A plan and a budget!

Having decided that some change needs to occur, it is important to decide what form that change is going to take.  The first thing that should be done is to make a plan.  Walk around landscaping stores and home improvement stores.  Think about what you like and take pictures of the different items that you decide you might like to incorporate into your design.  Make note of prices so that you can build a budget before you get started.  If this is your first project, understand that you will probably run short of some things, so leave yourself some room in your budget.  How much do you want to spend to improve the curb appeal?  Really give it some thought and plan it out before you start on the work.  It can really help your project run more smoothly and keep you on track if you don’t have the time or funds to do the project all at once.
Sweet broom will be a nice, colorful addition!

I have decided on some sweet broom to replace the missing plants.  A small retaining wall to separate the grass from the rock will be a nice addition as well.

Windsor wall pieces
The block that I have chosen to create a small retaining wall
Some pavers to go along with the retaining wall blocks

I will put some pavers in on one side of the garage to provide a better area for the garbage cans and better access to the back yard without disturbing the rocks along that side.  Some of the existing pavers will be utilitzed, but we will add some of these as well.

Some solar coach lights will help to brighten up that dark walkway.  Solar will also make it easy to relocate them if I am not happy with the placement, but there won’t be any wiring to be of concern.

So, now that I have my ideas it is time to price it all out.

Having decided on a plan for the area, I set about making a budget.  It includes some lighting changes, a small retaining wall addition, some pavers, a few new plants and rock and a general facelift on the existing plants.  My initial budget for all of this, not including tools, came in at around $300.  I am only paying for materials.  I am setting the budget at $400 since I know from past experience that I will probably change my mind on some quantity and want to have a little room for that.

 

Here is the budget breakdown for the project:

 

Front   Yard Project
3 Strings   of 50 ct. Warm White Twinkling Solar Lights  $19.99 ea

59.97

1 Set of   Solar Coach Lights $28.93 ea

28.93

10   stackingwindsor  wall pieces $2.98 ea

29.8

2 3.5   Gallon Sweet Brooms $17.98 ea

35.96

2   Landscape Fabric (Weed Control) $13.78 ea

27.56

2 Scotts   Turfbuilder $5.97 ea

11.94

Scotts   Fertilizer with crabgrass preventer $25.97 ea

25.97

6 bags of   Southwest cobble rock $4.38 ea

26.28

10 pavers $4.98 ea

49.8

296.21

 

 

The extra room is for additional pavers and rock, if I am not happy with the initial result.  These numbers also do not include taxes, which vary so much from state to state.

 

I have included solar lighting as part of my lighting upgrade, as I do not really want to run any wiring.  I am a skilled electrician, but prefer the solar option for landscaping.  It is simple and energy efficient.  Also, if I don’t like the initial location, they can be easily relocated with minimal work.

So now we have a plan and a budget!  The next step is to begin the work.

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