Craig Hutchinson, President of Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care, recently contributed an article to Neighbours of Lawrence Park South Magazine about choosing a landscape designer.
Here’s his article as it appears.
With the warmer weather upon us, homeowners begin to take the opportunity to relax, play, and entertain family and friends outdoors.
It also gives them an opportunity to work on the aesthetic of their home’s exterior, improving its usability and visual appeal through planting a walk-through garden, building a deck, or completely making over their outdoor living space.
Beautiful landscaping adds functionality and interest to the home’s exterior, contributes to the beauty of the neighbourhood, and increases property value.
The most important first step to the success of your landscape project is selecting the right landscape designer.
Most designers can recommend solutions that turn your vision into something buildable, sustainable, and in accordance with local bylaws.
They also provide guidance on budget, ensuring that you get the best value for your money.
But choosing the right designer for your project often comes down to one thing: the plan.
Without a proper design plan, or if design measurements aren’t accurately drawn or measured, problems can occur that will lead to homeowner disappointment, frustration, or, even worse, legal action.
A proper design plan serves as a roadmap to your outdoor living space, putting your concepts on paper so that you can actually visualize your dream.
It should organize your goals, style requirements, and location into concepts that are measured and drawn to scale, forming the basis of everyone’s expectations of the project’s outcome.
The design also lists materials, sizing specifications, and often construction techniques in a format that qualified landscape contractors understand.
This information allows contractors to formulate an accurate quote, and ultimately make the actual installation smoother, faster, and more cost efficient.
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The design plan is initially based on information the designer gathers at your first meeting, including:
- How you will use the outdoor space
- Materials you would like to build with, and those you want to avoid
- Which colours best suit the aesthetic of your home and surroundings
- Particular style needs that match your lifestyle
- When work can begin, and when you need it completed
- Ideas on maximizing your budget without compromising quality
After a few weeks of research, measuring, and drawing, you will meet with your designer to review the plan. At this time, you will have the opportunity to make any necessary changes to the overall design and materials to be used.
With the final drawings in hand, you’re ready to approach contractors for quotes on installing your new landscape.
If your designer’s company also offers landscaping services, be sure to ask them for a quote as well.
Since your designer is already familiar with the project, they would be well suited to manage your installation, and serve as a trusted advisor if you have any questions during construction.
But remember: it all starts with a proper design plan.