This may be your first every landscape consultation or, at this point, you may have been through several companies in search of the right one. In any case, even the most seasoned person can always learn more about the landscape consultation process and topics that you should cover during it. Like with anything, honesty is always the best policy and being open about questions or concerns that you have up front will save you headaches in the long run.
The landscape consultation (can also be called a site walkthrough or an estimate, depending on who you work with) is an important start to your project. This is when your landscape designer will come out and find out exactly what you’re ENVISIONING (see what we did there?) in your yard.
Each company has their own process and how they prefer to do your property walkthrough but here are a few general topics that you’ll want to be sure to cover:
Nowadays, you can find just about anything about a company online. Did you read all about them and still have questions? You can always ask when you’re on the phone setting up your consultation. Or if you don’t have time then, the consultation is a good time to find out! A few things you may want to know are: Are they insured? What is their typical process for designing a project/estimating the project/installing the project? Who will be your contacts if you work with them? There are plenty of other questions that you can ask, those are just some basics.
What You Want/Dream Of
During your consultation, it’s not only important to talk about the project that you’re thinking of doing now but to also discuss your hopes and dreams in the future. This may not be important if you’re consultation is for your front landscape and you dream of putting an outdoor kitchen and patio in your backyard. Although, talking about future plans is important when you are getting an estimate for something in your backyard (like a paver patio) and you eventually want to put in an outdoor kitchen and a pool. You want to make sure that this is known so your landscape designer is making sure that your plan is the most cost-effective and laid out correctly so you’re not paying for double work later. Additionally, it’s best to make a full-scale plan for both present and future projects to make sure that everything fits together nicely!
The consultation is also the time to talk about what your style is and any colors/plants that you like or dislike. We highly encourage the use of Ideabooks for our clients. They can be done either by clipping pictures out of magazines or by utilizing websites such as Google or, even better, Houzz or our website. Don’t let these ideas overwhelm you though! Your Landscape Designer should be able to help you guide your vision into something that will work well and incorporate both your yard nuances (discussed later) and your ideas.
Function of the Space or Project
Are you someone who like to entertain all your family and friends and all of their family and friends too? Or do you like more intimate parties and dinners? Do you just want the space to curl up in and enjoy a good book? Do you just want to make your home have more curb appeal? Do you not care how pretty it looks but really can’t stand how your backyard holds water? It’s really important during your consultation to talk about what exactly this project is trying to achieve. We have clients that just want to make their home look nice and inviting and clients that plan on entertaining the entire neighborhood and everything in between. There is no wrong answer but be realistic because the last thing you want is to make an investment and it not function the way that you need or want it to!
A really important thing to consider with any project you’re doing outside at your home is the maintenance. Do you want to spend time outside trimming shrubs and cutting grass? Do you have a maintenance company (like Envisioning Green) that takes care of everything for you? If your answer is no to both of these questions then you’ll want to mention that to your designer so they can put in more things like pavers and low maintenance shrubs. Do you love spending time outside messing around in your yard? Then a wide variety of plants and shrubs may be for you! There are plenty of options when it comes to your landscape and outdoor space, that’s where your landscape designer comes in!
Your Property’s Nuances
You know that spot in your yard that won’t grow grass no matter how hard you try? Or that place where all the water seems to collect any time it rains? These are really important to talk about during your consultation. Your landscape designer should be able to notice some of the strengths and weaknesses of the space but any insight that you can give as the homeowner is always helpful.
Putting anything from landscaping up to a full outdoor living space is an investment and you want to make sure that it is the most effective and beneficial use of your space and that it serves dual purposes if there are any issues with your backyard before it!
The last thing you want when getting your dream outdoor space or landscape installed is to spend too much money and then have to work every weekend instead of getting to enjoy your space. This is one of many reasons it’s so important to have a budget in mind and share that with your designer. This way, they can make sure that they have ideas in place in order to make that budget stretch the farthest. This doesn’t mean that your dreams can’t be bigger than your budget, it just allows for your designer to have a realistic phase (or phases) planned out for you and can help you figure out the best place to start.
Get it Started
We get it, this is a lot of information, but we want to make sure that you have all of your bases covered no matter who you work with. Our team of designers have a process during your consultation to make sure that these things are covered and that you have more brain power left to dream. We would be thrilled for the opportunity to meet with you and hear more about what you have in mind and we can take it from there.