Your landscaping design is complete. You have signed the contracts and provided the deposit. Now, it is time for the building of your project. Knowing what to expect during the building process can help you manage your expectations and understand the reality of any building project, even one that is outdoors. Here are the eight stages you can expect – some shorter and some longer – during your landscaping project.

1. Contract – Reviewing your contract, signing it and providing the required deposits is one of the shortest steps. This is the perfect time to ask for any additional clarification before the project begins.

2. Order materials – Once your contract has been signed, your landscape contractor will order the materials needed to complete your job. This may include renting speciality equipment, purchasing stone or pavers or ordering plant materials.

3. Scheduling – With a break in the weather, you must get a call that your landscaper is on the way to your project. Landscaping usually happens during a week, meaning that your architect or project manager may tell you that they are planning on starting sometime that week. This is likely due to weather conditions.

4. Excavation, building hardscapes, wiring – The first step in your project is to remove items that need to be eliminated. That may include existing landscaping or hardscapes. The next steps will include excavation and building the hardscape features and adding wiring for lights.

5. Planting – Once the excavation, hardscapes and wiring has been installed, then adding soil to your property will create beds for your new plantings. Those will be installed as depicted in your design plan.

6. Finishing – Finish work is what brings the project all together. This stage may include mulching, adding light fixtures, cleaning and installing outdoor cooking equipment. Your landscape designer may even bring in furniture if that was part of the contract.

7. Walkthroughs – Your vision has become a reality. Take a moment to walk through your new landscaping with your family and designer. If you see any aspects that need to be addressed, do so before the team has completely finished the project.

8. Completion – When you and your landscape designer agree that the work is completed, you can sign off on the contract and provide the final payment.

New landscaping can be a great investment in your home and lifestyle. Understanding the stages to expect can help you manage the process as a homeowner.

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