August 2017

What to Expect From a Professional Design Build Company

From design, through to the final completion of the project, a design and build company such as Towne Tree & Landscaping Inc. can orchestrate your Walpole, MA, landscaping project with more efficiency and fewer hassles than if you were to take on multiple contractors yourself. Here’s how you can benefit from a company with an all inclusive skill set:


The biggest difference between a design build company and general contractor is that the first one holds a single-source responsibility and contract risk for every aspect of the project. Design build teams manage everything from estimation, assessment, pre-construction and architecture to contracts with companies, engineering, construction, and post-construction.

Two of the biggest perks of hiring this type of company for your project are the cost savings and simplicity. Basically, you’ll get the same advantages that you would enjoy with a general contractor but with the added benefits of professional design, smooth organization, potential cost savings, and clear, complete plans.

Related Read: Landscape Contractors Use These Techniques for Making Small Spaces Appear Larger

An educated designer will make sure the process is well-executed, accurately planned and followed through. You also won’t have to worry about managing the project yourself as you will be guided through the relevant stages and tiniest details of the process.

Related Read: What’s Missing in your Landscaping Layout?

Single Source of Liability

With a design build company you get a single source of accountability. The design build team collaborates together, building a relationship that serves as a foundation for successfully completing the project. On the other hand, if you hire two or more different companies, you are more likely to experience some disputes in liability should disaster occur. You would have to separately select a designer or an architect, bid on the project, select a contractor, and finalize the design. After finishing all these daunting tasks, you would also be involved in the project as a mediator. With a professional design build company, all these things are taken care of for you, so you can sit back and enjoy watching the project come together.

Efficient Project Completion

Having several experts on the same team means better organization, coordination, knowledge and execution. Errors in interpretation of design can lead to fatal errors for landscapes and outdoor buildings. These mistakes are not only costly, but take a lot of time to repair, which results in delays and loss of precious time. With an all-in-one design build company these things are less likely to happen because of clear communication with experts working closely together to ensure your project is a success.

Related Read: 5 Most Important Landscape Design Essentials in Every Backyard

Quality Control

Unforeseen challenges arising during construction work is not uncommon. If such an issue does arise, a single team of experts, equipped to deal with all eventualities, is better suited to handling the problem than a number of independent groups. With multiple companies, as the contractors change during the stages of building, if some of them didn’t execute their job properly, the following contractor will face issues. This can lead to you paying the second contractor to fix the job of the first, or finding a new one that will take good care of it. This can cost you time and more money for fixing mistakes that you had originally agreed upon. With a design build team and their build methods, you will be certain that every stage of the process of building and every material used are controlled and inspected by a single reliable entity.

Related Read: Landscaping Near Me: Finding the Best Contractor in your Area

Backyard Designs that Promote Serenity and Calm

A serene and relaxing backyard for your Hingham, MA, property calms the nerves and relieves daily stress. Getting back to nature also offers long lasting health benefits, so why not envelope yourself in the aromas and textures of a natural environment by incorporating these aspects into your own backyard?

To achieve this, the design can be kept simple and uniform or rustic and wild depending on your preferences. Plants and additional features can be included to add beauty and tranquility to the backyard area and stimulate the senses. Even a small backyard space can be designed to offer a relaxing environment in which you find solace and comfort. Here are some tips to promote serenity and calm in your outdoor living space:

Native plants to attract insects and birds

An oasis of native flowers and trees add beauty to the landscape in and of themselves, but the advantages don’t stop there. Native plants also lure butterflies, birds and other wildlife. The sound dampening qualities of plants can help drown out the daily bustle of the street while the sounds of insects and birds can produce restful and melodic ambience.

Related: 4 Gorgeous Landscape Design Themes for your Hanover Backyard

Water Features

You don’t need to have a swimming pool to enjoy the beauty and calmative properties of water. Besides, not every backyard has the capacity to include a full sized pool. However, backyards can still be enhanced with a centerpiece water feature. Cascading streams, waterfalls and small fountains produce negative ions which have a positive effect on overall health. Furthermore, negative ions attract dust and act to purify the air you breathe. Not to mention that flowing water produces a tranquil sound which is considered to be therapeutic—relaxing your mind, soul, and body.

Related: 5 Most Important Landscape Design Essentials in Every Backyard

Recline in a Hammock

Imagine the setting of a cool spring day in your backyard—birds twittering in the trees and the sun gently warming you as you sway in a soft, calming breeze. Reclining in a hammock in a quiet backyard is the perfect way to separate yourself from the bustle of modern life. Hammocks can be strung between trees or be secured with their own supports. Talk to your landscaper about facilitating a hammock in your backyard.

Bali Hut

Including a Bali hut adds an eco-friendly, attractive edge to your backyard. Natural materials can be used to achieve a sustainable, functional sanctuary which can be used for yoga and pilates to facilitate a calm mind and healthy body.

Related: Creating Privacy in Your Massachusetts Backyard

Food Plants

In place of flower beds, why not incorporate fruit trees, herb plants, and vegetable patches into your backyard design? Besides providing an appealing and beautiful view from your patio, you can also enjoy mouth watering delicacies straight from your backyard.

Harmonious Visual Appearance

Consider selecting your shrubs, groundcovers and flowers according to a simple color palette of only two or three colors so that the result is a harmonious visual appearance. Few plant varieties and mass plantings of each can be used for fullness and to avoid clutter. Achieve serene, scenic views with taller plants on each side and low growth beneath.

