Should I act as my own landscape Contractor?

Design Plans are the first step - Landscape design in the Inland Empire  areaA great divide exists in the home improvement industry between service professionals and the DIY (do it yourself) community. Home-improvement box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s spent a large amount of advertising dollars empowering the weekend warrior that they can do a job just as good as the professionals… and this may be true!

As a professional landscape design firm we often get asked by our customers:

“Can I build what your designs layout?”

Our answer: “Absolutely yes, well no, kinda, sure… maybe?”

When dealing with a professional landscape project you should treat it as you would any other home-improvement project for your Inland Empire area home. Determine what you can… and can’t do. Below is some useful information to help you determine if you should act as your own landscape contractor

“I can save a ton of money if I do it myself”, right?…

This age old question is one we, at Bella Terra Landscape Design, come across frequently as a landscape design firm when it comes to the installation of our clients projects. Once landscape design plans for your Inland Empire area home are in hand, with everything detailed and outlined; so it should be a piece of cake to implement what’s on paper, right? Well… yes and no.

One of the main reasons for having landscape design plans professionally drafted is to save money by clearly identifying what goes where and in what order. So YES.. The Inland Empire area homeowner can be their own landscape contractor and put into production what is set forth in their landscape design. However, the skill set of the homeowner will determine how much of the project can be completed without professional assistance.

What should typical DIYer’s attempt to install on their own when attacking their landscape projects?

Again, much of this depends on the skill level of the Inland Empire area homeowner (or if they invite uncle Bob to come over and help) but there are certainly elements of landscape construction that most everyday Jane and John Doe’s can do… and some they should consider having a licensed contractor install. However, here are a few things to the average DIY’er can usually do:

Demolition of existing yard items, running irrigation lines, mulching, softscape planting and low voltage lighting installation are examples of much more manageable landscape installation elements. Projects like removing old cracked concrete, outdated pavers or small trees and shrubs that have seen better days are a great way to get more involved in your project and save money doing so.  Installing drip irrigation, running low voltage wiring throughout the yard and placing bark mulch or decorative rock around plants and open areas are laborious, but not difficult.

Call Bella Terra Landscape Designs Today – (855) YARD-PLANS

Some things are best left to the pros - Landscape design in the Inland Empire  areaWhat landscape projects should be left to the professional contractors?

While we recommend that the entire project be done be a local Inland Empire area professional landscape contractor to ensure the perfect look according to the design plans, there are some items that should be left to the professionals. Pools, large retaining walls, drainage, building structures, large tree installation, paver patio’s, deck construction, brick and stone work, waterscapes and finished concrete work may not be some of the ideal projects for a weekend warrior to attempt to install on their own.

Construction elements like these require years of experience, tools and techniques to make sure they are done correctly. Professional Inland Empire area contractors have knowledge of local City and/or County codes, which will be invaluable as these elements will often require several inspections and possible even engineering details and stamped plans.

Weigh the costs… now and long term!

When everything is said and done; yes, a typical Inland Empire area DIY’er can attempt to install many of these aforementioned portions of typical landscape construction. However, if elements outlined in your professional landscape design plans are not installed properly it can often end up costing the you more in the long run. Improper or incorrect installation or preparation for elements to be done at a later phase can often come back to bite you. Regret is a difficult pill to swallow when spending countless hours and dollars only to be disappointed with the final outcome of your hard work that was not done right the first time.

Here’s some unsolicited advice…

My advice, as the owner of a landscape design firm for nearly 15 years in the Inland Empire area now, is to take a step back and create a list of the elements to be installed that are realistically achievable; taking into account your available time and knowledge. Choose carefully those projects that you can confidently do vs. those that will need the skills of a professional to install. At the end of the day I feel you will be much more satisfied knowing you did the right thing with your time and money… and of course will have a beautiful yard to enjoy for years to come to show for it.

A Path to Perfection

At Bella Terra Landscape Design, we work hard to produce a landscape design plan that exceeds the customers expectations. Beginning with a tour and discussion of the Inland Empire area yard we can design, in detail, a landscape design that will transform your backyard into an extension of your home. When choosing to have professional landscape services done, be sure to start with a competent plan that will provide the path to perfection that you desire for your Inland Empire area home.

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