Q: Why do I need a landscape plan if I am going to do my own landscaping?
A: Landscaping is a valuable extension of your home and should be planned as carefully as any other major investment. A professional landscape designer will
give you a final working landscape plan, including locations and sizes of hardscape (decks, patios, walks, pools, ponds, etc.) and names, locations, and sizes of planting materials. This will help you avoid costly mistakes and any need to do certain things over. The plan will allow you install your landscape in stages, as you can afford it.
Help you create a unique, attractive and colorful landscape that enhances your home and reflects your family’s lifestyle. A professional designer uses an artist’s eye with practical knowledge to meet your needs with creative solutions. For example, a trained landscape designer knows how to select plants to combine attractive colors, textures, heights and shapes that are also sun/shade/water compatible. A designer might also suggest that a curved patio makes better use of space, costs no more and looks better than the rectangular one you originally intended. A pro can come up with ideas you would never think of to make your yard special.
Q: Why hire a landscape designer if I plan to hire a landscape contractor? Isn’t that an unnecessary extra expense?
A: Not at all. When you ask a landscape contractor to give you an estimate, he has to work from some kind of plan to determine the price. If you want quotes from three different contractors, for example, they must each take time to make plans before they can give you a final price.
Many contractors charge for this service, which means you might have to pay for three plans just to get three bids. Other contractors who don’t charge you for the plans will probably keep them until they are hired. If so, you can’t compare the estimates in detail before choosing the contractor.
Having a landscape plan done in advance expedites the bidding process because each contractor is bidding on EXACTLY the same materials, plants, etc. They can bid them quickly and enable you to choose your contractor in a more timely manner and get your project scheduled and underway faster.
Q: Do I need to know what I want before I talk to a landscape designer?
A: You need to have a basic idea of what you’d like to accomplish, but skilled questioning by the designer to help determine even your hidden wants and needs is a very important part of the process. I will discuss the full range of choices and options open to you to help you make “informed choices” about everything from pools and spas, decks and patios, and lighting and irrigation, to trees, shrubs and flowers. With so many options available, professional guidance can help you make your best choices.
Your landscape is an extension of your home. Invest wisely and you will enjoy the rewards while you live there and when it is time to sell.