When you are trying to improve your Chicagoland residential landscape, you’re naturally going to start thinking about timing.

Maybe you’ve been craving a new patio and outdoor kitchen and you’re finally ready to take the plunge. In fact, it would be the perfect setting for a late summer family reunion. Timing your landscape design and installation project for this result is crucial to ensuring the stage is set for your party.

Or maybe you’re eager to have a large space created with areas for privacy and a fireplace for warmth and evening ambiance. You have some ideas in mind and your budget is ready. Is there enough time to get it done now so you can still enjoy it during the end of this summer season?Large fireplace and seating area

While the design/build process may actually not take that long, depending on the overall scope of the project, there are some varying factors that can add to the total time it takes to complete a project from concept to completion. Design and permitting, for instance, can influence time.

But this shouldn’t scare you. In fact, there are some things you should know about the landscape design and installation process that can help your project go as smoothly as possible so you can get outside and begin enjoying your dream landscape space.

How Long Does a Landscape Project Take to Complete?

As you begin searching for a landscape professional to work with, you likely already have some ideas about what you want in your yard. Even if you don’t have an exact idea, you know how you want to spend your time and how your family might enjoy the space.

You may also have an idea of how much you want to spend.

This is great news! These are two key pieces of information you need to get started. Now we can dive into the factors of the landscape design and installation process to understand how they work, how they can impact timing, and what you can do to aid the process along.

Function of the Outdoor Space

The initial consultation with your landscape design/build professional is so important. This is the moment when they are asking you important questions to determine the scope of your project.

This is certainly a time not to keep information bottled up inside. You want to share with them what you envision and how you ideally want to use the space.

Even if you think it’s impossible, without sharing your dream vision, your landscape professional will never be able to truly understand what you’re seeking. Then when you ask, “How long do landscape projects take?” he or she will give you a range, but you won’t know where you’ll fit in until the full complexities of your project are laid out.

Take that consultation appointment seriously and share how you want to use the space. Your landscaper will then know all of your needs and can help match your budget to creating a space that has the elements you’re seeking for long-term outdoor enjoyment.Large paver patio, fireplace and pool

Your Landscape Budget

Your budget is the next area where you want to be completely up front and honest with your landscape design/build expert. This ensures there are no surprises along the way.

The combination of information (how you want to use the space and how much money you want to spend) are crucial in creating the design full of the elements you want that will comprise your true perfect backyard retreat. It means you won’t be wasting time with a company that may not meet your needs, it allows you to build trust and comfort with the landscape designer, and it eliminates the need to make changes in the initial design that delays the process.

If you leave out information and want to add features later or if you change your budget throughout the process, the additional steps that are added after the process has begun can negatively impact timing your landscape design and installation, adding unnecessary delays.

Some changes require additional site visits or can add up to a week to your project for each change.patio and landscape

Any Special Timing Considerations

Starting the process early, especially when you have an important deadline, is crucial to having your project completed on time.

Taking too long to start reaching out to landscape professionals and then dragging your feet on decisions could add time to your project, especially when you’re having your project done during the peak busy season in spring and summer.

While KD Landscape will absolutely work with you to ensure you are comfortable with your options and decisions, we’ll also make sure you are informed of timing. Keeping communication lines open is important when trying to answer the question: “How long do landscape projects take?”

Landscape Design

As long as information is flowing, the landscape design process can take three to six weeks, depending on how extensive the design is -- a basic patio vs. a large project with vertical elements like fireplaces and pergolas and softscapes, for instance will have different timing.

Making a lot of changes or not having a scope and budget conversation up front can add to the design revisions and steps involved that ensure the final plan matches what you’re looking for. While it’s important that you get the design you want, just know that this can add to the timing of your landscape design and installation.Gas fire pit and natural stone patio

Permitting Process

Once you have a design, you’ve agreed on pricing with your landscape design/build company, and your project is ready to begin, your landscape professional starts the permitting process.

This can take roughly two to four weeks. The municipality you’re in and scope of your project can impact timing here, and there’s not much that can be done to change this. Some municipalities are just backed up or busier than others or have more hoops you need to jump through.

Working with a landscape design and installation process expert who knows the local municipalities and how to navigate these waters can help keep things running smoothly.

Special Materials

As you envision your perfect space, knowing what materials you want is important.

Some materials, for instance, are worth the wait. Natural stone is an amazing addition to your space that can last for a lifetime and provide just the right touch you’ve been seeking for your outdoor space.

Some elements require custom fabrication. Limestone coping, for instance, can take some time. Other materials you can’t order until a structure is built.

While these things can add to the timing of your landscape design and installation, there is time between final measurements and getting elements custom fabricated that we can use to get our hands on other materials and keep your project rolling.

The Installation Process

While it may sound like all of the above adds tons of time to a project, it’s actually not as bad as it sounds. Many things can work in unison to continue moving the project along as things get finalized and approved.

From start to finish, most projects fall in the two- to three-week range to install. The same amount of money can be spent on just plants, which will be a less intensive installation process and take three days, while using those dollars on a patio with outdoor kitchen and retaining wall can take six weeks.KD Landscape crew installing patio steps

Project Completion Goals & Communication

Your best approach to understanding how long a landscape project takes to complete is really keeping those communication lines open and asking questions of your landscape professional along the way so you know that your expectations are being met and you’re not surprised at any time.

We hate sticker shock and being told there are delays as much as you do. Don’t be afraid to be honest and trust your landscape design/build professional. This can control how your project goes and help you retain control of when it will be done.

If you have the right landscape partner, they should be able to keep you abreast of the entire process with updates along the way. That way you can just worry about how you plan to enjoy the space, whether that’s entertaining by your fireplace, playing outside with your kids on the new patio, enjoying a water feature’s soothing sounds, or grilling your summer dinners outdoors.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can bring your backyard vision to life in your Suburban Chicago landscape? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you and deliver a space that best fits your needs. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can create a solution that works best for you.

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