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If you own a recently constructed home in Calgary and you would like to begin landscaping there is an important issue you need to consider.

Sub-Surface Settling
Sub-surface settling, sub surface, meaning the earth below the top soil, is bound to shift, settle and sink in the first year after your home is constructed. Landscaping a new property should be put off for a year in order to ensure the sub-surface has settled all it is going to. There have been many new homeowners who have installed their new landscape in Calgary within the first year and ended up with sinking patios, fence posts, sunken lawns etc. Many landscapers in Calgary will recommend waiting, while others will install your landscaping but they will not guarantee the landscaping because they are concerned about the sub- surface settling and damaging their landscaping on the surface. You can thoroughly soak the soil surrounding your home and foundation to try to speed up settling of the sub-surface, although this is not always a sure fire way to make sure all the settling has occurred.


One of the most common questions we get from home owners is regarding what comes first on their landscape list. What should you install first and why ?

Grade your landscape
Grading and leveling your yard is the first thing for you to consider. The rough grade may have already been completed by your home builder. Grading is typically done with a bobcat, which back blades you soil raking out large rocks and bashing apart large chunks of soil. You will need to decide if you need more top soil for your yard to bring it up to grade. After this a landscaping rake is then used to fine grade the soil.


After grading you can begin construction of landscaping components, roughly installed in this order:

  • Hardscaping: paving stones, retaining walls, and all the heavy stuff.
  • Large trees: Trees can be very heavy and require large holes. Even a seemingly small 7′ crabapple tree can weigh as much as 600 lbs. The root balls are very heavy and these trees need to moved by bobcat or other machine, but certainly won’t be hand carried into your yard so, they need to be installed early on in your landscaping project.
  • Underground irrigation: The lines for your sprinklers can be installed and fine tuned later. You may need sleeves under your walkways fore hose lines.
  • Garden bed plants
  • Smaller shrubs, trees, annuals and perennials can be planted in garden beds.
  • Fences: Surround your property with fence once you are sure you have your landscaping completed or leave a fence panel out to allow access to your landscaping.


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