Landscape construction is like a train!

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I’ve always thought of landscape construction much like a really big, long train. There’s a heavy locomotive (or maybe two) leading the way with box cars following along behind, all trudging its way down the tracks. And, sometimes there’s a locomotive at the back pushing things along. It takes a very long time for this big, long train to get going, however, it takes equally, if not longer, for this big, long train to come to a stop. And I don’t promise it will be a pretty stop!

Landscape construction is much like a train.

In landscaping, it takes time to get a project up and going. There’s a plan or design to be agreed upon by the clients and the contractor. Materials must be ordered, locates and permits put in place, and equipment moved to the site.  

And that’s just the start. 

In landscape construction, there is a lot of ‘removing’ before there is ever any ‘building.’ If you hired a competent contractor, they will remove and prepare your site over a number of days (if not longer), depending on the size and scope of the work completed. All this preparation is the key to a lasting installation. Taking the time to make sure this work is completed properly (to landscape specifications) dictates the success or failure of a project, particularly when it comes to stone work.

So, back to my locomotive theory.   

Someone, somewhere had to plan which box car went where, and how many locomotives it would take to move the train forward. Like our train, it takes time to plan and execute a successful landscape installation. It takes time to get all the working parts moving in the same direction. All that planning and logistical work are completed long before the contractor ever steps foot on your site and digs the first hole.  

You want to make a change to the plan?

When a client what’s to make a change to the landscape plan once construction has started, that’s when the landscape train comes to a grinding halt (or at least a slowdown). Perhaps we need to go back and adjust the drawings, or order more product, or organize additional excavation. This takes time. Our once ‘nicely-moving-along’ train is now barely moving as we changed direction or moved off the main tracks.  Changes send everyone scrambling. With any luck, the contractor can pull together the materials (usually it’s extra not less) and the people power to help keep the project moving forward. Basically, you’ve asked the contractor to move the box cars around while the train is still moving.

Making significance design changes could result in the contractor needing to remove machines from the site while waiting for materials to arrive, or moving crews around to other sites. This can lead to project delays. Don’t complain. You asked for changes.

Make sure you understand your landscape plan.

Landscape construction takes time to pick up steam. When a client throws a barrier on the tracks, such as project changes into the mix, it takes time for the train to slow down, make those changes and then pick up speed again.

Understand the Plan!

Make sure you understand your landscape plan and the construction work being completed. Ask questions. Because once that train gets a moving, it’s full steam ahead.

My Best Advice!

Lexi Dearborn

The Gabby Gardener.

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