Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Perfect Garden is in the Planning!

By Jeremy Scott

It's warming up outside and spending time in the garden may well soon be on your mind. If you want to realise those aspirations of creating the ultimate outdoor room, then now is the time to get to work!

Due to the relatively poor weather that homeowners experience in the UK, the garden as an outside living space tends to be something that is only considered as the weather warms up in spring and summer. If you have ideas for re-developing your garden then advance planning is the secret. Given the huge cost of moving house, many homeowners are now choosing to spend the money on developing their existing houses and outdoor spaces.

There is no set blueprint for the perfect outdoor space since everyone has a bespoke set of requirements which relate to personal taste in terms of aesthetic appeal combined with the individual's specific practical needs. However with most families tightening their belts, it is likely that homeowners will be more likely to contemplate outdoor projects that provide a definite practical solution as opposed to merely enhancing the physical beauty of the garden landscape.

Safe Play Haven?

Does the garden provide a stimulating and fun play environment that is safe for the kids? Child proofing the outdoor space spans a whole host of issues such as the review of existing perimeter fencing (how secure is it?); removal of dangerous plants / trees; replacement of chipped / broken pavers; installation of an approved children's play surface to ensure added safety around fixed play equipment e.g. slides / swings; installation of a year round outdoor play area in the guise of a decked or paved patio.

Remember to think long term when installing safety measures in the garden, what may prove safe for a toddler today could become a potential hazard for a curious six year old.

A Driveway to be Proud of!

Is parking a nightmare in you street? If it is, off street parking can give you peace of mind! There is no fun at all in endlessly searching for a space at the end of a long days work. Consider enhancing your property with a well designed driveway, creating a stress free, clean and smart way to park.

One important legal point is that 2008 saw the introduction of legislation stating that planning permission may be required if you are not working with a permeable driveway product.

Here Comes the Good Life

Improvements to your outdoor space may extend to the introduction of a new "grow your own" zone, designed to cut down your grocery bills whilst also reducing your family's carbon footprint. You may also want to consider the creation of raised beds to make the art of cultivation that much easier!

Outdoor Entertainment

If you enjoy entertaining family and friends then I'm sure that a dedicated outdoor entertaining area might be required. A well designed, well lit, dining and barbecue patio or decking area, positioned within easy access of the kitchen can be well worth the extra investment.

Once you've had a chance to think through the changes you want to make to your outdoor space, it pays to bring in the professionals and seek guidance on a realistic price which should detail all the installation and labour costs, along with an anticipated time frame.

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