Landscape design work applies to backyards for parks, walkways and residential areas. The goal is to improve or maintain the area using a wide variety of materials, plants to decks and pools.
A landscape designer can turn your yard into the oasis you always dreamed about.
Set goals and focus on achieving them when hiring a landscaping designer. To find the right one for your project, take a look at these tips from our experts at J&S Landscape.
1. Identify Limitations Before Hiring a Landscaping Designer
Take time to understand the problem areas in your backyard. Such a strategy helps you identify a need for enlisting the help of landscaping contractors.
Common problems may include drainage issues, not getting enough sunlight on your vegetable garden or simply having a very bland space.
You can ask the landscaping designer to inspect your property before taking on the work. This allows the specialist to determine the design challenges your yard is facing and advise you on how to best overcome them while achieving the look and function you desire.
2. Know the Laws Governing Your Property
First, consult with your local homeowners’ association about any regulations regarding landscape. You’ll also want to research the local laws that govern landscaping projects.
Understanding the restrictions you may have will ensure you don’t waste time and money items that need to be torn out or rebuilt to certain codes. And you certainly don’t want to face penalties for breaking the law.
Hiring a landscaping designer can also help you in this area. Here at J&S Landscape, we’re very familiar with what you can and can’t do according to local laws. We’ll advise you along the way and make sure the final product we deliver is compliant.
3. Carefully Consider Your Softscapes
Beyond building decks, pathways and other structures, backyard contractors can help you design your softscapes which goes way beyond choosing plants and sticking them wherever.
They usually consider the type of soil on your property before helping you choose the plants.
Your yard’s topography and the local weather conditions matter too. Topography determines the drainage of water while weather conditions sustain the plants.
A landscape designer will create a plan encompassing the needs of your lawn and flowerbed.
Expect the specialist to be highly knowledgeable on ecology and horticulture. Most of the work involves applying geographical mapping technology too.
4. Ask for Previous Work Samples and References
Before hiring a landscaping designer, they should give you past work samples similar to the project you want. Ensure that their portfolio includes designs that suit your backyard.
These samples might be presented on their website, social media pages or even in a printed format. They may also provide you with a few addresses, so you can drive by a few homes and see real-life samples of their work.
If you want to do even more homework, your landscape professional should be able to provide you with phone numbers of past clients.
5. Discuss Your Options With the Expert
Your backyard’s sense of appeal depends on your design preferences. Be transparent when discussing your ideas with a landscape designer to achieve a yard that brings you peace.
Strive to be open-minded to discover new ideas for your outdoor spaces. Ask the landscaping contractor about the pros and cons of your thoughts before they get executed.
Use the consultation meetings to air out any thoughts you have regarding your project. You should determine the role you’re going to play in the process too.
Agree on whether you want to be partly or wholly involved in the project. It would be wise if you write your ideas on a paper before approaching the contractor.
As you offer your suggestions, the designer will share his/her vision for the project. The ideas may be presented in two-dimensional drawings or with pictures on a board.
Share your opinion about what you like or dislike about the specialist’s ideas. The expert will offer you a revised model after listening to your views in the next meeting.
6. Agree on a Timeline with Your Landscaper
Factors such as availability of the designer, workload and seasonality all determine your project’s timeframe. Other factors include the size and complexity of the project.
When hiring a landscaping designer, it’s typically best that they suggest a timeline for completing the work instead of you giving them a deadline.
Cold weather or Colorado’s infamous hail season may slow down the work. Your landscape professional will also need lead time to order and have materials delivered. Unlike what you might see on a TV show, it can take a lot of time to complete the project.
Once everything has been installed, be sure to inquire about the time it will take for your plants to grow. The contractor should inform you about how the garden will look after the plants mature.
7. Stick to a Flexible Budget
Your contractor should brief you about the cost estimates for the project. The price quote should outline the amount of investment needed for getting materials and installing them.
The specialist may calculate them based on the cost per square foot of hardscape installation. Use this information to prepare a flexible budget.
Expect changes in the project scope to come up when the work gets started. Once a landscape team gets digging, all kinds of surprises can and will come up.
From finding problems with your existing irrigation system to the discovery of a massive slab of rock right where you planned to install a pool, delays and potential budget issues go hand in hand with creating a backyard oasis.
Just take a deep breath and allow your landscape designer to handle the challenges for you.
8. Allow the Landscaper to Engage You in the Project
The landscaping designer should understand your needs and engage you in every project phase.
All decisions made during the development and execution of the project should meet your needs and align with the vision you have for your backyard.
You may also wish to set time aside to monitor the progress of the work, too. It’s one thing to like a design on paper, but seeing it in person is another.
If you keep an eye on the progress and communicate openly with your landscaper, making tweaks early are far easier to accommodate than waiting until the project is done.
Hiring a Landscaping Designer: The Bottom Line
If you want to save time and money spent on hiring a landscaping designer, just follow these tips.
At J&S Landscape, our professionals can help turn your design ideas to reality. Our portfolio includes decks, gardens, swimming pools, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, rock walls and more.
Allow us to transform your outdoor spaces. We look forward to working with you.