I just bought a newly built home. What can I expect when it’s time to do my landscaping?
First off, congratulations on buying your home!
Speaking from experience, it is really something special to be the first owner of a new home. There is just something about that brand new appeal that never gets old!
For most of us who buy new construction homes, there is an HOA that manages the community, and with that comes certain rules and restrictions. One of the most common is your deadline to complete your landscaping.
Yep, that’s right. The builder won’t do that for you! Call your friends and family and break out the shovels and post hole diggers!
How should I prepare?
First, you’ll need to check with your HOA to see how much time you’ll have to complete your landscaping.
Most have hard deadlines, like within the first 6 or 12 months of closing. Some HOAs are flexible with these dates, while others are not.
Ask how flexible they are with their deadlines when you contact them. In most cases, as long as they know you are moving forward and they can see that work is being done on the home, they will work with you.
Next, start working on quotes. Contact a few landscaping companies and schedule appointments.
(Make sure they are licensed and bonded.)
It’s also best to have at least have some basic ideas of what you want so they can build their designs around that. What kinds of trees and bushes do you want? Real grass or artificial? Pool or no pool? Standard or solar heating for said pool. Review your quotes with your project managers and get those revisions ironed out.
Once you have your design complete, you’ll most likely need to submit your plans to your HOA for approval. This can sometimes be a lengthy process, and they may charge additional fees for each item submitted.
You’ll want your submission package to be as complete as possible to avoid additional fees.
After you choose your company, you can expect to put down a deposit of anywhere between 25-50% of the estimated total cost, with the balance due at completion or as the project progresses.
Your landscaping company is now on the clock! Make sure you know who to contact for the work being done, as well as billing.
This is where it can get tricky. You’ll want estimated timelines before the work even starts. This will allow you to monitor each phase of the buildout.
You don’t need to be a watchdog, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the landscaping company honest and know when certain things should be done.
If you don’t, this is when unforeseen delays can happen, timelines can get pushed, and homeowners get unhappy.
Expect the crews to start early, but don’t expect them to be there each day. They probably have other jobs to work on and due to workload may not work on yours every single day.
Hint: Ask your project manager if you have questions on the work schedule.
Additional crews may be also needed for things like digging (swimming pools), concrete pouring, and covered patio assembly.
Each will have their own schedule and will work independently of the other crews. Keep in mind that the work of one team can have a direct effect on the work that another team is able to do.
Again, this is where it is important to understand timelines with your project manager. Be informed and ask questions if you have concerns. Don’t let a three week job turn into a three month job!
If all goes to plan, you’ll have a beautiful backyard landscaping as you envisioned… or better!
Before making the final payment, you’ll want to ensure that any final inspections are complete, such as a covered patio or a gas line, where a permit was required to install.
Make sure your backyard is exactly as you want it, with no hanging items before you pay. Once that final payment is made, companies tend to keep moving to the next project, sometimes forgetting those minor details they promised you.
We wish you the best of luck in your landscaping endeavors.
For a list of Landscape companies that we’ve had positive experiences from, please fill out the contact section and we’ll send your way ASAP!