Landscape Construction

Use landscape construction. Although most people evaluate the success of a landscape development in terms of the selection and condition of the plant materials, most really well-designed landscapes contain a good balance of construction and plant materials.

Carefully designed and executed paved surfaces, fences, walls, overhead structures and edging materials are not only attractive but also reduce routine maintenance. If possible, when selecting building materials for the landscape, repeat materials and colors already used on the home. Weathered wood, natural stains, concrete and earth tones in brick will usually blend with existing construction materials and relate to the natural environment.

The following drawings contain construction ideas for typical home landscape use.

Paved Surfaces

drawing showing brick surface construction techniques using mortar or sand


drawing showing edging and raised bed construction techniques using brick, metal edging, or railroad ties

Overhead Structures

drawing showing a construction diagram for an attached arbordrawing showing a completed attached arbor with vine growing on it

On-Site Parking

drawing showing an addition of parking along the drive to a house

Outdoor Step Design

drawing showing concrete steps with average riser of 6 inches and tread of 15 inches; see also 'Important Notes'

Important Notes:

  • Riser + Tread = 21 inches.
  • Riser height must not exceed 7 inches.
  • Tread to riser relationship must be consistent over entire length of stairway.
  • No fewer than two steps to avoid an invisible one-step hazard.
  • No more than twenty steps in a group without putting in a landing or rest area.

Earth Molding

Creates a pleasant view by blocking noise and unsightly views, and; helps facilitate drainage on the site.

drawing showing an earth molding, a small hill, blocking the view of a parking lot from a person walking his dog along an adjacent path


drawing showing recommended construction of a drain system for a house on a slope including the use of a french drain and curb outlets


drawing showing example construction plans for a permanent wood bench with concrete footingsdrawing showing example construction plans for a storage bench on concrete paving with hinged top

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