A leading Wagga landscaper has identified the most common backyard "DIY disasters" ahead of the popular spring garden makeover season.
Adam Morrison from Creative Outdoors and More - a former TAFE NSW student - said the explosion in popularity of home improvement TV shows, DIY videos on YouTube and the growth of hardware giants like Bunnings, had created a DIY "perfect storm" in backyards across the region.
And while the makeovers were well-intentioned, Mr Morrison, 30, said it was often left to experts like him to clean up the mess.
"The DIY approach to landscaping has become a real trend but it's important to remember landscaping is an art form that has aspects of so many trades in it," Mr Morrison said.
"There's building, horticulture, civil construction, tiling, plumbing and more, and it's difficult for an ordinary homeowner to do a lot of this themselves."
Mr Morrison said four of the most common DIY mistakes he encountered were:
- Biting off more than you can chew: "I've seen plenty of people try and project manage a big landscaping job themselves, where they bring in different tradies separately. The problem there is if something goes wrong and the client doesn't pick it up, it can cause huge headaches. You might save a few dollars in the short term but it could cost you a packet if you have to rectify a serious problem."
- DIY decking: "People often attempt to do their own decking but in the Wagga climate, these can warp and twist really easily, especially if you take shortcuts."
- Retaining walls: "Drive around Wagga and you'll see retaining walls failing everywhere. It's often that homeowners don't put the posts in that support the walls far enough into the ground."
- Eye for detail: "This is a critical one and you often see it with DIY paving. People think paving is simple but the end result is that pavers often don't line up, especially where patterns are used. The levels and plumness are all over the place."
Mr Morrison and his team have constructed a host of high-profile projects across Wagga and the state, including the recently opened Livvi's Place inclusive playground at Bolton Park.
TAFE NSW head teacher of Horticulture Kim Thomas said TAFE offers a two-year, part-time Certificate III in Landscape Construction for those who wish to pursue a career in the landscaping industry.
"The landscaping teacher ... [Brad Wighton] operates his own landscaping company and has been in the industry for two decades," Mr Thomas said.