Planning is critical to the success of your outdoor spring projects

It might be too cold to start building a deck or storage shed in your backyard this weekend. But spring is just around the corner so now is a good time to begin the planning of your outdoor spring projects. Maybe your starting with a blank slate or planning a major backyard makeover.

Whatever the scale of your project, the planning stage is critical. The average project from the planning stage to actually getting started is 6 to 8 weeks. So now that you have the time, spend it wisely in planning. A little work now will help insure your project is completed on time, on budget and meet everyone’s expectations.

Every project in the home has six basic elements to consider when it comes to moving forward with a project. Since we know that all projects are not equal in size or scope, the most important elements are probably different depending on what the project is. Here are the most common six elements to consider for your projects.

The Design


This is the stage where you define what the project is going to look like once its completed. At this point you should be considering the purpose the project within the whole backyard. Will your yard be divided into recreational, relation and working or gardening elements? Your design at this point could be a series of sketches, a set of formal blueprints, or even just detailed pictures to use as your guide. The bigger the project, the more important the design element is. Your quinju account is a great place to capture all your design ideas in one convenient place.

Product Selection

This is where you choose specific products, with specific features, and specific brands. For example, in a deck design will you use paving stones, cement, wood or composite? If it's a raised deck what railing will you use? Check out our article on deck railing here.

Homeowners typically research lots of different product and brand choices prior to making a preferred selection. This step alone can take a good deal or time as you look at various options, styles and price levels.

If you are tackling a decking project this spring we have lots of great tips and information on framing and construction in our article here.

Labor Skills to Install

Depending on the size and type of project, it is important to determine the labor skills required to install all the products contained in the project. This is usually either a Do-It-Yourself, or hire contractor to Do-It-For-Me. Perhaps you would like to contract out some of the project and do so of the work yourself. Either way, finding the right help is important. For more information on choosing a contractor check our related article here.


Identifying what the potential costs are for the design, the product selections, and the labor costs are very important. Trade-offs are often required between what products you want, and what products you can afford.

Time Management

This also varies widely between different kinds of projects, but knowing what time of year to execute on a project and how long will it take to finish the project from start to finish is important. If you are hiring a contractor or managing multiple tradespeople on the project this is an important aspect. Keeping the project scheduled and on time will help to avoid costly delays.

Completion and Assessment

This is an assessment both before and after a project on whether the project works. This is a combination of the 5 other elements on how well they all came together. Does the finished project meet the original design or goals?

Not all projects in the home will have the same level of detail with these six elements. As an example, replacing the flooring in a bedroom takes on a different level than doing a complete kitchen remodel. But both projects still have all six elements associated with them. Similarly, a fencing project maybe just the beginning of a complete backyard project that may take place over a number of years.

We think the best tool available to help you manage and plan all your home renovations is your free quinju account, so sign up to day, its easy, just click the button below.


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