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Before you dive into designing your outdoor space, it pays to ask your landscape designer these following questions.
Creating a landscape, whether it’s a small inner city courtyard or a sprawling country retreat, takes experience, time and financial planning. Ensuring you are on the same page with your landscape design team from the get-go will help you navigate the process. These five questions to ask your landscape designer may help you avoid unnecessary hurdles and get you one step closer to living in a beautiful outdoor space.
5 questions to ask your landscape designer
1. Are you a design-only team?
Understanding your landscape designers role in the project is one of the first steps you should take when engaging a consultant. Ask your landscape designer what services they provide and what services they don’t. Some landscape designers are design-only whereas others will offer a full service from design to construction and then will continue to maintain the garden in the future.
It’s important to gain insight into how they’re going to manage the scope and the costs involved in working with a design only team versus design and construct. There are pros and cons for both, so decide which will suit you and your project best.
Find out whether you need a landscape designer, landscaper or both here.
2. Can you show me your portfolio?
People tend to gravitate to a designer because they’ve seen a garden they liked or they’ve received a recommendation from a friend.
When choosing a landscape designer, it’s well worth asking to see the designers portfolio or even better, a couple of their gardens in person. Having similar aesthetics is a great start, but you’ll also want to ensure your designer has experience working with a similar brief and scope.
3. What is your current workload like?
Designing and constructing a landscape takes time and will depend on your scope of works and the workload of your design team. Giving your landscape designer a deadline without understanding what their workload is like or the availability of contractors and the estimated delivery times may be counterintuitive.
Ask your landscape designer about their team’s workload. Find out how many projects the construction team has on and whether there will be a delay between designing and starting the project. Beyond the cost of the services, the availability and time estimates may help you decide between consultants and find the best one for your project.
4. Can you provide an estimate of projected costs?
Got a long wishlist for your outdoor space? Asking your design team to provide an estimate of the costs involved in realising your dream garden may save you the heartache of chopping up your design come construction time.
Although an estimate at the design concept stage is only going to be a rough guide, it’s good to have an idea before the full construction documentation is carried out.
Need help budgeting for your landscape? Take a look at this short article.
5. What must be completed now versus later?
Lastly, ask your landscape designer questions about how to realise the project in stages. Staging your construction over time is one way to overcome a tight budget or time constraints. Once you have a master plan, speak with your landscape design team about what can be done now and what can be constructed later. You don’t want to ruin part of your garden in an effort to finish the landscaping because of poor planning.
Tip: It’s best to stage the construction versus staging the design process. Having a master plan will ensure your landscape design will be aesthetically cohesive rather than a hotchpotch of design styles.