Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Planning(or lack of)

There was no lack of planning in any respect to this project. I spent many fall and winter months planning and getting things ready for Spring. Now that I am about finished, I can say, "There are very few aspects of this project that haven't changed from the original plan."

There are a few reasons for this. The reasons are 1 - I found better ways to do things and 2 - I like to let things unfold to see what I have, instead of forcing pre-existing plans that might end up being more difficult, less functional, or less attractive than something else. Basically, I will let the landscape speak for itself, and if something is better suited to my current needs, I go with it.

For instance, while I was breaking out the concrete surrounding my pool, my final task was to remove the area of concrete that used to be a hot tub. I had filled the unused hot tub years ago with dirt and covered it in a thick layer of concrete that matched the surrounding concrete. So after breaking out the concrete and exposing about 8 inches of the top of the tub I was left with a daunting task of having to dig the entire tub out and remove it. This would have taken a day, maybe two, to accomplish. Instead, I slapped on a few Redwood fence boards to the top and outside of it. Instant Redwood planter...


So, as you can see, this worked out great. It was much easier than forcing the removal of the tub and going according to my plans.

This example is common throughout the entire process. Everything was changed. I might as well have thrown out my original drawings, because they were irrelevant after the first week. Everything from plumbing to landscape, pond shapes to where the grow beds were to be located was changed to accommodate the "Real World" application of this project. If I were to ever do this again, the planning(at least the construction and landscape part of it) would be an afterthought.

While I wouldn't recommend not planning at all to anyone, it does workout better for the do-it-yourself-er. Get an idea of how you want things and then start working toward that goal. Along the way you will find many things will simply work out better a different way.

That said, you will have to plan a few things such as...
  • How big your pond will be. This will effect many things such as how many grow beds will you need, pump and liner size.
  • Do you want a waterfall and/or stream. This will effect pump size, the location and structure of your pond
  • Which type of grow bed media, landscape plants, type and amount of boulders/rock, pathway materials, concrete or wooden edging, etc...
These are important to know ahead of time as they will effect how you go about the entire project. And you don't have to know everything exactly, just get an idea of what you would like and go from there.

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  3. That is really good and useful information, DIY is best approach while making any thing as it is cost effective and you can manage tasks by yourself

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