DIY Landscape Design Ideas: Should You Do it Yourself or Leave it to the Pros

DIY Landscape Design Ideas: Should You Do it Yourself or Leave it to the Pros?

If you’ve ever been curious about how to design your backyard, you probably came across some do-it-yourself landscape design ideas or projects that you thought you could tackle on your own–like DIY fire pit landscaping ideas

While there are some fun and simple weekend projects that are suitable for beginners, there are many landscaping projects that need a little more expertise and planning than you might think. 

Continue reading below as we talk about how to DIY landscape design and discuss whether or not you should chance these projects yourself or go with the pros. After it all, you might find that DIY landscape design for beginners is more involved than you originally anticipated if you want to end up with a yard you’re proud to show off. 

The Pros and Cons of DIY Landscape Design for Beginners

To start off this discussion on do-it-yourself landscape design, let’s go over some of the advantages and drawbacks that can come from attempting these types of projects on your own. 


One of the biggest pros of DIY landscape design is that you have full control over the project and you don’t have to wait for a professional to be available to get the work done. You can work on the project at your own pace whenever you have the spare time to do so. Plus, if you want to make tweaks or adjustments to the design, you can do so at your leisure. 

Another common reason why people are drawn to DIY landscaping is that they think they will save money rather than hiring experts. This isn’t always necessarily the case, especially if you need to purchase certain equipment or tools to get the job done. 

Plus, some people just like the feeling of doing something on their property with their own two hands, which is something that do-it-yourself landscape design can provide. 


On the flip side, there are some common pitfalls of DIYing your landscaping that many people may not think of before it’s too late. 

For instance, as we mentioned above, people think they want to do landscaping work themselves to save money. But, if you’re not skilled or experienced in landscaping, you can easily make costly mistakes that require even more work, time, and investment to fix. 

Plus, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to landscaping projects. For many people, the last thing they want to do with their hard-earned free time is to spend hours in the baking sun getting their hands dirty. So, hiring professionals who can expertly design and install their dream backyard without having to lift a finger is preferred. 

After all, the reason you want to do a landscaping project in the first place is because you want your property to look nice and pristine. This is where the professionals shine with their unique expertise and eye for design that allows them to maximize both the science and art of landscape design which is often hard to balance as a beginner. 

So, Does Landscape Design DIY Make Sense for You?

If you’re still considering landscape design DIY, you might want to dig deeper before you decide whether to take the project on by yourself or hire an expert. Here are some of the most important considerations you’ll need to make so you know exactly what you’re getting into when you start a DIY project. 

Time Availability

For starters, there’s a lot of time and effort involved in DIY landscape design. So, you need to be aware of how much time it will take you to complete the project on your own–all the way from the planning stage, to the sourcing of materials and different components, to the actual installation and ongoing maintenance. 

Make a realistic assessment of how much time you can invest in the project to determine if it’s a feasible option for you. If you’re going to get halfway through the project and get sidetracked or busy with other priorities, it’s best to hire professionals who will get the job done efficiently. 

Willingness to Learn and Adapt

Something else to keep in mind as you’re browsing through DIY landscape design ideas is how willing you are to learn new skills and adapt your vision once you’ve gotten started to make it more practical or better suited to your preferences and skills. 

There are many elements that go into landscape design, and you should be aware of how they each interact to create a yard that you’re proud of and is long-lasting. This means researching different soil types, the difference between a dry well vs french drain, the plants that are native to your region, and understanding the varying watering needs and sun exposure that different plants need in order to thrive. 

If you don’t have the time or personal interest to dive deep into these topics, you likely will get bored or frustrated by the project and wish you had hired professional landscapers before you got knee-deep in the project. 

Budget Constraints vs Desired Outcome

Another factor that comes into play when you’re considering DIY landscape design ideas is the budget you’re working with. Depending on how much you’re able to devote to your landscaping, you may need to dial back your vision to make it more aligned with your budget. 

Even if you opt to DIY the project for cost-saving, keep in mind that you’ll still need to purchase plants, gravel, pavers, features, tools, and equipment if you do the project on your own. So, make sure you approach each DIY project with a clear budget in mind so your chosen landscape design is feasible and budget-friendly. 

How to DIY Landscape Design: Tips for Designing and Installing a Yard You’re Proud to Show Off

In our expert opinion, to get the best results, you should leave it to the pros and save yourself the hassle of DIY landscaping. But, we’ll now provide you with some tips on how to DIY landscape design if you’re still set on taking this route. 

Research and Inspiration to Come Up With a Vision

You should start by doing thorough research to find inspiration for your yard design and start creating your vision. This may include looking into the different types of landscape design, considering what your own aesthetic and preferences are, your budget, the unique characteristics of your property, and other factors. 

