A Good Front Garden Will Add Value to Your Home

0 Written by Lisa on 5th Jan 2011 in Design Tips

Front gardens are often overlooked, probably because you’re not very likely to want to sit out there, as you would in a back garden.  The reality is that front gardens are seen, walked through and used every day of the year, rain or shine, night or day, winter or summer.  A well designed space can make your day-to-day living easier and add value to your property, after all curb appeal is a huge selling point to any potential buyer.

The main focus of any front garden design will be the practical requirements for the space, how many cars need to be accommodated, are there young children in the family (you’ll need more space when accessing the car), is the property positioned on a main road which makes access challenging at busy times, is an area for the rubbish bins required (and some of us have more than 1 to accommodate of course!), does the property need to be screened from the road or neighbours, are there any potential security issues? the list goes on…..

Equally as important is to consider how the garden will look and feel, how will it look when viewed from the road and from the house, what materials will best work with the style and age of the house (all too often driveway surfaces look hideous with the brickwork of the house), what plants will provide structure throughout the year and some colour or interest in each season (best to use mostly evergreens as these generally don’t need so much attention).

The reality is that however big your front garden, you’ll have enough on your “requirements” list to fill it up in no time.  Careful planning is crucial if you are to create a functional and attractive space that doesn’t drive you nuts every time you walk from the car to the front door.  To be useable, the driveway is likely to take up more room than you’d ideally like (and a bigger chunk of your budget) so take the time out to calculate just how much space you need to allow, an average saloon car for example would need a 5m x 2.5m space to allow comfortable door usage.

Note re Front Garden Planning Legislation

On a final note, I feel I ought to mention the planning legislation affecting front gardens and I would advise you to contact your local planning office if you are planning such a project.   As of 1st October 2008 it is now required by law to apply for planning permission if you wish to install impermeable surfaces (of more than 5m²) in your front garden that allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater onto roads (i.e. into the storm drains).  You will not require planning permission if you choose a permeable material, or have sufficient drainage or soak away to ensure runoff does not go onto roads.  From my experience, as long as the rain water can drain somewhere on site (and not into the highway storm drains) it is very unlikely that you will need planning permission, but it’s advisable to check first!

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Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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