Creating a dream backyard can be a big undertaking. We are often asked if we can complete our work in multiple phases over the course of a few seasons. More often than not, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” When building a multi-faceted project, there are several factors to consider and an “order of operations” in which it should be done to minimize disrupting previously completed areas and creating efficiencies with time and budget. Here are some stages for phasing a project that lay the foundation for everything that follows.
Create a Master Plan: Whether the project is built all at one time or over a couple of seasons, it is essential to design the entire space up-front. We first walk our clients through a thorough design process that allows us to understand how they live, work and play outdoors. This creates a foundational roadmap for the overarching vision of the backyard. We take the end goal and break it into pieces, outlining how each connection will be made both above and below ground. For example, if the end-goal is to build an outdoor living structure with a kitchen and fireplace, but the budget only allows for a slab patio at present-time, we know we need to install the concrete foundations for those key future elements as well as sleeve for future gas and electrical locations. We also will be able to sleeve or stub-up for future irrigation and electrical work to be done in the landscape.
Install the Pool and Hardscape
After creating the master plan, the next step is to create the anchor of the backyard so clients can utilize the space as soon as possible. Often times, this includes a pool. Think of this area as the bones of the backyard; everything starts with those connections and works outward. Installing the pool and hardscaping around it also create instant impact; suddenly, an area that was unusable has been transformed and contains as an area to relax with friends or play with kids. If pool and hardscape cannot be completed simultaneously, definitely install the pool first. There is a lot of infrastructure that goes along with a pool and it is best to get that in place prior to installing hardscape areas.
The final piece of the puzzle is landscaping. Since plant material is more sensitive than concrete, it is always recommended to install last. If done prior to hardscaping or pool, there is a 100% chance the plants will be damaged and need to be replaced. Begin first by installing the larger material like trees or screening shrubs to provide shade and a backdrop for the other material. Next are the shrubs and groundcover, with the lawn being installed last of all. This order is important because you want the least amount of foot-traffic so the yard can properly establish and root-in before the inaugural party to show-off the wonderful new back yard!
Here at AquaTerra, we want to make your dream become a reality. If you have a grand vision for your outdoor space, but aren’t sure where to start or how to accomplish it, give us a call! We will partner with you every step of the way.