Planning out the landscape for a construction project isn’t just about making the structure look good. The landscaping can also play a vital role in lowering your energy costs. Even if you are just doing a small renovation project on your own home, it may be a good idea to look at what you can also do with the landscaping in that area to make your home more efficient. This isn’t a high cost project, but with careful consideration you can make the landscaping part of your effort to control utility costs.
Plan for run off
The use of French drains has fallen off in recent years. Many contractors use them just as a means to get rid of runoff water from the roof. If you are smart, you can run the drainage system and use it to irrigate garden and lawn areas. This means that you will be saving money on water costs during the growing season and keeping the roots in good condition.
Address the North and West sides
No matter where you live in the country, the North and West sides of a structure are the sides that are going to be subject to the most winter wind. Your best line of defense against this is to plant windbreakers – such as evergreens along this edge.
Plant cover on the East and South
During the warmer months there will be more direct sun on the East and South sides. This can heat up a house quickly. Plant leafy cover along these walls to help keep things cool. If you then run your French drains to these plants they will be very low maintenance.
Use ground cover where grass would be difficult to grow
Growing grass over septic systems, steep hills or around rocky soil can be difficult. Make things easier by planting ground cover such as pachysandra. The added benefit of this plant is it can also serve to help keep the ground warmer for longer. This can help reduce icing on pipe access and issues with your sewage system too.