New construction or a renovation, taking on a home improvement project can be an overwhelming task for many homeowners and a big reason is they just don’t know where to begin.  The bigger the project, the more important it is to start at the beginning, but where is that, it’s really to consider the end – in how you want to use the space.

What comes first? 

Imagine you are building a new home or a big remodel would you start by working with an architect or with the plumber? If you start with the plumber  are they adding piping before the new walls are up to put them in,  do they know where they go or can they just put them where they want to? Would those pipes that were installed need to be moved or cut to make the flooring and walls allowed to be built, do they even cover all the rooms that needed plumbing?  No probably not, the plumber would just have a bunch of pipes that maybe carry out a couple of goals of the bigger project but also needed to be re done many times as you went to make them fit the final project.  If you were to start with the architect on the other hand they will draw plans helping you organize the lay out of the house, this makes sure you get the rooms and spaces you were looking for.  These plans will then also include information for the different contractors to know where they need to be working to include framing, plumbing, electrical ect.  And know what trades are needed allows a list or schedule of  who and when they are doing these items so the project can move forward smoothly. This now lets the plumber, and everyone else, know the scope of the project with their roles defined.

The details matter

Now lets look at the landscape project, should we start with the plumbing here? By this point we know where the house is and the property lines and that things will need water right? Will it matter where things are planted and where we create patios or features? Of course it does! Just like the architect lays out the  house a landscape architect or designer lays out the landscape for planting beds and plants, patios and more.  To start at the beginning before confines of bed-lines are set, and expanse of unwanted turf is laid gives us the most options to make the most of any space.

When is a good time to contact a landscape designer for my project?

So now you think if  I am only doing a remodel, when is the right time to contact a landscape designer for my project? Well, really as soon as you know there is a project to happen, as they can offer insight even before construction has begun on what the landscape can look like when paired with the house and land, especially if  there is an existing landscape that is there now.   And should you  be doing new construction the same goes for as soon as the build is to happen, but even as construction is underway call them before sidewalks sod and irrigation, even if they have been included with your builder package. By planning first you can make the most out of your project.

We can figure it out later

Many clients call us after the sod and irrigation are in and then surprised when we need to change this to fit their goals that they have shared.  And if there are bed-lines (the line or border that separates lawn from the plantings and mulch) set they may not have realized at that time that they limited the options for the plants that can be used due to space restrictions.  Many times they just wanted it in and would figure it out later, and while we absolutely can, it costs time and materials to re-do, so you are better off planning before doing any installation for the best opportunity for your landscape.

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