Landscape Project Timelines

Despite the snow on the ground and the temperature barely making it above freezing, now is the time to begin thinking about spring and summer outdoor projects. 

A frequent question we receive is how long does it take to complete a landscape project? We live in the era of immediacy, but landscape projects take time to plan, design, and install. So how long should you plan for your landscape project? Is there anything within your control?

Phases of a landscape project

Landscapes come in different shapes and sizes, and they vary depending on purpose and desired outcome. In general, landscape projects occur in several phases: consultation, design, planning and procurement, and installation.

Consultation is the initial step when we sit down with you to discuss what you want and need in your outdoor space. We ask questions about likes and dislikes, concerns, budget, and overall goal for the space so that we can best understand how to design the project. After the consultation, the design is created and presented. At this time, you can approve the design and move forward with planning and installation or return to design for additional items.

After a design is approved by you, planning and procurement can begin. This is when material selection and procurement occur with timelines regarding estimated delivery on products. Once all the material is received, then installation can be scheduled.

So why does a landscape project take so long after a design is approved? The simple answers are labor and supply.

Let’s dive a little deeper into both the labor market for landscape companies, as well as the supply chain for inventory necessary for project completion.

Labor

As we all know, there is a labor shortage in Colorado. Driving down the street will offer as many now hiring signs as businesses. However, seeing signs on the side of the road is rarely an indicator of facts.

The current unemployment rates for Colorado is 2.3 percent. This is compared to 3.9 percent for the rest of the country. Of 88 construction firms surveyed, 80 percent reported having a hard time filling some or all their open positions. This puts pressure on landscape companies as they compete with construction for skilled and non-skilled labor.

A program which has historically been offered to alleviate labor shortages is the H2b visa program. Unlike the agriculture visa program, the H2b program offers seasonal help with 6 months as the average stay for a non-immigrant worker.  The visa program is not a path to citizenship.

Unfortunately, the current political environment has added instability and costs associated with the program. Landscape companies can no longer rely on the program to supplement labor shortages.

As we can see, labor is hard to find. What does this mean for your job? It means that crews are being scheduled out weeks and months in advance. 

Supply

The supply for a landscape project relies on product inventory and labor. As we discussed above, labor is difficult to find in sectors reliant on skilled and non-skilled labor. Just as this shortage affects landscape projects, it affects the ability of suppliers to grow plant material and pull products for availability.

Also, as the season moves forward, vendors have less inventory on hand.

In general, suppliers require a minimum of one week to process new orders for products, excluding special order or backlogged items. The time allows vendors to ensure accurate on-hand count and pull for pick up. Requests for immediate product are impossible for vendors to fill. Even if they have inventory, they lack labor to pull the order.

Of course, the timeline applies if the material is grown in Colorado or is in stock. Due to Colorado’s shorter growing season, much of the plant material is grown out of state and imported into Colorado. The import requirements limit both plant selection, quality, and lead times.

Best way to approach a landscape project

The first and best way to approach a landscape project is to plan your project well in advance. Spring and summer projects are best planned during the fall and winter, ensuring everything is prepared for installation in the Spring. If the desired completion date is June, begin planning your project in January/February. This ensures crews will be scheduled and specific materials for your project will be available.

The second is to embrace two more seasons as an opportunity for projects. While we are all excited to work on our gardens during April and May, summer and fall can offer some of the best opportunities to install projects. Often times, suppliers offer better pricing at this time so they can clear their inventory before winter.

Also, contracts control scheduling and ordering, as neither occur until the executed contract is returned. A project start date of June 1st will not occur if the contract is not received several weeks before a planned start date. The longer the delay in the contract, the more likely other jobs will be scheduled.

Our commitment to you

We understand the moving variables regarding project budgets. At the end of the day, we are here to give you the outdoor space you want and need. Our talented, skilled, and certified staff are here to provide excellent service and landscape. We will guide you through the process.

We will continue to build value on your site, exceeding your expectations, and maximizing your outdoor space. Call us today so we can begin planning your landscape project.

Fiore&Sons Award Winning Landscape

“Fiore & Sons, Inc. is proud to announce that our building at 80 East 62nd Ave. is earning numerous awards for construction excellence.  Last year we were awarded the Adams County Excellence Award for Business Expansion.  Tonight, we will be attending the Associated Builders and Contractors dinner where we will receive the Excellence In Construction Award for Community Service.  We are also proud to let you know this project is now qualified for an ABC National award

The purpose of this email is to first recognize and thank you for your collaborative and timely work on this project.  The National award entry specifically requests a list of those designers and design-builders who are responsible for the success of this work.  You are invited to participate in assembling this entry for the National award because our success could not be possible without this great team.  I personally want to thank all of you for your part in this remarkable job, and I hope you had a similar experience on your side.  This project took a great deal of mutual trust, and I believe that trust is the center point of our success.”

Fiore & Sons

Bloom Floralscapes’ letter to the award committee:

It is our great pleasure to support Fiore & Sons in consideration for the 2018 Associated Builders and Contractors’ Annual Excellence in Construction Award in recognition of the work completed on their corporate offices located at 80 E. 62nd Ave.

We enjoyed working with Carter and Fiore & Sons on this project, despite the challenges we came across. Several challenges we faced included the large, flat nature of the property and the time of year scheduled for installation. Both the design and installation needed trust and assistance from Fiore & Sons, and we received both.

Due to the large amount of property, the design required a different level of scale in both design and material amount. We designed around Fiore & Sons main priorities, which were turf grass and keeping the existing trees, but we felt additional plants were necessary for year-round interest and visual appeal. To assist us with the design, Fiore & Sons provided AutoCAD drawings of the property, giving us a great base plan on which to design. Not only was the design accepted quickly, allowing for quicker installation, but they trusted our expertise in plant selection, visual interest, and meeting their requirements.

The installation itself began after August, causing some plant sourcing issues and a looming natural deadline with the threat of winter. Almost all the plants installed were either dormant during planting, or about to go dormant, as we planted most of the material in November. Finally, we laid 18,500 sq. ft. of turf grass the first week of December. Due to the mild winter, we needed irrigation on to water the turf grass and plant material. Unfortunately, the winter was cold also, requiring the irrigation to be turned off, drained, and wrapped between watering. Carter from Fiore & Sons worked with our team to water when needed, as well as communicated when the irrigation needed to be turned off. Without Carter’s assistance and our irrigation tech’s diligence, the plant material would not have made it the first winter.

Ultimately, Carter and Fiore & Sons’ trust and assistance ensured the project would be successful and look amazing moving into spring. Both our designer, Mallory Payson, and our installation manager, Karen Overlin, believe the project went so well due to the trust Fiore & Sons placed in our firm.