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Getting Started

How Do I Prepare to Talk to a Professional Landscape Designer?

Sontag-30Take a walk around the neighborhood. See what you like about your neighbors’ yards; the hardscaping, the plants that are thriving, and the colors you are attracted to, the sounds of a water feature or wind chimes, garden accessories, etc. The more you know about what you like, the easier it is to communicate to your designer so that she can incorporate all the elements you love in the plan.

Your design should have one major focus that the rest of the landscape showcases. A beautiful old oak tree, a water feature of some sort, or the dramatic architectural element of the house itself.

Collect pictures of gardens and yards that you like from magazines or take photographs to help you get a better idea of what you want for your yard.

Walk through nurseries in your area (remember, you want to pick plants that do well where you live) and see what is blooming now and the many different types of plants you are going to want to include.

If you are planning on tending to your garden with enthusiasm, then do not hesitate to plant vegetables and flowerbeds. If you enjoy the color a garden provides, but not necessarily the labor, then focus on collecting a vibrant assortment of low maintenance shrubs and perennials that focus on colorful foliage.

As far as cost is concerned, a good rule of thumb is to spend about 10-20% of the value of your home on your landscape project.

The Benefits of Using a Professional Landscape Designer

You will have a complete Landscape Design (a legal document) which you can give to contractors so they can bid on the job. Remember you always want to make sure they are bidding on the same scope of work and materials (apples to apples).

Your completed Landscape Design will make sure you and your contractor(s) avoid misunderstandings in the scope of work, plant materials, hardscaping, water features, walkways, patios, etc.

With the completed Landscape Design, you and your designer have thought through all aspects before construction gets underway and, therefore, you will avoid costly delays, re-do’s or tear outs.

Having the completed Landscape Design means your project is installed on budget.

Because all the planning/design is done ahead of time it ensures that all aspects of the design will work and flow together.

With a complete Landscape Design it allows you to install your project over time or in phases and ensures that you will have the garden you want when the contractor is finished.

Why Invest in Landscaping Your Property?

Time spent in a beautifully landscaped garden reduces stress and provides ongoing emotional benefit.

A beautifully landscaped property creates more “curb appeal”, adds value to your home, and when the time comes to sell a beautifully landscaped property sells more easily than an un-landscaped or poorly landscaped property.

Your backyard landscape/garden is considered to be another room for you and your family and friends to live in and enjoy (hence our company name, Living Outdoors!), and is given value on a residential appraisal report.

Plants help clean the air we breath and are necessary for our survival and well being on this planet.

It can cost about 50% – 75% less per square foot to landscape a property than it does to remodel a kitchen. Both are major assets when selling your home. Current statistics indicate a return on investment of 198% for landscaping and 141% for kitchen remodels.

We are here to help you enhance your life by starting and finishing the process of creating a beautiful outdoor living area. Let’s do this!