Master Plan Enhances Outdoor Living

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Master Plan Enhances Outdoor Living


February 1, 2012
by Kurt Kraisinger, RLA, LEED AP
Principal, Lorax Design Group

Are you dreaming of a patio, pergola structure or new swimming pool in your backyard? Or maybe you’re thinking about an outdoor kitchen, a stone fireplace, a water feature or a landscape full of four-season color? For those homeowners who don’t want to go down the path of a “do-it-yourself” job, you may need the assistance of an architect or a landscape architect (who often work in collaboration with one another). Each of these design elements require a trained-eye to assist with the programming of how the space outside of your home works with the space inside your home, and to ensure the outdoor space enhances your lifestyle

Our lifestyles change all the time, and transforming the exterior of your home is an important investment. For these reasons you’re smart to consider looking at a comprehensive view of your home’s outdoor spaces, and forecasting what you want and need in the coming years. Well-trained landscape architects encourage clients to share their dreams, tell a story or recreate those great family experiences so that together, you will create a design that responds to how you want to feel in the comfort of your new outdoor living area.

The process of developing a comprehensive design is called a Master Plan – a two-dimensional plan that addresses essential design aspects for a specific exterior environment. With the help of the landscape architect, you’ll consider such things as:

 – Space programming
– Circulation
– Orientation for sunlight
– Drainage
– Hardscapes
– Plant materials
– Site amenities
– Lighting
– Material choices
– Maintenance
– Design theme
– Cost

The master planning process affords the homeowner the opportunity to systematically think through the project – beginning with the end in mind. Additionally, it allows the homeowner to complete the project in phases – considering lifestyle issues and budget constraints.

If the winter days seem dark and dreary – it’s time to start thinking of spring and outdoor living. Start your wish list now- and get help from your landscape architect. The master plan you develop together will have a dramatic affect not just the value of your property, but on how much you enjoy the space you call home.