Over the years I’ve had hundreds of clients come my way, asking for a patio or a kitchen or a retaining wall or new plantings or… whatever. Some have even considered materials and colors and finishes. No matter the excitement, it’s my job to slam on the brakes with one simple question:
What problem are you trying to solve?
Just like asking someone his favorite color, there is no wrong answer here. Here are some perfectly reasonable answers I’ve been given for that question:
- “I want to deal with the water coming off the hill”
- “I want room to eat outside with my kids”
- “I want to try and reduce the amount of mud the %$^^ing dog tracks in the basement”
- “I need to get my HOA off my back”
- “If I do an epic outdoor kitchen all my buddies will be jealous”
Knowing what problem you’re looking to solve helps you narrow down the right solution. I’ve had people come to me asking for a retaining wall, only to later tell me that their goals can be achieved without one. Boom, $20,000 saved.
You can have a lot of success with this one question whether you’re hiring me, hiring someone who’s not me (questionable choice!), or doing it yourself. If you get stuck, contact me and we can schedule a consultation – in person or via video chat – to talk you through it.