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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Landscape

For the New Homeowner

Congratulations on your new home! If you are reading this you are either wondering how to go about putting your landscape together, or you know and are contemplating what to include in your wish list—the first step in the design process that transforms your yard into an extension of your home.

You’ve moved into your new home, stepped into the back yard and surveyed the property in a moment of thoughtful reprieve and clarity. At some point everyone does. Some will draw a complete blank. Others have so many ideas they become overwhelmed. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. No matter where you fall on the creative spectrum, you probably aren’t sure about where to begin organizing your concepts so a professional can install it and have it flow as one continuous landscape.

Well, if you recognize the need to get a vision drawn on paper first, not only are you on the right track, you’re ahead of the curve! Maybe half the people we meet say, “I didn’t realize there was so much involved” or “I didn’t think there would be so much to consider.” People are surprised to discover that installing a new landscape is like putting an addition on the house and requires some planning. But that’s exactly what it’s like!

You wouldn’t put an addition on your home without first drawing a plan. Can you imagine? Building onto your home and making it up as you went along? Choosing where to put the bathrooms and bedrooms as you go? How would you run the plumbing? Would you consider remodeling the kitchen without a plan? Without knowing first if the new layout accommodates your cooking habits, includes improvements to the counter space and what materials cost and what your options are? What about the windows and doors? Weren’t you selective in choosing your new home? Didn’t you have a mental list of things you absolutely needed and communicate those things to your realtor?

Well, just like a home, the landscaping must follow its function and serve those it hosts, so there are many things to consider. Jefferson Landscape and Design has a methodical approach to ensure your yard is something you will enjoy, something that suits you and your family specifically. Our goal is to involve you in the process and make you feel comfortable.

HOA – New Construction

When you buy a newly built home in some developments, they only give you ninety (90) days to submit a plan. Other more established neighborhoods don’t pressure you as much. But no matter the deadline, many of us are busy and get bogged down with work and other responsibilities. Finding time to think about tackling a landscape project can be tough. Decisions about a home edition (which is what a landscape installation really is) typically requires input from at least other family member, and their schedule may be just as full. This is where we come in. Most new construction home projects are similar. The developer throws together an “acceptable” front yard so the home will sell, and isn’t contracted to landscape the back, leaving you with nothing but dirt (maybe a small concrete square just outside each door). Therefore, the onus is on you to find someone to draw a design (to scale with proper details) and submit it to the Homeowner’s Association for approval. We have a lot of experience dealing with Homeowner’s Associations and their requirements.

Where Do We Start?

You can begin by requesting a Design Packet. This includes a Landscape Design Proposal, which outlines the design process and a Consultation Questionnaire, which is a one-page sheet with a list of components to choose from, giving us an idea what your ideal back yard should include. Our primary goal is to design something that makes you happy. A place to spend time and enjoy some respite from the day-to-day grind. Perhaps a (maintenance-free) water feature to enjoy as a focal point, or a garden to pick from for the kitchen. No matter your goals, a custom space designed for you and your loved ones.

Jefferson Landscape and Design is a Design and Build, Licensed Landscape Contractor. We are Bonded, Insured with Worker’s Compensation, General Liability, an A+ Member of the Better Business Bureau, and Certified Water Feature Specialist with over 25 years of experience. We handle everything From Design to Finish, so you only deal with us. Whether it’s a brand-new home, a home that’s simply new to you, or a home you’ve lived in for thirty years—it doesn’t matter. If you are starting with bare dirt or are staring over, you will need a new vision.

While doing a design comes with a whole host of advantages (see our blog Do I Need a Design?), so does going with a Design and Build company. Not only do you deal with one person throughout the project and benefit from effective communication, by having one company handle the design and installation, you know exactly what it’s going to cost, what it’s going to look like, and can trust it will be installed true to the vision of the one who originally designed it. You can even manipulate the design to accommodate a lower budget by working with your designer to modify the layout.

Whether you’ve bought a brand-new home, or are simply ready for something new, visit our Contact page to request a Design Packet and/or schedule a Design Consultation. You may also email us at or give us a call at 510-861-0944.

No matter who you choose to work with, be sure they are capable of drawing a scaled design and are licensed to install it. You will save yourself a lot of headaches!!

Unfortunately, many landscapers don’t do design, or don’t do it to scale, and therefore the value of the installation isn’t correctly matched to their estimate. Thus, a landscape contractor who gives you an “estimate” often increases the price during the project because they used an inexact method (not a design), to calculate and/or plan your project. It’s also been our experience that even the good “designers” who aren’t contractors and have never installed a landscape project, often design something impractical or useless. This is not an issue with Jefferson Landscape and Design; simply because we specialize in both!

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