In Metro Vancouver we are at the tail-end of winter weather, the buds on trees are only just starting to peek out and the daylight hours are ever so slowly extending. So it may seem too early to be talking about backyard barbequing and entertaining, but this is actually the perfect time to start planning your dream outdoor living space!
Not only are contractors booking up quickly before summer hits, but there is also a high demand (and unfortunately a short supply) of some hardscaping materials such as pavers and slabs. These are high demand items because they are needed for most backyard projects. The best advice is to plan now so you can enjoy your finished project when the nice weather is here.
Struggling at where to start in your planning process? These guidelines will help steer your project on course and get you the backyard of your dreams!
Three essential aspects for your landscaping project:
1. What’s your vision?
- Do you have large gatherings with family and friends?
- Will your space include a quiet refuge to enjoy the nature around you?
- Are you passionate about outdoor cooking and need a space to grill your newest creation?
- Do you want an open area for kids and pets to play?
- See our project gallery for more ideas and inspiration
2. What’s your budget?
- What are you comfortable spending and what is your maximum?
- Are you willing to budget in phases? This may help you prioritize the must-haves for the project.
- Are you willing to compromise on mid-range retail products in order to spend money on more important aspects of the project?
- Are you willing to do some of the prep work yourself, like debris removal or shopping? This may help bring the contractor’s quote down.
3. What’s your timeline?
- Are you comfortable doing the project in phases? Or are you planning for a big event that can’t be pushed to a later date?
- Can the contractor complete the project in the timeline you have set?
Here is our checklist for how to start the planning process:
- Start creating idea boards on platforms like Pinterest or Houzz
- Establish a timeline of when you want this project to be completed
- Determine a rough budget, being clear what your maximum spend is
- Look for a landscape contractor on Google or the BCLNA directory
- Research your top 5 contractors by checking their Google reviews or check their rating on the Better Business Bureau
- Call your shortlisted contractors and get a minimum of 3 quotes. Make sure they can do the work in your specified timeframe.
- Finally, book your preferred contractor in spring in order to be ready for those summer parties!