by Sejal Nagjee
Planning your landscape design is an exciting time. Whether you want a new outdoor dining area, an infinity pool with a nearby Pergola or an area to relax long into the evening under the stars, planning your dream landscape design is attainable. Best of all, you can plan your dream landscape within your budget!
We’ve compiled a few tips to help you plan your dream backyard while sticking to your budget.
Know Your Budget
The first step to sticking with a budget is knowing how much you can spend. Knowing your budget will help you choose between the various hardscape and landscape options available to create your dream landscape design.
In design, we typically categorize landscape into the following four pricing categories, ranging from 550 dirhams per square meter to 1,500 dirhams per square meter. Your exact price point will depend on the structures and features you build.
To start a project you will need to:
- Take your total plot area and subtract the existing ground floor built up area of your villa, garage, and service blocks (if applicable). For example, if your total plot is 10,000 square feet and a total built-up area is 5500 square feet. 3,500 square feet would be the total built-up area of your ground floor and garage. Do not count the first floor.
- Now you will be left with 6,500 square feet of land to be developed.
- Once you have determined your square footage to be developed, multiply the number by .09 and you will arrive at the square meter to be developed.
- In this example 6500 sq.ft x.09= 585 m2. You would have 585 square meters of land to be developed.
Depending on your budget there are different categories of projects:
- Low-end budget – 585 square meters at 550 dirhams/sq. m = 321,750 Dhs.
- Mid-range budget – 585 square meters at 700 dirhams/sq. m = 409,500 Dhs.
- Mid-range with some features – 585 square meters at 850 dirhams/sq.m = 497,250 Dhs.
- High-end budget – 585 square meters at 1100 dirhams/sq. m = 643, 500 Dhs.
- Luxurious budget – 585 square meters at 1550 dirhams/sq. m = 906,750 Dhs.
Anything below 550 square meters can prove challenging. Typically, below 585 sq. m indicates to the landscape designer that you are not looking to invest for the long term. Perhaps this is a rental property or you plan on moving in near future. In this case, we would suggest a minimal landscape design with minimal features.
If you fall within the 1550 dhs / m2 rage, you might want to consider including a pool, Waterproof shade structures, water features, tough 3 cms thick granite or 2 cms thick porcelain for larger areas of the driveway.
Additionally, you could include fireline, firepots, high-end water features, sculptures, and other accessories, such as a koi pond, immaculate lighting, and high-end planting.
You live in Emirates Hills, Dubai hills and are building a villa for many years to come using high-end materials. You love to entertain and want to utilize your villa to entertain friends, family, and business associates. It’s your own personal resort!
Plan Your Features
As you start to plan your landscape design, take a moment to consider all of the features you want in your backyard. If you don’t plan your features these items can add up quickly. Not to mention, you need to make sure you have space in your landscape design for all of the items you wish to incorporate.
Water features, swimming pools, lighting features, planting, living walls, and automated irrigation systems work together to create a stunning and functional landscape design. As you think about the features you desire, be sure to consider your existing landscape features and plant life.
Plan enough numbers of seating and how you wish to spend your time in the garden.
Phasing Your Project
Due to the arid nature of the UAE, villa owners should at minimum cover their soil with artificial grass, pebbles, or even a minimal landscape. This will allow you to develop your landscape in the future as your budget permits.
If you are working with a limited budget, we suggest breaking your project into various phases.
- Phase 1 – Generally, this first phase includes completing all groundwork required for your landscape design project. During this phase, all civil works including excavation, ground clearing, removing of debris, concrete works, tiling and paving of pathways should be completed.
Additionally, all wiring, irrigation, plumbing, electrical, and digging (i.e. a pool), will also be developed during phase one. During this phase, your design team will remove all salty soil and replace it with sweet soil, which is optimal for planting and grassing lush lawns.
- Phase 2 – During the second phase, you will start to build your landscape spaces. During this phase, you will build your outdoor kitchen, backyard barbecue, concrete seating areas, wooden embellishments, customized furniture, and customized dining areas.
- Phase 3 – During this last phase, your design team will focus on the finishing touches of your landscape design. Depending on your needs, this may include sculptures, wall arts, feature walls, works of art, pottery, firepots, swing, special outdoor furniture, and other decorative accents.
It’s important to note that there is always a loss when you complete your project in phases. Typically, phased work requires one thing or another being redone or uprooted. Additionally, as the landscape ages between phases, more and more work will arise.
For those starting with a minimal budget, we would recommend starting with artificial grass, pebbles and plants and irrigation as it can be easily used at a later date. Grass can be removed and used and pebbles reused. Taking plants into consideration, you can plant tall trees and tall bushes and plant short bushes and ground covers later.
Create a Master Plan
Plan your entire space. A Master Plan will make your phasing easier in the future, as your designer will have a general understanding of what you envision once all of the work has been completed. Phasing your landscape design in a planned way will help to curtail your losses in the end.
Entertaining your family, friends, and colleagues from the comforts of your backyard provides homeowners with an exciting opportunity to create the ultimate backyard party. However, when you plan ahead you can create your dream space well within your determined budget.
If you are considering transforming your landscape, contact the design experts at Milestone. Whether you know what you want or need a little inspiration, our team is here to help.