After Design/Before Installation
Design is a process. I am starting from the premise that you hired a landscape designer or landscape architect. So now you have your design. The time to make modifications is before the installation begins. If you have hardscape elements in your design, such as a pool, spa, custom BBQ, outdoor kitchen cabinets, counters, patios, pergolas, custom fire and water features my advice is to have the contractor(s) take landscape spray paint and lay out all the elements on the ground in the with the measurements on the landscape design. This way if you have to make any changes to, for example, the size of the patio, you do this before installation begins. You might have decided to buy oversized outdoor furniture for your new patio and perhaps the patio should be enlarged or your new custom fire table needs to be a little smaller.
I have found over the years that most clients do not have their furniture selected at the time the installation construction begins. It is best if you do, but this is not always possible. That being said, at the time the install begins, you might be thinking of larger or even smaller size furniture and that could impact a decision on the furniture selection or the patio size. Just increasing it by a foot might make the difference assuming that it won’t throw off the other elements in the design. Every form, every shape effects what is next to it and in a professional design all elements are placed intentionally. If you are not hiring your designer or architect to consult on the installation then it is wise to take this first step yourself with the contractor(s). Again, design is a creative process and, as a designer, I know that changes are made in the design process and modifications are made in the process of the installation – both at the beginning and often during. If you do not want to pay the designer or architect to help with this first step then do it yourself. It is a step that will insure that you are all on the same page. Once the installation begins it could be costly to make changes, the same changes that could have easily been made in the beginning had you taken the time. The beginning is a crucial part of the process. The same process should occur with the landscape contractor when laying out the plants. You might have trees on your new design. When the trees arrive, place them first before the crew digs the holes because it is possible that you want it moved over a foot or so. Sometimes the trees are wider than anticipated, taller or shorter. As long as it is in the location of the plan, this is the time to make those adjustments, not after a large tree is planted. The way to best avoid problems and assumptions is to take this first step with your landscape designer or architect and the contractors you have hired to do your landscape installation. This approach protects your investment and helps you achieve your vision.