As a homeowner you want your house to look great at all times, and a well-thought-out landscape and garden can make your house stand out from others on the block. However, landscaping isn’t just about increasing beauty, it’s an investment in your home!
Believe it or not, professionally designed landscaping can add as much as 12.7 percent to your home’s value. This means you’ll be able to get a higher price should you decide to sell your home in the future.
Though plants are often the first things that come to mind, your landscape lighting is just as important. Here are a few landscape lighting tips to help you plan a budget for the perfect lighting system.
Create a List of Needs and Nice-to-Haves
If you’re considering installing landscape lighting, you likely have an idea of what you want it to look like. Use this to your advantage.
Make a list of all the features you absolutely need to have on your property. This could be anything from walkway lighting to highlights for your favorite plants. Then make a list of the features you would like to get installed.
The items on your “need” list are the ones you should prioritize. If you have money leftover in the budget, you can always add the nice-to-have features until the budget gets maxed out.
Remember, there’s no right answer here. What you consider absolutely necessary for your yard may not be identical to what your neighbors have, and shouldn’t make you feel like you’re planning the installation wrong.
Focus on the Main Hazards
If that list is a bit longer than you’re comfortable with, or what you’ll be able to afford, you may need to reprioritize your landscape lighting design.
Instead of looking at how many fixtures you can add for a certain price, focus on addressing the main safety hazards on your property.
Think about what you want the lighting to accomplish. Do you want to make your property safer and eliminate tripping hazards or do you want to call attention to specific plants in your yard to draw the eye?
Prioritize safety features over aesthetics first and foremost. Your yard will still look great, and you’ll get more out of your design and your budget.
Figure Out What You Have Saved Up
Before you start shopping around and getting quotes you need to know how much money you’re willing to spend out of your home maintenance and improvement budget.
Look at your savings and any cash you have on hand. What portion of that are you willing to use towards your lighting project? As a general rule, avoid using the full amount.
Remember, you still have other repairs and maintenance tasks to take care of.
If you feel that you don’t have enough money on hand, you can always put the project off for a few months and save up. If you do that, consider your other monthly expenses before deciding how much you can devote to your lighting project.
Once you have that number in mind, you know how much you can spend on your landscape lighting installation.
Look into Financing Options
For some homeowners, a home improvement loan can make paying for landscape lighting easier. Instead of paying cash upfront, you’ll be able to pay in monthly installments.
Keep in mind that you’ll also owe interest on the loan, but it’s almost always going to be a lower interest rate than you’d get from your credit card company.
If you decide to finance the project, shop around for the best loan possible. This may mean getting quotes from several local banks.
Choose a loan that offers the lowest interest rate, as well as a high pre-approval amount. This way you’ll save money over the life of the loan, while also having enough money to pay for the project in full.
If you’re not comfortable borrowing the full amount, combine a lower value loan with your savings.
Shop Around for Estimates
There are many different companies that can handle landscape lighting installation, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all charge you the same amount for the project.
The last thing you want to do is work with a company that charges you too much for a simple install.
Contact different installation teams in the area and get estimates from each of them. Compare their services, rates, experience, and choose a company that you feel offers you the most value for your money.
Keep in mind that the company you go with may not be the cheapest option. It’s far better to pay a little more for the project if the contractor is willing to stand behind their work for years to come.
Consider Ongoing Costs
One of the most important aspects of any project’s budget is ongoing maintenance costs. Some light fixtures and bulbs simply cost more to operate or repair down the road.
Think about the amount of money you’re willing to spend every month on your new lighting system. Factor in the cost of new bulbs, energy bills, and any other incidental maintenance tasks that might pop up.
You may want to spend more on high-quality energy-efficient fixtures or LED light bulbs and sacrifice a few additional lights to save money in the long run. Remember, you can always add additional landscape lighting fixtures in the future.
Communicate with Your Lighting Expert
Once you know precisely how much you can afford to pay both for the installation and in monthly costs, let your lighting contractor know. They’ll do everything they can to help you get the best design for the least amount of money, but they can’t do it if they don’t know what your budget is.
When in doubt, listen to their advice. They may even be able to point out certain features that aren’t necessary or shift the design to better fit your budget without sacrificing the quality of your landscape lighting.
Keep These Landscape Lighting Tips in Mind
Landscape lighting is a wonderful way to add value to your existing landscape design, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.
Use these landscape lighting tips to help set a budget and create a design you’ll love for years to come.
If you’re ready to start bringing your ideas to life, don’t wait. Contact us to schedule a free lighting consultation today.