Tips on Financing an Outdoor Oasis from EP Henry

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As with any large project, there may be some unanticipated items that push the budget higher than expected. Here, a hardscape and landscape design-build expert gives advice on what to do when a plan for a dream oasis goes over budget.

Outdoor living is a trend that’s becoming a permanent way of life. Homeowners want an outdoor space that invites family and friends to spend time together and enjoy the fresh air.

An outdoor room is a big renovation. As with any large project, there may be some unanticipated items that push the budget higher than expected. Here, a hardscape and landscape design-build expert gives advice on what to do when a plan for a dream oasis goes over budget.

Financing to complete the dream

Projects are funded in a variety of ways. “Savings and home equity loans seem to be the most popular [for financing projects],” said Simon Darlington, CEO of Glassboro, NJ design/build firm Darlington Designs. He said that when customers want more elements than they have the budget for, they look for help to cover the last chunk of the project. “Very rarely is a project totally financed. Customers [who finance] usually want more than they’ve saved for. Personal financing is like ‘gap’ coverage,” he said. Darlington Designs offers financing through a partner program with Wells Fargo bank.

“In the design stage … we try to discuss things pertaining to the budget,” said Mr. Darlington. “The homeowners have some ideas on what their comfort level might be. We start to narrow costs down and define the design to meet their budget.”

Weighing the options

Another option is to phase the project. “If we arrive at the final design and it is out of budget,” Mr. Darlington added, “then the customers look at phasing. Instead of financing, they phase the project in steps.” This can add costs in the long run, he warns. “Construction lawn repair, mobilization, delivery fees. We have to rip up the yard twice. There are duplicated costs in doing the work.” While the phasing may help a homeowner avoid personal financing, it may bring on these duplication-of-effort costs. These costs need to be weighed against interest rates of a personal financing loan.

Financing is an option if a homeowner is set on having that backyard oasis now and wants to avoid those costs. Different lenders will have various rates and fees, so comparison shopping is key. Most importantly, Mr. Darlington added, is that customers should be prepared to do their own homework on the project. “Spend a lot of time with the architect to plan the best backyard oasis for the space and budget.”

About EPHenry®

EP Henry®, the oldest American family-owned and operated manufacturer of unit concrete products in North America, provides the highest quality and broadest product offerings in Hardscaping(™). Based in Woodbury, New Jersey, EP Henry manufactures a wide range of paving stone and retaining wall products, including permeable pavers which are a best management practice (BMP) for stormwater management. EP Henry also offers beautiful patio pavers, outdoor kitchen kits, garden wall solutions and more. For more information on EP Henry Hardscaping products, visit EPHenry.com or call 800-44-HENRY (800-444-3679).

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