Perhaps you’ve been imagining that brand new deck or beautifully landscaped garden. Having that vision is just the first step. To make that dream a reality, you need to properly plan and design that special project.
Projects Take Time
This may seem like an obvious statement, but if you want to enjoy your new deck this summer you can’t wait until July to start on it. There are many aspects of a project where time is a major factor.
Determining how long you have to complete the project is the first step. Going back to our summer deck example, you may need to start planning this project in the winter in order to have it ready for that Memorial Day barbecue. If it’s already early spring, then perhaps you can plan to do part of it now and expand on it next winter. Using a phased approach can certainly affect the design of your deck.
Timing is also critical for seasonal plants. Your flower garden may not do well if you miss the optimal times for planting them in the ground. The opposite may be true if your garden is ready but the plants you wanted are not yet in season.
One last item related to time. It takes time to gather all the materials you may need. You may find that you need to order large quantities of supplies and wait for them to be delivered. All of these timing issues can be avoided with proper planning.
Projects Cost Money
Money may be just as obvious as time but it is often overlooked even more. Many beautiful landscape projects begin with the best of intentions but get left unfinished when the budget runs dry. All of us know someone with a partially completed project in their yard.
One common pitfall with project budgets is that they are not based on a completed design. Many folks start out with a general idea of what they want and some money set aside to pay for it. Then they just start the project.
Unfortunately, they never take the time to finish the design and determine how much it will actually cost. When the money runs out, the project is either left unfinished or just ends up falling way short of the vision.
Take the time to compare the cost of your completed design with your available budget. This will allow you to decide if you need to change the design, change the budget or both. This will set you up for success from the beginning.
Plan the Work, Work the Plan
This is more common sense wisdom that isn’t so common anymore. Too many projects incur delays and increased costs because folks simply forgot to plan all the tasks needed to complete the effort. One great example is not getting the location of underground cables marked before you start digging. This is not only costly but potentially dangerous as well.
Once you have a completed design that fits your budget, you need to plan out the work. This includes identifying what tasks need to be done first so that later tasks can then be done. After all, you can’t plant flowers that you haven’t purchased yet. There’s also nothing more frustrating than having your hired labor show up and you haven’t received the materials yet that they need to do their work.
Taking the time to lay out the tasks in the order they need to be done will resolve these issues. Plus, if you change your mind during the project, you can use this task list to better understand the impacts of that change.
Bringing it all Together
Successful projects require:
- Proper Planning
- Completed Designs
- Acceptable Budgets
- Prioritized Task Lists
Bringing all of these elements together will let you enjoy the benefits of that special project that started out as just a dream.