Generally speaking, if something is out of sight, it is usually out of mind. This can apply to anything from the credit cards bill you forgot to pay to the gas you forgot to put in your car before work this morning. On a more seasonal scale, when the fall and winter roll around, thinking about your outdoor living spaces usually fall by the wayside. While we understand that once the snow is on the ground, the last thing you want to think about are outdoor projects, but in fact, this is the PERFECT time to think about your outdoor projects! Your spring projects should start with winter planning. We are not so much talking about which vegetables you will plant in which planters, but rather, transforming your backyard just as you have wanted to do for years. Why start planning now? Winter planning for spring projects has several benefits.
It pays to think of your outdoor living space as a room. This space takes just as much planning as it would to build an addition or garage. Really! Think about it, hiring a professional landscape designer is much like hiring a building architect, they just specialize in the outdoors. Ample planning and designing is needed to be aesthetic and cohesive to the existing house, be properly designed and built to the specific needs of your family, and to also be built with code compliance and safety in mind! Don’t be afraid to go online and create a board on Pinterest or an Ideabook on Houzz with your ideas for your outdoor living space. With so many options out there, creating a visual aid for your landscape designer will help them narrow down exactly what you are looking for and deliver a personalized design that you absolutely love. Starting the planning process now will save you precious time when the weather breaks!
The open and honest communication between you and your landscape designer will take time. It is imperative that you both understand each other fully as well as understand the property fully. The “down time” in the winter allows your designer to be even more accessible than normal, because they are not being inundated with the day to day tasks that appear when it is warmer outside and their business is in full-swing. Having this seemingly uninterrupted time is ideal when designing a backyard transformation. This leaves extra time for making design revisions as necessary and time to select all of the materials you would like to implement into your plan. There are hundreds, if not thousands of material combinations you can make for your space, so talking with your designer will be a huge benefit to find exactly what will work for your outdoor plan.
If you have ever experienced a project where you needed building permits to begin the process, you know that it takes quite a while to be granted permits. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks to have a township issue a permit to begin a construction project, but they are absolutely necessary and ground cannot be broken without them! Applying for permits during colder months, or nearing spring will most likely expedite the process because the township is not being flooded with applications. The slower months also allow time to be sure that all appropriate paperwork has been filled out, turned in and approved.
Using your pent-up winter energy to start the design process for your outdoor living space rather than just fantasize about it will put your ahead of the game. Typically, when the weather starts to warm up, your landscape design and build firm is already about 8 weeks out in their schedule. Getting a jump start on the building schedule can be the difference of weeks, if not months! Having your design and materials solidified before the winter thaw will assure proper placement on the construction schedule. Being able to entertain during the summer months, rather than being under construction won’t go unappreciated!
A proper and successful design is the basis of any amazing outdoor project and the creative process needs time and should not be rushed. The planning process is more important and involved than you might initially think. By taking advantage of the off-season months with your landscape designer will work to your benefit. Not only will your project be in the forefront, but this extra time will prove to be a financial benefit by avoiding any dreaded change orders.
MasterPLAN Outdoor Living is a Design & Build Firm that specializes in providing hassle-free custom backyard trandformations of all sizes in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia areas. Armed with our knowledge and experience in design and construction documentation and management, we take care of everything for you. No need to worry about scheduling, permits or inspections; we assume complete management of all aspects of your project. The implementation of our exclusive management system makes designing and building outdoor living spaces a comfortable and convenient process for our clients. We are ready to hear from you this winter season! Reach out to MasterPLAN today to start realizing the full potential of your outdoor living space.
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