Distribute Seating

To enjoy the full serenity of your backyard, distribute seating, placing chairs or benches in strategic places to enjoy every section of your backyard.

Related: Trending Backyard Designs This Summer

Finding an Outdoor Kitchen Design that Suits Your Style and Needs

When it comes to incorporating your tastes into a plan for your Milton, MA, outdoor kitchen, the input of a landscaping professional can be a huge asset. Maximize the enjoyment of your outdoor cooking area while complementing your home and property with these tips to get you started:

Related: Is It Too Late to Start on Your Stone Patio Project in Milton, MA?

Consider Your Space

The area chosen for your outdoor kitchen space will determine a great deal about your outdoor kitchen design. This space should ideally be located near the indoor kitchen, in close proximity to an entrance, facilitating the actual cooking process as well as the transfer of ingredients from one cooking area to the other. Once you know where the outdoor kitchen will be, you’ll have a general idea of the size of the area available. At this point, considering the functions you have planned for the space, you can get an idea of the approximate size for the patio and outdoor kitchen design plan. A professional can help you optimize the space to ensure that small areas are not too cluttered and that larger areas are utilized to their full potential.

Related: What to Expect From a Professional Design Build Company

Incorporate the Home’s Style

The outdoor kitchen that’s best for your landscape will likely be the one that’s in keeping with both your home’s style and your own tastes. Whether your home is contemporary, traditional, coastal, or romantic, the outdoor kitchen can reflect this style while maintaining a high degree of quality and functionality. Fortunately, with the ready availability of concrete manufactured paver and building units, you will find it convenient to incorporate styles, colors, and textures to suit the aesthetic that appeals to you. A simple three tone color scheme might include pavers that match the roof of your home, verticals (bars, kitchen counters, seating walls, etc.) that match the siding of your home, and accents that highlight or contrast colors in your landscape. Matching or contrasting textures reflected in existing hardscaping is also an effective way of achieving a cohesive outdoor kitchen design plan.

Related: Trending Backyard Designs This Summer

Plans for Use

How you intend to use your outdoor kitchen space will also influence your design decisions. Whether your kitchen space is limited to an outdoor grill and table set or includes all of the extras, such as a sink, refrigerator, island, pizza oven, etc. is up to you. Consider how often you plan to cook in the space and the types of dishes that you’ll be preparing. Think about your cooking style too: if you’re an expressive cook, you want to include additional counter space and stain resistant, easy-to-clean surfaces. If you take a more reserved approach to cooking, consider a design that ensures that everything is near at hand and easily accessible. A professional can help you to determine the most appropriate layout for function and aesthetic to ensure you outdoor kitchen is a roaring success.

Related: 5 Essential Elements for Your MA Outdoor Kitchen

Don’t Leave Out the Extras

Many other considerations might play into your decision. Think about important elements such as the view, adequate seating, and optional fire features that you’d like to include in your layout. Your contractor will be able to work closely with you to ensure that everything that you might want or need in your outdoor kitchen space is accommodated without sacrificing space, function, or aesthetic.

Related: Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

What’s Missing in your Landscaping Layout?

Your landscape in Milton, MA, may be giving you that feeling that something is missing. Your landscape layout is probably missing one or more of the key elements that make the layout tick. These elements help your landscape achieve a layered look and bring interest in all seasons.

Your home is your castle, so make it inviting and appealing by adding warmth, color, and texture to your landscape. There are many beautiful and wonderful ways to do this, from planting annuals and perennials, growing blooming shrubs, and adding height with planters and baskets, to creating outdoor spaces where guests can sit, relax, and enjoy drinks and conversation.

Create an Effective Landscape with Plant Layering

Some homes have tons of different kinds of plants, shrubs, and trees, but the landscape still feels as though something is missing. Likely, such a landscape is missing a structured planting layout.

This can be achieved in a number of ways. Consider creating repetition in your plantings using a specific plant or color to achieve consistency. Using a specific plant throughout your landscape creates rhythm so that the eye flows across the space. Sticking to a specific color also achieves cohesion. You can choose multiple plants in the same color family, for example light green, yellow, or even pink. Another way of achieving structure with plantings is to layer them according to height – tall plants near the back of plant beds and smaller plants nearer to the front. Plantings can also be grouped according to texture or shape.

Related: Big Advantages of Using Trees and Plantings in your Front Yard Landscaping

Start With and Maintain the Focal Points

A focal point is something that draws attention. A focal point at its best directs the eye and engages a person as they move around your landscape. There are many possible elements that can be used as focal points, not just the obvious choices of statues or trees. The trick is to employ something that is different from the rest of your landscape in terms of form, color or texture. It can be a borrowed view or even an architectural feature of your house.

Related: 4 Design Tips for An Eye-Catching Outdoor Fireplace

Remember, focal points should stand out, not stick out. They should still be connected to the rest of the landscape, either through a connection to the overall style of the landscape, or through a repeated shape or color. Scale also plays an important role: for example, if your landscape is several acres with broad vistas, an ancient oak could play the role quite well. A small urban lot would do well with an ornate yard bench or small statue.

Related: Essential Fall Landscaping Services in MA


Curves add interest to your landscape, but they need not be overdone. Long, subtle curves will do the trick, whereas meandering walkways can take you far out of the way of your destination. This is not a bad thing if this is your intention, but when linking frequently used features, this can be impractical.

Baskets and Planters to Add Height

Your home is not two-dimensional, so why should your landscape be? Hanging baskets and elevated planters produce lovely, eye-catching layers to your landscape, and create visual interest with minimal effort.

Related: Trending Backyard Designs This Summer