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Want an Outdoor Project in 2021? Start now.

By Ed Ball | Published on November 10, 2020 | 2 min read

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As winter approaches, it seems hard to imagine that we should be planning for spring – it feels so far away! Yet, daffodils and tulips will usher in a new growing season in less than four months, so now is the best time to begin planning your outdoor project.

While the pandemic disrupted all of our lives, one great thing has emerged: people have fallen in love with their homes again. Homeowners have poured time and resources into improving their indoor and outdoor spaces and perhaps have assessed their home environment in a more discerning manner, discovering desired upgrades along the way.

As a result, demand is high for contractors who can execute those visions, including landscape architects and designers. This means it could take more time to not only get on the schedule of your chosen provider but also to receive supply deliveries or permit approvals.

Here are a few reasons why you should start planning your project today:

Contractors are in demand. Most people think about backyard upgrades as the weather improves, and days get longer, but your preferred contractor is scheduling spring projects several months ahead, which means now. To ensure shovels will break ground in the spring, begin designing your project soon, especially if your vision includes a large build, such as a pool or outdoor kitchen.

Everything is taking longer. The pandemic has slowed responsiveness – from acquiring necessary permits, to having materials delivered. Given that the entire supply chain is sluggish, it’s imperative to build in additional time to plan and allow for buffers in the schedule and allow for potential delays.

Shortages and price increases. The overall rise in home projects puts pressure on supply, meaning that many manufacturers are not able to keep up with demand as they struggle to maintain their workforce in this pandemic environment. You also can expect material prices will increase beyond the typical 3-5% annual adjustment. By engaging in planning work now, we may take advantage of lower prices while securing materials ahead of your neighbor.

Weather happens. While we can work with stone, cement, and other materials as long as temperatures are above freezing (32 degrees), working through the winter in this region can be unpredictable and more trouble than it’s worth. Designing and scheduling your project now allows you to get toward the front of the line after inclement weather breaks.

If you imagine yourself sitting in your new entertaining space or floating in the pool next summer, now is the time to start planning. Don’t get caught hauling out the kiddie pool or limping through another summer with that old grill. Start now. Enjoy later!