Expert Tips for Designing a Beautiful Landscape
For those without a green thumb – and even for those with one – consulting a trusted professional is often the best first step.
Why? Because in the long run, hiring a landscape designer can cost less than doing it yourself. You’ll get a “doable” design created right the first time, which will save you the cost of repeated tries at getting it right. A professional landscape designer envisions creative solutions to the most difficult outdoor challenges – problems they’ve more than likely solved before.
In addition, according to the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, a high-quality landscape increases home sale prices up to 10.8 percent, compared to a home with a simply average landscape. Many feel the first positive impression your landscape makes will help to sell your home more quickly. This rivals the return on a new kitchen or bath.
Consider your space and any “issues” that it has. Landscape designers are frequently asked to hide an air conditioning unit, add privacy or change boring views to beautiful ones. “As a landscape designer, I see the big picture,” says (Irvine)-based landscape designer Sean Romero, owner of Savannascapes “A designer sees the problems that you see as well as the ones you don’t, and can offer solutions to create beautiful, functional and earth-friendly landscapes that add enjoyment to your lives.”
Next, do your homework. Tear out favorite pictures from gardening magazines, and start making a file on what you would like for your dream garden. While not everything might be possible for your garden, it will give your landscape designer a visual starting point. Make a list of your favorite plants and color combinations. Don’t forget about hardscape such as patios, decks and fencing; designers can also help with these.
Take your time. Romero warns of the temptation to impulsively buy plants at a garden center and attempt a garden make-over. This can be a costly gamble for those without knowledge and experience. It takes the help of a designer to create a well-planned landscape project that includes both plants and hardscape.
While there is a cost to hiring a landscape designer, it is ultimately more economical to work with an expert to create a plan specific to your property. You will get a detailed plan with a plant list. The project will be completed in a timely manner and within budget when you create a landscape plan. Expect to spend about 2%-6% percent of the total cost of the project on the design.
Association of Professional Landscape Designers
2207 Forest Hills Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: 717-238-9780, Fax: 717-238-9985, Web: www.apld.org
Landscape Design Pricing
Sean did everything: from taking photos before and after to creating "D" sized drawings and completing and submitting the paperwork. I was "frazzled" at first with the overwhelming task of creating an "approved" backyard; however, after I met Sean all my problems were solved. He did everything. All I had to do was give him the HOA guidelines (which he was already familiar with) and I signed and partially completed the HOA forms; Sean did the rest.
So thank goodness for Sean and his team. He was able to come by the day after we first spoke and provide a very reasonable estimate. He then handled all of the HOA requirements for us. This was a huge benefit since Irvine HOAs can be particular. He was also receptive to questions and always got back to us very quickly.
I provided Sean with a not-to-scale drawing of what we desired. He took this drawing and created a professional scaled drawing that is accepted by our HOA. We decided to go with Sean because we felt we could trust him, he could execute the project within budget, and provide a wonderful design for HOA approval.
He was very honest and detailed in his plans (as their association (beacon park) is very strict) and my parents were very pleased with his drawings and estimate after consulting with 3 other companies which were either too expensive or couldn't create a suitable plan that my parent's desired