Landscape designers do a lot more than just figure out where to plant flowers or what kind and areas of mulch should be laid. They can design patios, fountains, pools, rock gardens, and other landscape installations that work well with one another. Landscape designers are experts in exterior decorating, horticulture, and basic architectural design. They can synthesize species of plants with the size, shape, and appearance of your patio to maximize curb appeal while working within a budget.
Hiring Landscape Service Companies
Though just about any landscape service company is going to jump at the chance for a new project, there are several things that you should look for in such contractors. Good landscape service companies are going to be willing to work with you to design the look of your property; though they will certainly have helpful advice and suggestions, landscape service companies are supposed to enhance your vision, rather than replace it with one of their own.
Another thing to look for in landscape service companies is certification. While there are many people out there who know how to sow grass seed and build brick pathways, the additional training and knowledge that comes with certification is going to come in handy throughout any major landscaping project. You might also ask prospective companies about any additional organizations (like the Better Business Bureau) that they belong to; though not a requirement, long-term membership in such organizations often goes hand-in-hand with a reputation for good service.
Few homeowners have a long-term plan for their outdoor landscaping. Creating this long-term plan can help you start sprucing up your yard now, and allow you to gradually improve your yard year in and year out. Landscape designers will know how to create a yard that performs well in your local climate and requires minimal upkeep and maintenance. This will allow you to use your monetary assets to improve your yard at your own pace.
Benefits of Hiring a Landscape Designer
Many homeowners believe that since they're going to hire a landscape contractor, hiring a landscape designer is an unnecessary expense. When you ask a landscape contractor to give you an estimate, he has to work from some kind of plan to determine the price. If you want quotes from three different contractors, for example, they must each take time to make plans before they can give you a final price.
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Many landscape contractors charge for this service, which means you might have to pay for three plans just to get three bids. Other contractors who don't charge you for the plans will probably keep them until they are hired. If so, you can't compare the estimates in detail before choosing which landscape contractor you will go with.
If you have a landscape designer create a plan in advance, this will expedite the bidding process as each contractor will bid on EXACTLY the same materials, plants, etc. They can then bid quickly, which allows you to choose your contractor in a timelier manner and get your project scheduled and underway faster.
Landscape Design Ideas
The first step is to ask yourself what's most important to you. Do you want your yard to look beautiful and increase your home's curb appeal? Do you want to create a relaxing oasis to enjoy during the evenings after work? Most homeowners use their front yard to create a welcoming and stunning visual for guests and neighbors and their back yard for an additional living space. But where you start your landscaping project will probably be determined by your priorities as a homeowner.
Pools, ponds, and gardens are premium outdoor landscaping projects, but they can also require the largest operating cost, eating into your landscaping budget each year. Patios and patio covers increase the livable space of your home, but are you going to want to stay outside if your surroundings include nothing but a beat up lawn? Discussing these questions with a landscape designer will help you get the most for your money and set you up with a long-term plan that will transform your home immediately and/or within the next few years.