Custom Homes
Overall, know that all warranties have limits. Be sure to ask about the standards to which the builder will adhere when determining the validity of warranty repair requests. Understand and make good use of your warranty coverage because it is a major part of your home care plan.

DON’T FORGET LANDSCAPING!
It’s not uncommon that by the time a custom home is completed, the funds have run out for landscaping. That’s a shame because the landscaping on your property is important. Landscaping also factors into the resale value—some surveys have put the increased value in the range of 10–15 percent. In addition to shade, trees can produce food, firewood, wind barriers or just beautiful scenery. They also can attract birds and other wildlife.

Work with an expert who can help you select tree species that are native to the region and will thrive under local conditions so you can be pretty sure they will be successful. Consult a local nursery for suggestions on trees that will thrive where you live.

Trees are most vulnerable in their first years and should be tended with special care. Newly planted trees should be watered deeply and regularly. Allowing a hose to drip at the base of a tree for several hours will let the water soak down into the soil and encourage deep rooting to give the tree a better chance of surviving periods of drought.

The location and scope of landscaping on your property is also important. Choose spots with adequate sunlight and water as well as protection from possible pests. A mesh fence can prevent animals from injuring saplings. Also estimate how long the tree will take to become fully grown and what the tree will look like at full size.

Many personal decisions go into tree planting, including general aesthetics and more practical details. In areas with hot summers and cold winters, it is best to plant deciduous trees, which will provide shade in the summer yet allow sunlight to pass through in the colder months. If you live by a noisy roadway, some trees are noted for providing a buffer against noise and unwanted views.

   
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