Ahh  Memorial Weekend, a time to relax and a time to play- and for some of us that means in the landscape.  I know there are a lot of “Weekend Warriors” that really get going strong on their projects this weekend, and that is awesome!  But before you start ripping up the lawn or tearing down the old walls did you really stop to plan what, where, how and why of what will happen after all that destruction?

Sure it might feel great to have the old out, especially if there was something that really bothered you about it!  However if you haven’t thought it through the project could hit a stand still and go unfinished for a while. Or worse yet- you re-do it and like the result even less than the ugly before. Or are you just tearing it out for the sake of doing something this weekend?

Let’s use a wall for example, it doesn’t have to be a huge one- even an 18” tall wall makes a statement. Start with the WHY: why are you tearing the old wall down, was it not functional, do you not like the look or are you changing the layout of how it interacts with the other surrounding space.  Knowing the answer to this can save you a lot if it means doing less, or sometimes more to make the project look better in the end. Or why are you digging into the grade that had no wall before- does it need one or do you want one?

HOW: How will the new wall make the space better, will the grade need to change dramatically to make things work? Will soil needed to be added or taken away to give you the look you desire, when you change they layout you typically change the needs of the support materials as well.

WHERE: if you are moving the walls layout where will the new wall go? Will it make the space more inviting, open, and easier to navigate?  Will it support the grade changes as you expect or will it need to be taller/shorter now that it is sitting differently, or the yard around it is different?  Will it provide or prohibit drainage, especially from the foundation of the house?

And after you have considered all of that the big question is are you really happy with your answers and ready to get the materials and get to work?  Or did you start to realize that the project is more that you want to undertake and will hang out by the grill instead and call your landscape designer to walk you through the ideas before you start tearing everything apart?  Have a great weekend either way!