by Colin Eaton, Garden City Tree & Landscape –
Most clients I meet for the first time know they want a substantial change to their landscape. They haven’t put much thought into what that change involves, so they seek ideas from a professional. At this stage, I like to involve our in-house professional design team. Some clients are initially reluctant to involve our design team because they feel it is an unnecessary additional expense, but from my standpoint, the cost of a landscape designer saves the client considerable time, money and headache. Here is a summary of the various stages of a landscape design;
The meet and greet. During the initial meet and greet, a designer will sit down with the client to complete a landscape questionnaire. This questionnaire helps the designer zero in on the client’s wants and needs. It is an invaluable tool in determining their vision. With this questionnaire in hand, the designer walks the property with the client to discuss the ideas in further detail. During this time, the designer obtains photos and measurements to assist in the design process. The conceptual plan then begins.
The conceptual plan. A conceptual landscape plan takes a few weeks to complete. It is the designer’s initial attempt at capturing the client’s landscape vision. In some instances, the conceptual design is approved as the final layout; in other instances, the client requests changes.
The final layout. Once the conceptual design is accepted, the final design layout is then completed. This final design, completed to scale, also includes detailed specifications of materials required for completion of the project. The accurate measurements, combined with the specifications, is invaluable information:
• The detail enables your contractor to provide an accurate estimate of all costs so there are no surprises;
• The detail enables you to obtain accurate competitive estimates of the work.
Just like building a house, a landscape design is a blueprint to success. It provides clear and precise information to enable the contractor to provide an accurate estimate of costs while also providing the client with a vision of the completed project. You would not build a house without a blueprint, so why build a substantial and costly landscape without a blueprint to success.
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