Choosing a Landscape Designer – where do I start?

Choosing a landscape designer is an important decision for any homeowner. The right Landscaper can transform your garden into an extension of your home, lifestyle, and even your personality. It can take a bit of research on your part, but choosing the right person will help save you time and money.  Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing a Landscape Designer.

  • The search is on – An online search is a good way to begin your quest for a Landscaping Designer. Many Landscaping Designers will have a portfolio of previous projects on their websites. You will be able to see previous work and get a good idea of their capabilities.
  • Is the landscape company fully knowledgeable and do they have strong field experience?  Watch out for new start up companies with minimal experience. Companies with a long established history are able to provide you with a quality outcome.
  • Once you’ve gathered names of professionals who interest you, start with a phone call and chat about your project and budget.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for references from the projects they have previously done. A telephone call or, even better, a site visit, will go a long way in helping to make a decision.
  • Make sure the company is very available for you and committed to customer service. Consider if they seem reliable and professional. If your phone calls are not being returned or appointments are not kept, find someone else. You need someone who will keep the line of communication open with you for the entire duration of the project.
  • Would you be comfortable working with them? During the initial meeting you should feel that you are able to work with the person and that they understand what you want. The process begins on paper. You collaborate with your designer to create a workable plan that will give you everything you want. An experienced landscape designer will brainstorm ideas with you and come up with innovative and creative garden design ideas you couldn’t have come up with on your own.
  • Landscape designers should provide detailed, easy to understand estimates. When it comes to landscaping, cheaper does not mean better – by trying to cut costs with garden design and landscaping, you will be paying for it later.  If a quote seems expensive, discuss it with your landscaper.  A good Landscape designer will work with you to design within your budget and will offer a cheaper alternative tweak of the design or use of materials to make your dream garden a reality.
  • The entire process, from the initial design to when the actual landscaping is started, can be a long process, up to several weeks rather than days, so be prepared for that. And waiting a few weeks for what could potentially last a lifetime is surely worth it.

A good landscape designer wants a mutually beneficial working relationship based on trust, as much as the client does. Most professionals want to provide the best job for their clients and leave behind something they are proud of.

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