You can drive around your neighborhood or browse online forums and blogs to find photos of landscaping that you admire and would like to install on your own property. This will help you formulate a plan and figure out the individual elements that you’ll need to bring the project to life. 

Plotting Out Your Space: Considering Sunlight, Soil, Usage, and More

Once you have a distinct vision for your landscaping in mind, you’ll want to start plotting out the plan with the unique dimensions of your property and any existing landscaping or hardscaping elements that are already in place. 

Take into account the sunlight exposure your property receives, the type of soil you have, and what you plan on using the space for. This will help ensure that your vision is practical for the space you’re dealing with. You can make any adjustments as needed during this planning phase so you end up with a thoughtfully-curated landscape design that is built to last in your climate and meets your preferences. 

Design Elements to Consider: Plant Selection, Water Features, Lighting, Pathways, and More

The next aspect of doing DIY landscape design is selecting all the individual elements that make up your design plans. Landscaping is about more than just maintaining your lawn. If you want to achieve balance in landscape design, you need to create cohesion between each of your elements to create a serene backyard oasis. 

So, you need to consider other plants that you’ll have in your outdoor space, possible water features you may want to include to boost the ambiance, and any other additional features like lighting, pathways, and even fire pits to make your landscape dreams materialize. 

Sourcing and Installation: Putting the Pieces Together

After deciding on the individual elements you’ll include in your landscape design, it’s time to purchase them and start installing them. This is where you’ll finally see your ideas be brought to life, so this can be a very exciting step during a DIY project. 

Take your time to find components and features that are within your budget, but make sure you purchase quality materials and tools so you end up with items that are durable and long-lasting. 

With all the proper components on hand, you can start installing the items as you had envisioned them. This may be a multiple-day ordeal depending on how ambitious your visions were. So, this is where you’ll use pavers to lay down a pathway, place your new water feature and get it hooked up to a water source, or create landscaping beds to display colorful blooms and exquisite florals. 

Putting the Finishing Touches With Furniture and Other Functional Elements

With the principal components installed, you can add some finishing touches with accessories and furniture to infuse your personal flair into the space. This is where you can really capture the design style you’re going for by complementing the hardscapes, plants, and features you have installed in your yard. 

Maybe you want to go with sleek, modern furniture in muted tones, or you want to add vibrant, fun-colored picnic tables with patterned umbrellas for a more playful look. Whatever style you’re going for, this final step will really set your yard apart from others in your neighborhood and make it feel uniquely your own. 

Tips on Maintaining Your New Landscape

Though the planning and installation phases of your DIY project might be done, this doesn’t mean your work is completely over. You will still need to do the proper maintenance and upkeep of your yard going forward to keep it in pristine condition. 

You may need to come up with a daily or weekly yard maintenance checklist to keep your lawn well-manicured, your flowers and garden tended to, and ensure all other elements you’ve included are staying in good working order. 

Make sure you know the signs of drainage problems so you can spot any erosion or flooding issues and remedy them before they snowball into something more serious. Pay attention to the unique watering needs of all the plants and flowers you planted, and get in a good routine of yard maintenance to keep problems from piling up and becoming unmanageable. 

The Yard of Your Dreams is Well Within Reach - Let the Experts at Michaelangelo’s Help You Bring it to Life

DIY landscape design for beginners isn’t for everyone. There is a delicate balance between art and science that not everyone can grasp, especially with little to no experience. So if you want to create a yard that you’re proud of, hire landscaping pros to create the backyard you’ve always dreamed of without all the hassle. 

By working with Michaelangelo’s, you can partner with the #1 Alpharetta landscaping team that knows exactly how to give you the garden oasis you’re looking for. You don’t have to break a sweat and get your hands dirty just to end up with a torn-apart yard that looks subpar–our team has years of experience giving people backyard transformations that they didn’t even know were possible. 

We offer a full range of landscaping services to help you take care of your yard from initial design concepts to ongoing maintenance. That’s why we are the premier choice for Alpharetta landscape design using both on-trend and timeless styles that will make your property the talk of the neighborhood. 

Our clients also love our full-service landscaping service so they can enjoy the beauty of their outdoor space without even lifting a finger. Plus, we can even create a custom drainage solution for your property to prevent damaging erosion and flooding. 

Bringing Our Conversation on Landscape Design DIY to a Close

When it comes to DIY landscape design, it takes a specific type of person who has the right technical skills, eye for design, and availability to successfully complete the project how they intended. Most people simply don’t have the time, patience, or interest to devote to a DIY project and get the project done right, even if it sounds like a good idea at the start. 

So, landscape design is something that we think is best left to the pros. You’ll end up with a stunning yard that you can enjoy each day, and you won’t have to break your back or the bank to achieve it when you work with Michaelangelo’s. Contact us today to discuss your landscaping needs.