Access to the house's interior
Walkways— width, drainage, appearance, and lighting. Major walkways
should be wide-enough for 2 people to walk side-by-side. Avoid grading that creates
low points in the major walkway areas that can collect standing water that may freeze
in colder weather. Lighting at night should provide enough light without shadows
so that a visitor won't stumble over steps or other obstacles. Avoid lighting that
shines directly into a visitor's eyes that may make it difficult for them to see.
Driveways— type of surface and amount of turnaround space if necessary. Some
communities do not allow gravel driveways. Consider maintenance factors. Gravel driveways
will require periodic additions of gravel. Blacktop driveways require annual coating
to keep them in good shape. Concrete driveways require the least
amount of maintenance. Also consider how snow will be removed from the driveway in
Parking— for family, guests, a camper, a boat, or bicycles. Is there enough
room either in the drive, or on street for adequate guest parking? Are there community
regulations concerning off-street parking (i.e. having an RV/boat in the drive way
for more than a day may be banned).
Outdoor entertaining— cooking, seating, and patio access. Allow plenty of
room for cooking so that guests never have to pass close to a hot grill to get from
one area to another. Also consider what might grow overhead. That small crabapple
tree planted next to the patio may cause future problems as it matures and grows
above the barbeque. Comfortable seating is always needed either in the form of permanent
bench seats, or allowing room for seasonal seating to be comfortably arranged. Patio
areas need easy entry and exit points without causing disruption to seated guests.
Children's play area. Kids definitely need a place they can call their own. But
remember, that kids are only kids for a short time and that gigantic play set may
not be quite so attractive when the kids are more interested in going to dances.
Sports, recreation areas (both now and in the future). Specific recreational activities
may not be the best investment for the home landscape. While a full sized tennis court
may suit your current life style, it may not be quite as attractive for future owners.
Maintenance and storage
Do you do your own yard work? Garden and landscape work usually requires more than
just a few tools and supplies. These are best kept somewhere out of the weather and
where they can be safely stored away from pets and children. This is usually accomplished
by cluttering up the garage, or having a garden shed.
Specific gardening interests (for example, growing vegetables,
roses, herbs, fruit trees, or bulbs). If you have specific gardening interests, keep
the growing requirements of these plants in mind and set aside specific areas suitable
for them and their light/draining needs.
Composting areas. Gardening and landscape can generate a lot of compostable material.
Instead of paying to have it taken to the landfill, why not start your compost bin.
This can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. A compost pile not only gets
rid of unwanted debris, it also gives you back valuable soil amendments