Remedying a lacklustre landscape in Warkworth, Auckland

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The landscape surrounding this Warkworth homeowner’s new build lacked style, quality, and function, but a well-executed design ensured the outdoor living space added further value to this family home.

Before After
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Dealing with disappointment

Joel’s newly built brick and weatherboard home in Warkworth was warm, well-insulated, and met all healthy home requirements, but the outside was a different story. Patchy grass was an eyesore when he looked out the window, an under-sized concrete driveway left muddy tracks either side, and the backyard was simply unusable.

Joel wanted a family-friendly outdoor living space that matched the quality of his new build and, although he’d just gone through the lengthy process of building his own home, he was determined to undertake a full landscape renovation to ensure he had the property he desired.

Unimpressed with the landscaping, Joel reached out to Warkworth’s local Zones Landscaping Consultant Sandy Lochhead to take advantage of her expert advice and Zones’ comprehensive approach. 

Refining the plans

Aside from a few must-haves, Joel didn’t have the landscaping specifics figured out, so Sandy offered her suggestions to get the ball rolling. 

The first of Sandy’s ideas included a swimming pool, but the high cost was a deterrent for Joel. He was willing to make the appropriate investment to get the landscape design he was after but still wanted to get the best value. Removing the pool from the plans offered more flexibility within the budget and, after a few rounds of discussion, Joel and Sandy managed to refine the project scope. 

The final design included planting, mulching, and lawn updates in both the front and back yards, a covered deck at the rear, and a driveway expansion that would be functional and improve the property’s curb appeal. Joel was happy to move forward and signed off on the $103,000 estimate so Sandy could get the work going as soon as possible. 

Moving along

Sandy’s in-house project manager, Kyle Lochhead, joined the team during the construction stage to ensure the process ran smoothly. The two coordinated the contractors and started the project off with excavation. Inclement weather caused some delays early on but Kyle kept Joel updated so he could plan accordingly. 

As the construction progressed, the landscape started to take shape. Retaining walls went up around the perimeter of the backyard to create separation between the lawn and planting area. Kwila was used to construct the low-profile deck for its longevity and durability, as well as its high-end look. Finishing touches were placed as the project wrapped up. The final cost came to $114,000, the increase due to significant tipping fees.

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Functional and family-friendly

Approaching Joel’s updated property, guests are now greeted with a smartly manicured landscape. The new driveway is wide enough to accommodate Joel’s vehicles and is bordered by a stylish lattice and gravel detail that also creates an extra buffer, just in case. Black mulch is a chic feature at the front which complements the neighbouring fence and black details of the home’s facade. 

Around the back, the lush lawn is the perfect play place for Joel’s children while he entertains the adults on the covered Kwila deck. The new louvre partially covers the deck offering the option of shelter or sunshine. 

Final Words

Sandy, Kyle, and their entire team have created a fantastic landscape for Joel and his family to enjoy. Even the neighbours have commented on how great the new front garden looks. Joel is very happy with the results, citing the clear communication from the Zones team as a standout.

Would you like to discuss your landscaping ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Landscaping Consultant.

This project was completed in
February 2023
Project description
Full landscape renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
6 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Unfavourable weather conditions.
Interesting aspects
Kwila decking and a planter perimeter
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Sandy Lochhead is Landscaping Consultant of Landscapes and Outdoor Living Limited, a franchisee of Zones Landscaping New Zealand, doing business in Rodney.

Kyle Lochhead is a Zones Landscaping Owner of Landscapes and Outdoor Living Limited, a franchisee of Zones Landscaping New Zealand, doing business in Rodney.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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