Renovating or building on your property can be a complex endeavor. While the satisfaction of the finished project is well worth the wait, you will face multiple challenges along the way. We’ve gathered insights from our in-house and multiple award-winning landscape architect, Jennifer Stevens, to help you maximize your property’s potential and keep your timing and budget on track.
1. Clear indication of your budget
Establishing how much you want to spend is of the highest importance. Most companies, firms or agencies will have qualified estimators to guide you along the way once a concept plan and list of materials is established. In early stages, ask your designer for a budget range to achieve your vision.
Jen’s tip: Set yourself a budget ceiling you don’t want to spend over. Allow plenty of room for potential variations.
2. Create a design palette
We are lucky enough to have a variety of tools and platforms to gather images and information at the click of a button. Think magazines, google images, Pinterest and Instagram. Spend some time collecting images that inspire you and match your vision. Keep in consideration that images you find online might not be compatible and some ideas will need to be molded to fit your property, budget and climatic conditions of your area.
Jen’s tip: Do your research, have a mix of images and ideas to present your designer with, that best represents the look you want to achieve. Question your design and ensure it will thrive where you live and most importantly, be open to constructive feedback from your landscape architect.
3. Communication & flexibility
Staying stuck on a design that may not be the right fit for your property, can cause you to not use your designer to their full potential. Landscape Architects are experts at finding the best way to make aesthetics meet functionality. If elements of your initial landscape vision can’t be achieved, question your designer as to why and what solutions can be found to substitute for it.
Jen’s tip: While being open minded is important, make sure you are honest and true to your vision. Otherwise the collaborative effort will fail and you might end up with a design that you are unsatisfied with. Be open but at the same time be frank and don’t settle for less.
4. Time saving
Try to provide plans of your property as early as possible. A landscape architect will always ensure to visit the site and make their own assessment but preventing the tedious process of having to take measurements will give them a valuable head start.
Jen’s tip: In the early stages of design, request a check list of documents your designer might need during the design and construction process. This will avoid time wastage and frustration for both parties.
5. Become the expert
Quite often designers might draw your design and recommend certain materials to suit your budget or other specific requirements, but the end result might not live up to what was expected. This is why it is important to not be afraid to ask questions and do your research. How will this age? How do I maintain it? If broken can I replace it?
Jen’s tip: Project yourself forward and question your landscape architect on the long-term viability, durability and maintenance requirements of your designed project. Also, always ask for samples to give you a feel for the finished product.