Tips on the BIG PROJECT LIST and how to accomplish them!

Tips on THE BIG PROJECT LIST:  AND When to hire a professional

We all have them. Some of us choose to ignore them. Some of us work ourselves to death trying to finish them.  What am I talking about? The Big Project List! It happens every year and is on most people's 'New Year's Resolution' List. Most of them never get done, OR get done partially or incorrectly, which is sometimes worse.

This month I am going to give you tips for tackling the "big project list" and when it is absolutely the time to hire a professional.  In order to tackle our big project list, I created one myself and narrowed it down to ten things. Realistically that is about all anyone can handle in a year. Then, you need to formulate a plan so that your list can be completed by the end of 2013. Completed. . meaning finito. . . all of it. . Here are some things to keep in mind:

In creating your own Big Project List keep the following in mind:

  • Prioritize: What needs to be done? What do you want to be done? If you're short on time, money, or both then cut the wants and focus on the needs. As you write your list put the biggest need first and then order the rest accordingly.
  • Categorize: Is it an indoor or outdoor project? Can the project been done in the Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer? If it's an outdoor project then focus on what you need to get done inside first. Painting the inside of our house is a year-round project so while it's cold we're painting a wall/room at a time. I know that as soon as Spring arrives then we will be outside working on outdoor projects. This is also important if you want to hire someone to complete your project- by planning ahead you will get the best attention and value from the professional you hire.
  • Create a Budget: How much do you estimate spending on a project? Do you have the money for two overlapping projects? Setting up a project list budget avoids money pitfalls and overspending. Once you've prioritized and categorized your list, you can budget accordingly. One thing else you have to consider- what is your time worth? Some projects could take longer than expected, or have an unsual mishap during installation. If that were to happen-  what is your time worth? It may be time to hire a professional.
  • Time Allotment: What days of the week/month are you going to work on your projects? Is the project written on the calendar? How much time have you allotted per project? Are you the type person to hastlity finish a project, that you know will need to be redone? Most people only have Saturdays, holidays, and vacation for our project list. If something is not able to be completed in that time allotment- what will you do?
  • Know your limitations: As Dirty Harry knows; ’A man has got to know his limitations!”  This is very true in the realm of your project list. You are able to pour concrete, but should you? Will it look professional, be sound and have good  longenvity of the end product? Would it be dangerous for you to attempt?

Finally, once all of those parameters are evaluated, you can drill down your project list to items that you can truly undergo, and complete successfully. You may need to hire a professional to help you on some of the items of the list.

Planning, planning, planning, it is what will allow you to be successful and fruitful in completing your 2014 project list!

About the Author:

Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect and active in the landscape design/build industry for over 25 years. For additional inspiring project pictures, design ideas, or great garden gifts, take a look at these websites: