As a custom luxury home builder in Tucson AZ for over 20 years, I’ve noticed one item that often doesn’t get enough credit or enough budget. Landscaping. Especially in Tucson, where people choose to move to from all over the country. They come for the weather, to be outside, to get away from the cold and constant overcast. I know …. I’m one of them. When folks visit friends or just come out for a vacation, they fall in love with the place, and some decide to design and build their dream home.
Understandably the design process focuses on the home itself. The number of bedrooms and baths, perhaps an open floor plan for a more casual relaxed lifestyle, a home theater room to take advantage of technology, steam showers, whirlpool baths, flat screen TV’s in almost every room, large kitchens with islands, double dishwashers, built in ovens, refrigerators, and coffee makers, and large Wolf or Viking ranges.
But…the icing on the cake, and how you feel about your home starts with the exterior. It’s that sense of pride of ownership you get as you drive up to it day or night. Landscaping makes the difference. From the front to the back. My recommendation is too hire a landscape architect as part of the design team early on. Begin planning your back yard oasis from the start. It’s where you’ll spend a lot time relaxing, dining outside, swimming, entertaining. With a completed landscape plan you’ll know how much it costs, how much to budget. You can weigh the cost of outdoor living with the other choices you’ll be making inside.
Rather than sticking a dollar allowance figure in your budget to cover future landscape, actually price it out so the money is there and you can finish your home the way it should be and the way you’ll love it. There are always changes and modifications you want to do as your home is being built. As it takes shape you’ll see something you couldn’t visualize on the plans or something new will come out that you have to have. Modifications usually get paid for out of pocket and are not a part of the construction loan. The long and the short of it is unless you have the correct amount of money set aside and in the budget for landscape you probably won’t have enough to complete the project and have it be as wonderful as possible.
Here are some photos of a couple landscape projects McCreary Homes have installed in Tucson.