Landscaping Your Home: Considerations
As summer is setting upon us, many homeowners are considering landscape changes. In particular after a harsh winter, you may notice a few extra cracks in your sidewalk, damaged limbs or tree trunks. Prior to undertaking your landscaping projects, here are a few general spring outdoor clean-up tips to get you ready:
- Now that the snow has disappeared, inspect your property for any winter-related damage, including torn screens, damaged siding, eavestrough or downspouts.
- Pick up that long-forgotten dog waste and any winter debris, including broken branches and mangled shrubs.
- Sharpen old gardening tools.
- Thoroughly rake your lawn to remove any twigs, rocks or pine needles.
- Remove dead leaves from your gardens, under your deck and your window wells.
- Discard any old annuals from your garden beds.
- Trim back overgrown trees and shrubs.
When considering your backyard project, some homeowners may opt for a new garden bed, others an elaborate water feature, backyard firepit or outdoor kitchen. Regardless of your landscape dreams and goals, here are some basic home landscaping considerations when planning your next project.
If you are undertaking the project yourself, take the time to draw out and measure your project. When adding trees to your yard keep in mind what the full-grown size of the tree will be. Carefully plan out your garden and tree placement to minimize the chances of having future damage to your home or property because of a tree. Your typical home insurance policy will cover damage to your trees, shrubs and decorative landscaping features. If your mature tree falls on your house, car or neighbor’s property, your home insurance may cover this as well. If you are running gas lines, trenching or digging for posts, ensure you call your local service provider to ensure you do not hit any buried facilities. If your landscaping changes includes building structures such as gazebos, fencing or sheds, consult your Insurance Broker to discuss whether these unattached structures can or should be included on your home insurance policy. Make sure any additions to your home, including unattached structures, retaining walls and decks, all conform to the relevant municipal bylaws and homeowners’ covenants that are attached to your property.
When done properly, landscaping can add value to your home. Talk to your Insurance Broker today to discuss how your landscaping changes may impact your home insurance.