The 7 Essential Steps on How to Plan your Landscaping Project

Transforming your yard into an oasis of relaxation can be a significant undertaking.

Here are the 7 essential steps on how to plan your landscaping project.

When you buy a house, it’s often with the vision of spending a lot of quality time there with family or friends. In cold weather, we warm up inside, in the decor that we’ve conscientiously chosen. When fair weather arrives, it’s normal to want to move this experience outside.

Without a well-furnished backyard or patio, it’s hard to fully enjoy the summer. If you’re thinking about designing a comfortable, casual outdoor living space or turning your yard into a relaxing oasis, you’ll need to invest time and money into your landscaping project. But with the right advice and expert know-how, anything is possible!

In this article, you’ll discover the 7 essential steps to plan your landscaping project and benefit from our professional advice, in collaboration with Martine Boudreault, Landscape Architect and Owner at l’Espace Paysage, to create a space that meets your expectations.


Plan your space according to your needs

When you’ve decided to furnish your outdoor living space, your first challenge is to ask yourself a few questions to determine your needs. These will vary depending on your lifestyle and your family situation.

For example, a couple without children who like to entertain frequently will not have the same needs as a family with four children, including two teenagers, who often invite their friends over.

Think about what appeals to you aesthetically, but also about the practicality of your layout.

Here are some questions whose answers will put you on the right track:

● Do I need a designated cooking space?
● How many people would I like to welcome on my terrace?
● Would I like part of my space to be shaded?
● Do I need better lighting?
● Would I like to have an outdoor fireplace to extend the evenings?
● Would I like to separate the dining area from the relaxation area?
● What materials am I interested in?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea of your needs and tastes, which you can share with your landscaper or landscape designer.


Find out about town planning and building regulations

Each municipality is responsible for issuing urban planning permits and certificates to verify what’s being done in terms of development on their territory. So, an individual who intends to build or develop a space must find out from the city about the obligations to be met.

Several municipalities or boroughs have more constraints than others, so you must be well informed to avoid hefty fines and the forced stoppage of work. For example, in some municipalities, you must obtain a permit to cut trees and install a swimming pool or a firepit.


Hire landscaping professionals

To save money, some choose to carry out their landscaping project themselves, perhaps unaware that such a project requires a lot of time, energy, and specific knowledge.

Although hiring a landscaper may seem expensive, it will save you valuable time and significant dollars in labour and materials.

A landscaper or landscape designer assists their clients in understanding, analyzing, designing, and developing an outdoor living space.

They have the technical and legal knowledge and numerous references. In addition, they’re able to imagine functional designs that will meet your needs.

Remember that since the advent of COVID-19, which created a shortage of materials and labour, waiting times for hiring a professional and purchasing certain materials can be long.

Plan your landscaping project at least a year in advance!


Set a budget and schedule

Meticulous financial planning is the key to a successful landscaping project. Budget management is easier when you call on professionals, and you quickly get honest answers.

Landscapers are aware of current standards, prices, quality of materials, and the latest trends. Get two or even three quotes for your landscaping project to compare your options.

Depending on the quotes, you may have to scale back on project features or even cut out certain elements to keep the ones that will add lasting value to your property and your quality of life.

When thinking of a deadline, it’s best to start planning your landscaping project the summer before the work begins. Take advantage of the summer season to note the areas of sunshine and prevailing winds. Also, think about the types of flowers or plants that interest you when visiting garden centres or nurseries.

In the fall, contact landscaping companies who are often overwhelmed as soon as spring arrives to begin developing the plan.

In fall or winter, the landscaper can take land measurements, draw plans, and prepare quotes.


Decide on your level of involvement

After signing an agreement with a landscaper and establishing your budget and schedule, you’ll be able to more easily determine to what extent you wish to participate in your landscaping project.

You could hire a landscape architect to draw the plans and then do the work yourself, or hire professionals to do everything from A to Z.

See what works best for you and what works with your budget and goals.


Choose your materials

This step is often the favourite of customers. Accompanied by a professional, you must choose the materials according to your design, your budget, and the technical constraints of your landscaping project. The materials should harmonize with the back facade of your home. Choose between manufactured materials like composite wood, vinyl, and cobblestone (which is mostly natural) and 100% raw materials like wood, gravel, slab, and rock. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to decide which best suits your needs. Finally, don’t forget to consider integrating elements such as cedar hedges or fences to create privacy on the ground when you have a small lot or when your terrace is raised.


Apply for required permits

When you hire a landscaping professional, they may offer to complete and file a permit application on your behalf. Be sure to validate this information with them. Otherwise, you’ll be responsible for doing so.

If your landscaping project meets the established conditions, a building permit is usually issued within a few days of submitting your application.

However, the deadline may be extended if the issuance of the permit or certificate is linked to the approval by the site planning and architectural integration program (SPAIP). Several sectors are subject to the SPAIP, including all land within an integrated residential project. Check the rules in your area to see if your landscaping project needs approval under a SPAIP.


Quebecers favour the quality of life outdoors and are looking for landscaping that will allow them to fully enjoy their home, regardless of the season. They tend to invest between 15% and 20% of their property value in renovating their yard.

If you’ve just bought a house or are already a homeowner and thinking of redeveloping your yard, don’t hesitate to call on the experts.

Noblio specializes in the supply and installation of high-end landscaping products. We collaborate with a network of landscaping professionals who’ll accompany you during the analysis of your landscaping project, from design to management and installation.

Contact us today to create your perfect outdoor living space so you can take advantage as quickly as possible! Helping people feel at home is what we do best!