Updated: Mar 19, 2020
A huge part of my home that's been completely neglected for the year and a half that we've lived here is the front landscaping. I'm telling you that I've done little to NOTHING out there. We've pulled a few weeds, trimmed a couple bushes aaaand nothing else. I can see so much potential for the front of the house. The front of a home is the first thing everyone sees. It sets the ton for the rest of the house so I want to make it incredible. I hate that it's taken so long to start on the front landscaping but I also didn't want to rush to make it something I wasn't completely in love with. Here's my un-landscaped front yard as it is today:
My first idea for transforming my front yard was to go with a super modern look and use all metal landscape edging. I was planning on hiring a landscaping company to do this work because I don't know how to weld or get the metal edging I would want. However, I contacted several landscaping companies and the one that came out to give me a quote was $10k+. Yikes! There's no way I would be willing to spend even half of that on landscape edging. I think the worst part of that quote was that it was only for a very basic version of what I wanted to do so I still wouldn't be getting what I wanted even for that much money.
After that idea fizzled out with such high quotes and no hope to make that a reality, I got the idea of doing thick wood boarders (like 4"x4" or 4"x6"). I liked that idea but since it was going to be in front of the house, I wanted to make sure it was going to be a finished product that I was proud of before jumping in. I became more hesitant to doing wood after beginning the raised garden bed project and moved away from that completely.
Then, a few weeks ago a new model home near me was built. I was passing by on my morning run when their new landscaping stopped me in my tracks. I fell in love instantly and knew I wanted to do a version of that for my home. It mixes the metal with a more traditional stone boarder that gives it just the right amount of contrast and softening. I also love the different levels they used!
I am now planning on taking on this massive project DIY style. It will probably happen in phases because it's going to be a heck of a lot of work.
WHERE TO START:
Now that I have settled on exactly what I want to do. I've started planning out the design of what's going where. I often times keep the design in my head until it's actually coming to life but recently I discovered the SketchUp app. It's the best thing ever! I love it so much. I don't have my whole house designed in SketchUp yet but I have the first floor close to completion and the reason I want to show some of the progress on that now, is because it includes the landscape edging in this mock-up, too.
A little side story about me: I've always had the creative gene. I dream up lots of designs and projects and they look great in my head but sometimes I want to SEE them. So years ago, I started designing my dream home. I didn't know how to use photoshop or anything like that so the "design tool" I used was Excel. Yes, Excel. It sounds really funny but I used the grids to virtually draw out my ideas. Here's my first layout I ever designed.
(There are some issues for sure so go easy on me haha!)
Next, I need to figure out what supplies I need and where to get them. The two main components of what I need are Stone and Metal:
1. Stone: Here's a savvy DIY tip for you to get FREE STONE. If you are needing stone for a project, find a new-build community and talk to the building foreman to ask for permission to take scrap pieces of stone once am exterior is complete. We did that in our new build community and our foreman let us know that the extra stone is just hauled away to the dump. They don't re-use it for other homes. However, this is one neighborhood and one foreman so I'm saying to ask for permission just in case your community might be different. We are lucky and have a couple new homes going in right across the street so we have just taken the wheelbarrow over there in the evening and get several loads worth of stone. There are probably several thousand pound of stone in my garage right now.
2. Metal: I haven't found the exact metal or place where I'm going to get it from yet. But what I am looking for is basically a wholesaler of metal sheets. I have found a couple places that will sell them at your exact dimensions, too. I have a friend who knows how to weld so I went and bought a little cheap welder and the gear to go with it. Then when the time comes, he's going to help me with the welding part. If this plan works out, all I will need to do is put the pre-cut metal in the correct spots, weld the corners together and then some rebar or something similar to stick into the ground and keep the metal in place. I'll space out the rebar and tack weld it to the sheet so that everything stays where it's supposed to.
All of that may be a lot of info and not a very clear picture of how I'm going to get it all done but that will be soon to come!
Follow along as I create my dream home, one DIY at a time!