As promised in my last entry here, I’ve put together whats becoming an annual tradition: our Year In Review video. The video highlights some of the outdoor living spaces we did around Des Moines and Central Iowa in 2010. Its up on our ArchadeckCentralIowa YouTube channel now; check it out. The 2009 version of this was our 3rd most-watched video last year with nearly 500 views so I expect the 2010 version to be popular as well.
If you compare the 2009 video to 2010’s, you may notice more of something. Snow. There is a lot more of it in the 2010 video. A few reasons for that include:
- We had a lot of snow – nearly record setting – over the 2009-2010 winter…and it stayed around quite awhile.
- We design year-round and, as weather allows, build year–round, too. And as you can see, we can be quite hardy. I love to traipse around in snowy backyards around Des Moines during our complimentary design consultations…makes me feel like a kid again. Our crews love to wear Carhardt outerwear…and underwear!
- We built later into the year this past year than we did in 2009. In fact, we’re still building…weather permitting…and on a hopefully short respite here with this latest round of snow and cold. A project with a patio and deck in Des Moines’ western suburb of Urbandale is in progress and a pergola / front porch in Des Moines will start taking shape soon, too.
The snow in the 2010 video also gives a sense of the time lapse on some of these projects. And, my sense is that some of you may be thinking, “Wow, that deck in Des Moines sure took a long time to get built.” Again, some explanation may be in order:
- The design process (consultation visit; design and pricing; proposal preparation and review; etc.) takes time. The decision-making process takes time; due diligence, design/feature decisions, material decisions, budget decisions…they all take time…as they should. But during that process, life doesn’t stop…kids have school and extracurricular activities, adults have jobs…and demanding ones at that…jobs and kids. So, its not unheard of – common, actually – for there to be several weeks between the time you first contact us until we’ve got a committed project or design to move forward with. Certainly long enough for the snow to melt and the flowers to bloom. Or, for the grass to turn white from green, or vice-versa. Or for the leaves to disappear…re-appear. I love the four seasons we get in Iowa. Its why we live here, right? Right?
- Fortunately, snow does eventually melt. Unfortunately, “sometime” is usually within just a few weeks of the spring rainy season. So, springtime is generally wet, too, and we encounter construction delays moreso in spring than we do any time of the year (other than the harsh, below-zero days of winter). And in 2010, spring lasted until the August flooding.
- Construction backlogs are a reality. Weather plays a huge role in that. Keep in mind, we nearly exclusively make our living working outdoors…with power tools and ladders that don’t mesh well with moisture. Other than farmers, not many folks can say that. As Iowans, we certainly appreciate weather. But, making your living in that weather makes you appreciate the weather – and farmers – even more. We do our best to manage our backlog at reasonable levels while maintaining our standards of quality for the finished product. Weather is certainly a challenge in that regard…but one we expect…in some form. Predicting the economy and consumers’ willingness to spend money has become the harder part, though, these days. To be totally honest, 2010 surprised us a bit. To be optimistic, we plan to be better prepared in 2011.
- Sometimes I don’t take the “after” pictures until “well after” a project is completed. Sometimes I wait for the grass to turn green….for flowers to be planted…for landscaping to be completed…for the sun to shine.
In my last entry here, I also stated a resolution to write shorter blogs, but write more frequently. Really, I’m trying. I may have gotten a little off track with those last points. But, those points come together for this last thought I want to leave with you:
If you’re considering improving your outdoor living spaces at your Des Moines area home in 2011 – a new deck, porch, sunroom, patio, pergola, outdoor kitchen or any combination of spaces, rooms and accessories for outdoor living enjoyment – you’ll enjoy them sooner the sooner you contact us to get the ball rolling! Catch us early! Catch us before the “after-Home and Garden Show-rush.” The snow will melt and the grass will be green before we know it.