Creating a successful landscape that meets all of your needs is much more than simply adding some plant materials and hoping for the best. In fact, professional landscape architects and designers generally use a well-honed process for making sure that your landscaping design turns into the landscape of your dreams. If you are considering having a professional landscape design completed, here are four steps to a successful landscape design that should be part of your experience:
1. An initial consultation – During the initial consultation, you should spend time with your landscape designer walking through your property. Take the time to tell them what you like and what you don’t like. This is also the time to let your planner know what items are on your wish list. Would you like to add a spa, outdoor kitchen or fire pit? Talk through those options as well as your budget right from the beginning.
2. Create concept options – The second step in the process is the one that determines the direction of the final plan. Your landscape designer may come back to you with several different ideas sketched out for your review. Look carefully at these options, and choose the one that seems to fit best with your budget and overall goals. Your landscape designer should offer you the option to add more amenities over time.
3. Working drawings – During the working drawing stage, the designer and the client will work together to fine tune the concept, deciding on architectural features of the landscape, lighting, materials and plants. This is the time when the “nitty-gritty” of the project comes into play. A final budget will also be available at this time as the landscaping team has a chance to cost out materials and labor costs.
4. Project contracting and management. The final step of the design process is the project contracting and management. Once the contract has been signed, the design process is over and the new design will go into a project management mode. An important consideration at this point is to understand that any changes at this point may result in delays or increased costs. For that reason, it is critical to ask lots of questions during the conceptual and working drawing phase.
As you can see, drawing up a landscaping design is much more than simply putting some new plants in the ground or adding a patio. A true landscape design takes into considering how you use your outdoor space and your vision for it.