First lay out the shape of the lot so that it's reasonably centered on the page. Start with one corner and measure out in both directions to the farthest extent of the property boundaries. Make adjustments as needed to provide adequate margins around the drawing.
When drawing the lot, it's great if you can use an existing survey or house plot plan that you have on hand from when the house was built or remodeled. Then you can simply trace this onto your base sheet and you're done with this step. If it's not drawn at the right scale, take it to a blueprint or copy shop and have them use their fancy equipment to blow it up to the scale you need.
When transferring, choose the scale that produces the largest drawing possible so you have room to include all the details without crowding. For an ordinary-size suburban lot, usually a scale of 'A inch to 1 foot is fine. In other words, each 'A inch on paper represents 1 foot in the real world. If the lot is too big to fit comfortably on the paper at that scale, go to '/» inch to 1 foot, which cuts your drawing size in half.
Don't forget to locate north and mark it with an arrow on your base sheet; this tells you where the sun goes every day, which is essential to designing plantings and virtually every other sustainable landscape feature so that it's all well-adapted to the sun and shade patterns on your property.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.