The Importance of Having a Plan

I’ve been speaking with some landscapers about creating a plan for our yard’s landscaping. I’m pretty sure my reaction to the process is a lot like most homeowners thinking about home renovations: ”$X per hour for design services?! How many hours will that take? What will that cost? Wouldn’t I be better off spending that money on plants and mulch? Why do I need a design plan anyway?”

The truth is, I absolutely know the value of having a great plan, whether for landscaping or renovating a home.

A comprehensive plan has the same value, but on a much larger scale, as the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” A great plan allows me to renovate my home or landscape in sections, as my budget allows, while staying on target for the eventual goals of that plan. A comprehensive plan saves money.

For example, at our house, we claimed breezeway space for a new front entryway. We raised the floor 20 inches, filling it with a ton of gravel and several inches of concrete, finishing it with electric radiant heat, and slate tile. During this process, we made provisions for a future second-floor addition by burying conduits for wiring and plumbing in the gravel below this new floor. Imagine what kind of money would have been wasted when it comes time to build the addition, if we had not planned ahead in this way!

When creating a plan for any home project you undertake, you’ll need to understand:

– What your long-term goals are for your home.
– Which projects you’re interested in pursuing now.
– Which issues are pressing and need attention now.
– What issues might arise later, and how you can plan for them.
– What can be done to make your older home more efficient.
– How you can budget for the proposed changes.

With these pieces of information in hand, you’ll be well prepared to take the next steps toward your renovation goals. That’s the importance and value of having a great plan.