When it’s time to select a contractor, most consumers turn to the Internet to gather information about various contractors, the quality and specialty work that each contractor provides and also public opinion of the contractor. It is a pretty safe bet that the contractor’s website is going to list several testimonials and glowing stories of the perfect project and respect for the homeowners budget. But you are not likely to find any honest critiques of areas that the contractor could improve upon or areas that were to complete failure. No business owner is going to display that on his or her website. So savvy homeowners are turning to the Houzz website to get an honest view of what it is like to work with many of the contractors in the valley. This is because Houzz is an independent website which is working for the consumer to gather honest opinions and factual accounts of contractor performance. And that is the reason that the Best of Houzz 2018 award means so much to Chris Griffin and the entire UNIQUE team. [Read more…]
When you begin the process of landscaping you home, you will realize that the numbers add up quickly. Phoenix is renowned as a great place to enjoy outdoor living throughout the year and there are almost limitless features which can be incorporated into your yard. With all of this potential sitting right outside your backdoor, it’s important to invest some time in researching your options and creating a realistic budget for the project.
It can be very hard to begin to pencil in numbers for a landscape budget if you are new to the Phoenix area or if you have never completed any major landscape projects in the past. But a good place to start is a very general number. According to House Logic, a budget of 10-15% of the value of your home is a realistic starting point. They also point out that though this could initially seem like a high number, keep in mind that a good landscape design can increase your property value by as much as 28%. So with a professional design you stand to see a very good return on your investment! Also realize that the 15% number is not going to cover the cost of a high end custom outdoor living space complete with swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and dining areas. But again, a solid design and a quality finished product will greatly increase the value of your home and your ability to enjoy outdoor living.
Your Due Diligence
In most cases, homeowners want to determine their budget before they begin meeting with landscape and pool contractors. Knowing your budget helps to set realistic expectations and also to have all of the potential contractors providing quotes and designs for roughly the same finished product. That allows the homeowner to compare all of the quotes on an equal playing field. So to determine a budget without getting quote you will want to research quality Phoenix landscape contractors.
Be certain that all of the potential contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. You can verify this by visiting the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website. Next visit the contractor’s websites to see examples of their work and to review their package pricing. Most larger contractors offer package pricing to allow clients to select a basic package and then add custom features if they so desire. These package prices will allow you to determine what your basic landscape will cost and where you should set the low end of your budget. From that point you can begin to add upscale features such as a custom water feature, a splash pad for the kids or a swim up bar in the pool.
Be Willing to Work in Phases
One of the most important parts of your landscape project is going to be a professional quality design. This plan will include everything that you would want to have in your dream backyard. And in many cases all of those features are going to cost more than your current budget will allow. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on even the smallest features of your dream outdoor living space. It simply means that you need to work with a contractor who is willing to complete your full design and then begin the build process with Stage 1. Working from a complete plan but installing in stages allows you time to save for additional features and work towards your goal of the perfect backyard.
Be Sure to Check with Your HOA
In the Phoenix area, it is not uncommon to live in a community with a Home Owners Association who imposes certain landscape guidelines and restrictions. It is important that you understand what your HOA requires you to include in your landscape and also what they do not allow. In most cases, landscape contractors are familiar with larger HOA guidelines but ultimately, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to be sure their property meets the requirements. It can also be helpful to understand the submission and approval process that your HOA follows for new landscape designs. Knowing about any plant count requirements and hardscape limitations imposed by your HOA can help you to fine tune your budget before speaking to any contractors.
Finally, think of your budget as a guideline and not necessarily the maximum that you can spend. There are always little extras that you will want to add such as a specimen tree that catches your eye or an upgraded tile or paver for your patio. Having a little bit of wiggle room in your budget will allow you to add those final finishing touched to personalize your outdoor space and make it exactly what you want. To learn more about working with the award winning team at the UNIQUE Companies simply complete a request for a free consultation.
All of the UNIQUE pool interior options are products which have been created by Wet Edge Technologies. These products include:
- Satin matrix- This finish is made using a mini pebble which will provide a more smooth finish. This interior surface offers 16 colors to choose from ranging from Polar White to Black Velvet.
- Pearl matrix- This finish is made with a larger pebble and offers more texture than the smaller mini pebble in the satin finish. This finish offers over a dozen color selections from soft white to jet black.
- Luna quartz- This finish contains both glass and naturally rolled tiny pebble material. This interior offers 9 colors to choose from ranging from a light Martinique to a dark Madagascar.
- Prism matrix- This finish contains both glass and pebble material. This finish is available in over a dozen colors which range from Lapis Blue to Glossy Black.
- Primera stone- This finish contains a larger amount of glass and less of the small pebble material. This surface is a UNIQUE favorite because of its longevity but also its smoothness. There are over a dozen color variations available for this interior finish ranging from a very light ivory to black obsidian.