Simply put: The words Quality Landscaping and Dirt Cheap don’t usually go together in a sentence! However, I’m here to tell you how they CAN go together and how you can get the landscaping you’ve been dreaming of, without breaking the bank.
I wrote this guide to help you learn a bit about the process that goes into the design and implementation of your landscape. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to make an educated and informed decision regarding your landscaping.
The Opposite of Quality Landscaping
Sadly, just like any industry, it’s important to realize there are some businesses that are only looking for a profit, aren’t addressing your budget or just don’t have the experience to do the job right.
Finding the right designer to work with is key to achieving your perfect landscaping. Although landscape contractors have landscape designers or architects on staff, they don’t always have all your best interests at heart. Let me explain:
Many times landscape contractors will use the same 30 plants, the same stone materials and even the same designs for multiple residences. Yikes!! Why? So they can make more money and save time. By using the same plants and stone materials, contractors are able to buy those materials in bulk. The same goes for the designs, why reinvent the design for each house, when with a little tweak, it can be used at multiple houses.
Another issue that can arise is scheduling. Countless times, larger jobs are put in front of smaller installs, or a job is started and days (or even weeks) go by before seeing the contractor again. Granted, weather-related delays are a part of landscaping, however your job shouldn’t be pushed to the back-burner because of the weather or the size of the job.
This Isn’t Quality Landscaping
Generally speaking, unless you have landscaping knowledge yourself, you won’t know if the landscape contractor is working with your best interests in mind. It’s not uncommon to see different plants installed (or different sizes than contracted), less base material under pavers than is recommended or causing future problems like flooding or damage to existing trees and plants.
Lastly, landscape contractors generally make more money on the installation (labor) of your landscape install than on the materials. With that being said, landscape contractors are unlikely to sell you a design without the catch of installing it. So if you’re looking to save money and install yourself, don’t look to a landscape contractor for your design.
So Why Choose Me For Your Landscape Design?
Why? Because I will design quality landscaping that satisfies your wants, meets your needs, falls within your budget and is installed in a timely manner.
As an independent landscape designer I work for YOU and will act as a liaison between you and the installing landscape contractor by doing the following:
- Quoting out your design to many responsible landscape contractors, assuring you’re getting the best service and schedule for the best price.
- Tagging your woody plants at the nursery, to be sure you’re getting the best stock
- Being present on installation day to check all aspects of the build
- Keeping the landscape contractor on schedule
- Supplying you detailed care information on all of your plants
Adventurous? You Can Install Your Plants Yourself and Save BIG BUCKS!
Here’s something you don’t see everyday… Being able to ‘Plant Your Own Landscape‘! Here’s how I’m able to save you a lot of money! Remember, landscape contractors make the majority of their money on the labor (install) part of the build.
There’s only two requirements needed from you; the physical capacity to be able to plant a plant (bending, kneeling, strength) and the tools (shovel, spade, rake). That’s it!
A Quick Note About Nurseries and Big Box Stores
Before you bring up the fact you can go to your local nursery or (gasp) that Big Box Store for plants, let me tell you a few things about the plants at those locations.
OK, I’m not going to dis local nurseries too much. Some points I’ll make is that the selection won’t be as wide and the pricing will be double. If they are willing to sketch a plan out for you, it will only encompass plants they have on their lot, which may be limiting. They also aren’t at your home, viewing the actual location the plants will be growing, which can cause growing issues in the future such as not enough sunlight for a plant to flower…. or too much sunlight and the plant burns up.
With regards to Big Box Store plants, just don’t do it! Other than getting your annuals or veggies from these stores, leave those other plants right where they’re at. Being that these stores are nation-wide, they get their plants from all over the nation, too. Although I’m sure they try to only stock plants that are hardy in the area, you really don’t know where the plants came from, which means there’s no guarantee they will survive for long.
Here’s How the DIY Planting Service Works:
- After design approval, we assess where the plants will be installed. This may include sod removal, old plant removal, adding soil (I’ll give you amounts) or any other preparation work that needs to be completed before the plants arrive.
- After all the preliminary work is done, the plant delivery is scheduled.
- Next, I will personally choose your plants at the many wholesale nurseries I work with to be sure they are healthy and well-formed.
- Finally, I will deliver your plants, place them in their locations and give you the knowledge you need to plant them correctly.
- Lastly, I’ll calculate the amount of mulch needed and have it delivered.
- Can it get any easier than that?!?
Landscape Design Costs
It’s important to realize that every landscape design has its own set of challenges. For this reason, it would be a disservice of me to quote rates. However, you will have a clear understanding of the processes and estimated costs necessary to bring your landscape to fruition before any money is exchanged.
Things I Need For Our Meeting:
- Plat of survey
- Wish list of desired features (Pinterest or Houzz are great assets, just tag me into your page)
- Favorite colors or plants – photos work if you don’t know the name.
- List of any special needs, if any (i.e. no stairs, limited sight, children, housebound family member, etc.)
- Budget – I can easily phase out the project over a few years
Contact me today to get your quality landscaping done right for dirt cheap prices!!
By planting your own plants! Remember, landscape contractors make the majority of their money on the labor (install) part of the build. By working with a designer that allows you to DIY your own install, you’ll save over half the going price of an installed landscape.
Finding a good landscape designer will require some interviewing on the homeowners part. Talk to a few and make sure you’re not getting a cookie-cutter plan with the same boring plants. Be sure to ask about budgets and scheduling, as those two things can shift once season starts.