Landscaping Around a Home’s Foundation
LESLIE: Jill in Michigan, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JILL: I’m doing some new landscape to a house and the house just is not real elevated – I mean it’s just average height – and there is a landscape plan that I really like that has some mounds that are elevated with shrubs and flowers and so forth.
JILL: So that makes the foundation of my house look low. Should I avoid going with height for the landscape against the foundation or does that enhance it to give it some height.
TOM: Hmm, that’s an interesting question; a décor question.
LESLIE: Hmm. And the issue with the mounds of soil against the foundation makes me a little bit nervous. How – you know, Tom …
TOM: Well, you can’t cover the siding. You can’t cover the wood framing.
LESLIE: Right, and what about moisture situations?
TOM: That would be OK.
TOM: As long as you didn’t trap water against the house; as long as you had slope away.
JILL: OK. Yep, and we would. And yeah, the drain-off would be fine. It’s a crawlspace, no basement.
JILL: Which direction do I go? Because I can go either way; I just didn’t want the house to look like it was more of a berm-type house when it’s sitting on an acre-and-a-half out in the country and I don’t want it to look like the ground is hugging it.
LESLIE: Right, eating up the foundation and going right up.
TOM: I mean I think if you had – you know, if you used it in moderation. I mean I wouldn’t …
LESLIE: Right. I think if you used it to sort of accent certain areas like maybe the corners or on the edging – you know, the outermost corners of the house where you could then put a taller shrub or an arbor vitae or a Leyland cypress just to give height in those areas.
JILL: And then I wouldn’t have any danger with the drain-off that way either; then I’d be secure.
LESLIE: Exactly. And mix it up. Make sure you get local-grown items that you know will do well in your soil and in your climate conditions. This way you’re not wasting money on items that aren’t really going to work in your area. Look for irrigation additives that you can put in the soil when things are being planted; sort of reduce the amount of water you might need. Just think about those things in the selection process and if you’ve got a plan you like, I say go with it.
JILL: OK. Well, you shifted me back to my original plan with these thoughts. (chuckles)
JILL: So, good. OK. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Jill. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.