Transforming your outdoor living space is a smart investment. By using durable, quality products for your patio, outdoor kitchen, retaining walls, and other aspects of your landscape, you will ensure years of enjoyment in the fresh open air. As you begin the process of developing and building a more practical and pleasing landscape, six considerations will affect the costs involved.
1. Your Space
Topography, climate, views, and privacy all affect the design and cost of your outdoor space. The best landscape design will maximize the features you love about your existing yard, minimize its shortcomings, and give you a wonderfully usable outdoor living space that extends your enjoyment of the great outdoors.
Size matters. Costs definitely depend on the size of the space, but a bigger space will often have a lower cost per square foot than a smaller size. Costs associated with the existing space may also depend on the need for grading, excavating, drainage solutions, soil mitigation, and leveling.
This beautiful Unilock Rivercrest wall creates more useable space on a sloped lot, while adding visual interest and gardening opportunities.
2. The People (and Pets) Who Will Use Your Landscape
The activities you’ll be hosting and the people you will be having over affect the total investment you’ll make in your outdoor living space. Think beyond how you’ll use it on a daily basis (although that’s an important consideration) and give thought to children, pets, and guests who will use it often, as well as whether you want the space to be fully accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
While the number of amenities will add to the enjoyment and versatility of your outdoor living space, they will also add to your landscape project’s bottom line. A fully functional, modern outdoor kitchen designed for making large evening dinners a seamless experience is going to cost more than a simple BBQ island that a family of four can happily enjoy on weeknights.
Safety and accessibility are important and come up with their own requirements, from how many steps you may need in a walkway to whether a set of stairs needs a railing or not. (Looking for some great ideas your landscape? Check out the Unilock Design Idea Catalog.
3. Dedicated Spaces to Each Activity
Weigh the pros and cons of various layouts. You may opt for a large expanse of patio that could be a more affordable option than a full-blown outdoor living project that serves every single need of your family. The complexity level of the project will affect the overall cost. Dividing up your space into multiple rooms that each require power lines for their amenities falls into a higher cost range than something far simpler. However, a simpler landscape design may not yield the outdoor livability you’re ultimately aiming to achieve. Breaking up a yard into outdoor rooms can add to the cost of the project, but it’s an expense that can yield a significantly higher return in terms of usability, enjoyment, and, very likely, the overall value of your property.
4. Important Features
Even the most ordinary outdoor living space can become extraordinary with the addition of a fireplace, hot tub, or other focal point. Custom features like a beautiful patio with a personalized inlay design can draw attention to one area of your landscape, or a retaining wall with a water feature could block your neighbor’s prying eyes while offering a soothing sound. What you decide to include in your project will affect up-front spending, but you may save money over time if you make the right choices. For instance, an irrigation system to efficiently care for the garden you’ve had built within a stone border will cut back on energy costs but will require an initial investment to have it done just right. Poured concrete for a driveway may require less cost to build at first, but its replacement costs — after it becomes damaged and cracked — will negate those apparent savings. Concrete pavers not only last longer, they are easier and less expensive to replace.
Investing in high-quality, durable products that will last in your landscape requires you to think ahead and should be a part of your budget planning. A poorly installed patio will heave after the first few winters. A patio made of lesser quality pavers may show wear over time, and the color you fell in love with is likely to fade as the years go by. By opting for quality materials that age beautiful and require little to no maintenance, you can be confident in the investment you’re making today.
Also think through how the expectations for your landscape will change over time. While custom features can potentially add to the budget, you can work in stages and have them installed over the course of several seasons to spread out the cost. Utilities can be installed during the earliest stages for simpler installations of outdoor kitchens, water features, or fireplaces when you are ready.
Careful planning can help you achieve this Brussels Block pool deck with BBQ grill island and pizza oven.
Careful thought is needed when selecting materials for your outdoor living space. Up-front costs may be higher for premium materials, but the cost over the life of your project will be less than other, poorly lasting options. Pavers that are low-maintenance, durable, and long-lasting will minimize the ongoing expense of maintaining your landscape while also increasing its overall value.
A major landscape construction project involves many details and considerations that have an impact on the costs involved. Since 1972, we have partnered with homeowners to help them realize their vision for outdoor living spaces they will treasure for many years. We can help you through the entire process — from finding a landscape contractor to exploring design ideas, and choosing the type of beautiful paver and wall products that you won’t find anywhere else.
When you invest in Unilock products and hire a Unilock Authorized Contractor, you are investing in the future of your landscape and ensuring that you’ll achieve the best possible project for your investment.