When choosing a landscape company for your front or backyard landscaping, it is of the utmost importance to do your research. Not all landscape construction companies are the same and not all landscape designs are done properly. Finding a landscape construction company that is knowledgeable about local by-laws and permit requirements is extremely important since every municipality has different restrictions. Selecting a landscape company with an Architectural Construction Engineering Technologist or industry veteran, like MPS, is the best way to ensure that your landscape will be designed properly, have the right permits and be completed on time. As a homeowner, you are personally liable for any landscape construction on your property that is not built to code, doesn’t have the proper requirements or has faulty construction. It is important to understand that a landscape design requires much more than just aesthetics.
Your Landscape Design/Landscape Construction Project should consider the following:
1) Municipality guidelines
Each municipality (Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, etc.) sets different restrictions for landscape construction projects. Some municipalities may be stricter than others so it is very important to review the restrictions before designing a project where permits may be required. These restrictions effect the percentage of hardscape vs. softscape landscaping a property can have, accessory building size and heights, as well as site drainage.
Drainage on a property is extremely important for the integrity of the home as well as the subdivision as a whole. Things like interlocking patios, decks, excavation/grading, stone retaining walls, gardens and swimming pools all change the original drainage design of the property. Therefore when selecting a landscape design it is important that the designer account for the new drainage plan and makes sure it is within municipality guidelines and will not cause future drainage issues.
3) Building Permits
If a landscape design includes a free-standing building such as a cabana, pergola or shed, it may require a building permit. Without proper permits, the homeowner risks having to take the structure down at their own expense.
4) Fees and Time associated with Permits
An experienced landscape designer and landscape construction company will be well aware of the fees and timing associated with getting the proper permits for the project. This is important because it can seriously impact the timing and final budget of the project.
5) Property Specifications; in-depth inspection
Every property will differ from another due to factors such as the slope of the earth, the size of the home, its orientation, and many other characteristics. For these reasons, it is important that all of these factors are taken into consideration when creating landscape designs. For example, if your home is on a septic system, this may limit the number of locations where you can build an outdoor structure or patio. Next, depending on the orientation of your home, your gardens will get a certain amount of sun exposure. This directly effects the plants you put in those gardens. Some plants love the sunlight and heat, while others prefer cool and shaded areas. With plants, you will also bring wildlife. Deer, rabbits, bees, butterflies and other critters love certain plants. So whether you do or don’t want wildlife in your gardens should be reflected in the types of plants that are used. A final factor to consider depending on your specific municipality, are trees. Some trees on your property may require ‘Tree Protection’ while construction takes place to ensure that no damage occurs to the tree or its roots.
6) Other trades required
Depending on the scope of work, a landscape design may require the addition of other trades such as plumbers, electricians or pool companies. Having an experienced landscape construction company with industry connections to other trades will cut down on the cost and time of the project. As well, they can act as a valuable resource to help you better understand the construction process, meaning you will never have to feel overwhelmed or unsure of what to do or who to ask for advice or clarification.
At MPS our expertise includes an understanding of local bylaws as well as local climate and seasonal patterns which allows us to design a landscape project that speaks to your specific needs, whether functional or aesthetic. We will suggest specific design elements which will help maximize the enjoyment and value of your property, and allow you to make the most of your outdoor living space.
Let MPS build your dream landscape!