidelines, practices, and regulations. Jonathan is a member of Landscape Ontario, the International Concrete Paving Industry (ICPI), Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), and is a Tech-Pro contractor.