The most successful landscape projects start out with good design and planning. Whether your landscape dream project requires hardscaping (patios, walks, retaining walls, drainage, driveways, fencing) or a simple planting renovation, you should seriously consider a landscape plan. Landscape design can be as simple as a plant list and description of design concept and scope of work (see proposal examples) or a full colored rendered drawing in plan view or perspective. It all depends on the scope of work and how much visualization you require or desire. It is also helpful to have a budget for your project. What percentage of your budget will go to the design/development phase?
Very often (too often) a client tells me, “I don’t have a budget, can you give me a ballpark?”. I have at least two responses to that. First, would you like prices for the bleachers or the box seats? Ballparks are huge places! Second, if I give you a number I pull out of my head before I design something, what does it include? Does that number include irrigation, landscape lighting etc.?
I am a client too! Even I couldn’t anticipate every single thing that eventually went into my landscape including the cost. We were close, and that’s a lot better than being far off!
Communication and being a good fit are important and not necessarily the same thing! How was your experience with your first contact. Did you receive a timely response? Is there a good administrative support staff available? Does someone answer the phone when you call during business hours? Are there any professional affiliations for the company? If the designer is a contractor do they have all necessary licenses, insurance and few or no registered complaints with the Dept. of Consumer Protection? If the designer is a professional designer or LA only do they have professional insurance?
The more of an idea that you know what you want or more importantly don’t what is essential to realizing the best possible result.
Talk to professionals, check out our backgrounds and work to imagine if it might be a good fit. Styles and business practices vary widely.
Landscape design is a profession and an art!
Think of everything you might ever want and include it in your plan. This is especially true if you need building permits etc.. We always strive for one submittal to a planning board, building dept. etc. It’s smart and efficient!
Designing and building the landscape of your dreams should be fun and exciting!