Landscaping design is an important quality to consider when investing in your home. But in order to get the most out of your budget, time, and your outdoor living space, you need to keep your project on schedule. Before you begin your project it’s important to have a clear understanding of what may impact that schedule.
Since landscaping is an inherently outdoor affair, weather is the number one factor that can affect the schedule of your project. Inclement weather can make it impossible for your landscaper to work. Acts of nature can also prevent you from getting materials on time. All of these environmental factors can affect your timeline. The weather forecast isn’t perfect, of course, but you know the seasons in your area. Plan accordingly so that you know you have done all you can to prevent delays.
Whether you and your landscaping architect have designed an elaborate remodel of your lawn, or if you are planning simple additions that include lighting and water features, it’s important to have the proper permits in place before being work. Permits keep your project up to code and when it’s time to sell, can raise the value of your home. Obtaining permits can be a lengthy process, however, so hiring an experienced landscaping pro is essential to staying true to the timeline of your project. The schedule in the contract should take into account the time it will take to obtain permits, which in some areas can take as long as three months.
Material selection will have a big impact on your schedule. There are a lot of materials to choose from when it comes to a landscaping project: wood, pavers, exotic or native plants, water features, light fixtures, gazebos, and more. Staying on top of each order, managing where you source them from, will help you organize the flow of your project based on deliverables.
How you choose to spend the money you have set aside for your landscaping project will always dictate the schedule. Time spent finding or negotiating the right price for certain items will delay the work and progress of your project. If you have the money in your budget to rush order those items that took you longer to find, that could help put you back on the original timeline you and your landscaper agreed on.
Materials that are either on extremes of the price range can slow down your project. Exotic or imported materials may have to be shipped, and that can take time, no matter how much money you’re willing to spend. Bargain basement materials may be in high demand: you might find yourself waiting on a back order list to get the price you want.
Decide early on which aspect of your project, schedule or budget, is most important to you. You might find yourself having to choose one at the expense of the other.
Busy times and holidays
Before signing a contract, sit down with your contractor to discuss when they are available to start your project. Landscaping projects tend to kick off in spring, and this can be a very busy time for your professional. Compare both your calendars to see where you and your project best fits and understand that your pro may be juggling several jobs at once. If you want your project done before the holidays, in time for a June wedding, or other seasonal celebration months, it’s important to understand that everyone will be very busy with jobs, orders, and schedules. Be sure to do your part in advance to account for any seasonal delays.
Top image credit: Pederson Associates