Landscaping Tips Santa Fe NM
Develop a Strategy before Making Purchases
Draw detailed landscape design plans out prior to buying plants, building walkways and garden beds or laying gravel and planting. Make a list of all the plants, materials and rock required to complete the project. This will give you a guide to use to cost out your project from start to finish and potentially cut your costs as well.
Hire a Landscape Designer for your Project
Installing a basic patio or plain deck will cost less, but in the end if you don’t like it after it’s done you will have wasted both time and money. Even if you ARE a do-it-yourselfer, hiring a professional landscape designer to develop your landscape plans will be money well spent. Plans by a landscape designer will cover materials, layout and look and feel of your project. Landscape Designers make a living creating cools outdoor spaces. Investing in expertise pays off in life and business and using a pro for your landscape project is a smart move to make.
Landscape Architect or Designer Consulting
Hiring a landscape designer or architect to create plans for your project is not always necessary. Paying for an hour or two of consulting may be all you need to gain the knowledge you need to make your dream a reality. A strategy session with a pro will give you a guide to create your project, plan it out and then install it yourself.
Purchasing the materials for you project in stages, instead of taking out debt (if you need to do so) and buying them all at once is a financially sound approach. Doing it this way will reduce the cost of your project because you won’t be paying loan interest, you’ll be able to monitor your project more easily and you’ll be able to amend you plans at each step because you’re approaching it in stages instead of all at once.
You Get What You Pay For, So Don’t be Too Thrifty, you may Pay Later
Buying at big box home improvement places often gives the discerning buyer great prices because these businesses can buy in huge quantities. But, that doesn’t mean you should buy there blindly. Often times the specialty stores give better advice, offer better materials and better product guarantees. For example if you’re installing a water feature if you go to a big box they may have what you need for the project, but the store personnel will not know much of anything. At the big box home improvement store quite often its every customer for themselves and in the end you would have been better off going to a store that specializes in what you’re doing, paying extra and getting the guidance you need to make it happen right the first time.
Costing Less May Be Okay – Do Your Homework
Many times high cost does not equate with better. Some items economy priced goods are literally almost as good or just a good as the item that costs the most. For example, plants at big box stores like annuals and perennials may be way less than your local nursery, but are without any doubt the same quality plant. Buy the big box plant, save money and get the same quality item. But, do your homework because the care given by staff at a big box to plants and inventory is normally not as good as it is at a local small business.
Plan When You Buy
Buying landscape project materials at the right time can be a great way to save money. For example, wood for landscape projects will normally be less when it’s cold than in the summer months. Plants and materials like mulch and soil will go on sale when the summer is end and fall is approaching. Buying new types plant right when they hit the floor at your local nursery or big box home improvement store will cost you more so wait until the inventory has been there awhile and the store puts them on sale to move the merchandise.
Buy On-Line and Via Mail-Order and Save
Direct mail catalog suppliers and web sites offering plants and cool specialty landscaping items are great place to find unique and wonderful items you won’t find locally. Buying on-line and over the phone can save you money and reduce the hassle of having to drive around to make your landscaping product purchases.
Research Different Plant Sources
Local botanical centers, Future Farmers of America and Arboretums are great places to buy plants for your project, potentially at great prices. The City of Santa Fe offers mulch at its transfer station off of Buckman Road for sale. Sometimes there are places where construction materials like bricks are available for sale from building demolitions.
Neighborly Can Save Money
Neighbors can save each other money by sharing in the rental cost of workhorse landscaping and gardening tools like a rototiller, wood chipper and jackhammer. Each person uses it for an agreed to period of time and then delivers it to the next person to use. The last person using the item returns the rental to the rental equipment business, on time of course.
Figure out How Much Materials is needed for Your Project
Estimating the amount of material you need for your project can seem overwhelming. Materials are sold by weight (by the ton) or volume (cubic yard or cubic feet). From a logical standpoint a ton (2,000 pounds) sounds like large amount, but if the material is not loose, but compact like sand or soil a ton will only cover a certain amount of ground at fixed depth level. A ton of sand, dirt or gravel, is less than 1 cubic yard and it covers a section of land that is 3 feet long by 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep. Here are some basic facts to know:
- 1 ton of sand or pea gravel 2 inches deep covers about one hundred square feet
- Truck capacity is vastly different than what people think. A pickup with a fill sized bed can carry 2 to 3 cubic yards of dirt, sand or gravel, but the rating for what the truck can really carry is most likely less. Know that if you’re ordering material from a gravel supply company like Albert Montano Sand and Gravel, a truck with a single-axle carries 5 to 7 cubic a yards and a truck with a double-axle carries about 10 cubic yards.
- 1 ton of ¼” to 3/4” decorative rock or gravel will cover 110 to 120 square feet about 2 inches deep.