How Do I Choose A Landscape Designer?
Choosing a landscape designer that's perfect for you might be a challenging job, as there's a lot to consider.
If you need a landscape design to fit your new home, or looking to give your garden a facelift, the right landscape designer will have an effect on the process and the end result. Experienced landscape design can also be useful when upgrading or adding features in your outdoor room, such as a swimming pool, driveway or entertainment area.
Knowing where to start is often the hardest part of it. And while the design process for your project will become much clearer when you hire a landscape company, there are a few important steps to take before deciding who to work.
Taking time to carefully study and select the best landscape designer would result in a better outcome for those concerned. Here's our guide to selecting a landscaping design company that will produce the best results for you and your outdoor space.
Decide what you want in the style of your landscape
It's smart to keep your own thoughts in order before you collect knowledge from prospective landscape designers. What are you going to use your garden for? Are you looking to set up a walkway or a water feature? Or are you more interested in how your landscape will provide your family with fresh vegetables and healing herbs? Collect magazine/book/neighborhood pictures that can show your landscape designer the style, features or feel you're looking for.
Sketch a concept that reflects what you're thinking about your garden space. It's going to be much easier to find the right landscaping contractor if you have simple ideas of what you want. You can also write a concise summary of what you are looking for; this will make it much easier to explicitly compare the different solutions that various contractors suggest for your garden. More contact means a better outcome.
Collect a short list of landscaping design firms
Once you know what you want, it's time to compile a short list of companies that design landscaping in your area. Speak to your neighbors and colleagues to get accurate referrals. If you see a yard that looks particularly good, you could even ask the neighbor who did their landscaping design. Next, narrow down the list to two or three experts from whom you will be requesting a formal offer to design landscaping for you.
Choose your landscaping contractor or designer
There are several components to your final decision about who can do your landscaping or lawn maintenance. Portland garden enthusiasts can select the best landscaping contractor for their needs by considering the following factors:
Quite often the best designs are the result of a team effort between the designer and the contractor. It may be different people or the same talented person. Either way, make sure to get input from both sides to ensure that the end product will not only look good but will be practical and that the time test will be carried out without breaking the bank. Don't depend on the landscape designer to know everything about building techniques, and vice versa.
Affiliates and certifications
Continuing education is also important for landscaping design experts. Test the possible landscaping companies' affiliations and certifications.
Licensing and binding
Check with the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board to make sure your prospective bidders have the required license and bond to do the work you need. Be alert, since there are many different levels of licensing, and not all of them can work with your project. Not being properly licensed or bonded is a sure sign that the contractor is not worth your time.
Education and practice
Ask the final contractors on your short list to include a list of references. Browse their portfolios to see if their design style suits your preferences. Check their websites to learn more about their local landscaping education and experience.
Insurance of responsibility
Avoid hiring a landscaping contractor that does not have a liability insurance policy. Your landscaping company should have at least enough insurance to cover the expense of your house. That may seem severe, but keep in mind that landscaping work may lead to costly mistakes, such as cutting a gas line or dropping a tree on your house.
Choose a landscape designer who can fulfill your budget for landscaping.
A landscaping design project may be a significant investment. Make sure that you have full faith that your contractor of choice is up to your mark. If you don't, you might end up with a heavy maintenance project a few years down the road.
Are You Considering Hardscape for your Front Yard or Backyard?
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