Implementing a landscaping project can be really tricky in the best of times. You not only need to be very clear about what you desire but also find the landscape designer who will deliver without any nasty surprises midway. Since there is a huge assortment of landscape designs that you can choose from, you need to spend some time thinking about what you want, whether it will suit the space that is available, the budget available, and what you want to do yourself and what you want a professional landscaper to handle. To avoid hiccups during the project execution, you should be very clear on the services that a typical landscape designer can provide, and what you should ask them before you engage one.
What Are the Various Services Available?
This is the most basic query that you should ask when interviewing a landscape designer. Your introspection on the project would have revealed the need for certain areas of expertise and you should verify that whoever you hire has them. It is not enough for the landscape designer to claim the availability of services; he should be able to offer proof of having executed such projects. Typically there are three types of service providers; some provide only the design and the master plan for a landscape contractor to execute, the second type is the contractor who can only implement a project if a master plan is furnished, while the third type can take care of both the design and the implementation. There are still others who will do everything, including ongoing maintenance.
Can You Show Me Examples of Similar Projects Handled?
You can expect every professional landscape designer to have a catalog of his projects and you should indeed ask to see it so that you can figure out if you really like the quality of work and the design aesthetics. However, you should ideally look at landscape design Bridgehampton projects that are similar to yours so that you will have a better idea of his competence. While is it obviously better to go along with a designer with specific experience of the sort of design you are looking at, in case you are unable to locate one, you should focus on checking out his academic and professional credentials for a better fix on his abilities.
Is It Possible To Get a Garden Consultation?
It can be a difficult proposition to select a landscape designer just on the basis of a portfolio and list of available services. Find out if the designer will offer a consultation for a couple of hours where both of you can take a walk around the site, and discuss the possibilities of remodeling and generate landscaping concepts. Apart from the sheer value of the consultation, the exercise is also a great opportunity for finding out how well you get along together and the sort of role the designer is likely to play in the implementation project. While you can expect a consultation fee to be charged, most designers will include it in the project fees if you eventually hire them.
Will They Make a Complete Presentation before Getting Hired?
Once you and the designer have shared each other’s ideas as well as the expectations and possibilities, you should find out if the designer is willing to make a 360-degree presentation on how he visualizes the landscaping project. Techno-savvy designers will make the presentation with a 3-D walkthrough of their project using CAD/CAM software so that you know exactly how your garden is going to look after the project is complete. This is generally the last step before signing him on but since the designer will need to put in considerable effort in making the presentation, a charge could be involved if the hire doesn’t actually happen. However, this stage is well worth the trouble as you can thrash out all the differences and have the project tailored exactly as per your wish and on a budget you can afford.
Garden landscaping is not something that you would want to do again and again so it pays to be more than a little circumspect. Asking the right questions before you sign any particular designer can mean a world of difference in the project implementation and the end result. Take your time over it and only proceed when you are fully satisfied that you have found the right person.
Author bio: Tony Weiner is the editor of a prominent home and garden magazine. He is also a consultant to many landscape design Bridgehampton firms that have won accolades for innovation in landscape design.