February 14, 2019
If you’re thinking of building an extension to your house, it can often be easy to overlook your garden, but there are things you should consider before you undertake your development. Building projects are costly and complex things and it can be very difficult to see beyond the indoor space you’re aiming to create – we should know, we’ve been there many times before. Here are some things you can do to plan your outdoor space effectively when your indoor space is being extended.
When you get an extension on your house, if you don’t think about your outdoor space until after the project is finished and potentially, all your budget is spent, you may have missed out on some important opportunities.
When you start a building project you will create lots of rubble and create piles of top and sub soil. Conventionally these materials end up in a skip or a grab truck and at great cost – to you and the environment in terms of CO2 as the trucks pump their fumes along the road.
So a little forethought can find ways to utilise the rubble, for example, as hardcore under new patios and pathways, and to use the surplus soil, for example, terracing the lawn, or even creating landscape features such as a gentle “hillock” to give a completely new aspect to the garden.
Beyond the rubble there are often materials with visual and tactile properties, such as reclaimed tiles, old timber, stone, and brick, these all have potential for reuse in new and creative ways, e.g. retaining gabion cages filled with rocks or bricks, bricks and tiles used to form the pillars on a gazebo, old timbers used for making benches and pergolas.
Taking the upcycling route not only saves you the money it would cost you to dispose of the material, it saves you buying material later when you realise you do actually need a pile of hardcore, soil, bricks etc.
Future garden considerations
If you’re planning an extension, it may be on your radar to have your garden redesigned and landscaped as well. If that’s the case, think about how your extension will affect access to your garden. It might be worth getting major landscaping work done before you get the builders in so that the equipment and machinery needed to landscape your garden can get through unhindered.
Think about how your extension might look from the garden and how your garden might look from your extension. It’s best to design both the outside and inside space together, so they work seamlessly to create that wow-factor. This can also be useful when considering structural work for your garden so that you don’t have to do things twice, such as moving earth and retaining walls as well as when thinking about positioning your service ducts for power, water and data. It may be more expensive now, but in the long-run it will be cheaper, saving you money by saving the garden designer’s time in working out how to get services to where they actually need to be and landscapers from having to dig everything up again to make it happen.
Designing before doing
Designing your garden at the same time as designing your extension or new home, does not commit you to building them at the same time, but it does help you to see the opportunities and give you the potential to create something more special while possibly saving some money.
If you are planning a new house, the plans will require a landscape scheme; rather than having the architect knock up something basic and charging you for it anyway, it is definitely worth spending a little more and getting a professional outside garden designer on the case. If they are worth their salt they’ll work well with your architect and together, create your dream space.
At Dewlands Garden Design, we collaborate closely with experienced architects and interior designers to help create a garden which becomes our clients most treasured asset. After all, our motto is ‘where house meets garden’.
Sorting out an extension for your home can be a daunting task, but it’s really important to take your garden into consideration. If you want a beautiful outdoor space that works perfectly with your home, there are practical considerations throughout the process which will ensure you have a beautiful home and garden space once the developers have left.