As you plan your landscape, you're probably focused on what will enhance your yard and how it can make you and your family happy. But have you considered the effects your plans may have on neighbors? Considering unwanted consequences for adjoining properties is one of the best ways to avoid souring good neighbor relations. Here are a few things to pay attention to.
1. Improper Grading
The sloping and grading of your yard have direct effects on everything around it when the rain or snow falls. Water naturally runs downhill, of course.
This means that if you aren't careful about the angles, slope directions, and gutters you add to your landscape, you could cause more water to run into neighbors' properties. Not only will this create annoyance by neighbors, but it could also make you legally liable for water damage such changes have caused.
2. Planting Border Trees
First of all, be certain that you plant all trees on your side of the property border. If there is any doubt about property lines, have a survey done. But as you plant trees on your side of the property line, make sure they are far enough away from the perimeter to prevent damage from growing root systems — especially around your neighbor's fence, house, or outbuildings.
3. Future Plant Height
When choosing shrubs and trees, ask about their future full height and width. Poplar and ash trees, for instance, tend to have wide canopies. This could cause your tree to hang over your neighbor's yard in unwanted ways.
Similarly, a tall or fast-growing tree may obstruct views. So don't plant it where it will prevent everyone from viewing the sunset. But you might make new friends if you plant it where it blocks summer heat from your neighbor's window.
4. Backyard Noise Pollution
In general, you should expect to enjoy your backyard as you want. But you can take a few steps to improve privacy and noise blocking.
A windbreak of evergreens and shrubs, for instance, can help filter out some noise before it escapes your yard — especially when combined with the right fence. Smart placement of your backyard entertainment zone or pool also keeps you and your neighbors a little farther apart or uses the house for insulation. While you can't soundproof a yard, you can lower the volume.
5. Too Little Drainage
Some homeowners add a lot of hardscapes to their property, ranging from large concrete pads to pools. However, hardscape materials are often impervious to water, meaning that heavy rainwater or snow cannot seep into your ground. That could leave the lion's share of water to drain into other people's property. Avoid this by choosing permeable materials where possible and using gutters and drains to direct runoff.
Where to Start
How can you ensure that your landscape design does its best to keep good relations with all your neighbors? Reach out to companies such as C & J Landscaping.