Why Use A Landscape Designer?

LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND LANDSCAPING FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

THE DESIGN:

A qualified exterior designer would have received excessive training both in plants but more importantly in landscape design principles. These are applied by the Landscaper to create living spaces outside with the main goal always being creating a garden that links to the Architectural feel of the house and extend the rooms inside to rooms outside.

We provide the customer with a detailed plan (so that the customer knows what to expect) of the intended development so that there are no surprises later on. I like to draw similarities between a landscape design and a painting, both must be seen as holistic complete entities and therefore a design can never only be one area of the garden since this will not produce a holistic complete picture.

Would you consider building a new house without a plan? I am sure some people do but then the outcome will never be known before hand and the expectation might not be met by the reality. However if you have a plan it opens many new doors like: Costing, Finishes, Overall Feel, Style and last but not least excitement. A Landscape Designer plan will achieve the same result and allow the garden owner to understand and see the end product that the designer intends to implement.

How much will it cost?

Our portfolios range from R3000.00 to R12000.00, it all depends on the site size and the site complexity (slope, current plants available ext)

Sometimes our customers stop at this point because now they have something they can work with and over time they can implement the design themselves – Most customers however don’t and prefer to use a qualified Landscaper to assist with the implementation.

The Implementation

Some exterior designers only do designs and then work alongside a Landscaper who implements these. The trend nowadays however is to have design and implementation experts under the same roof so that it becomes a one stop shop for the Customer. The Portfolio therefore typically will include a costing breakdown for the implementation. This allows the customer to do an in depth study of the charges so that he can negotiate with the Landscaper should he feel that certain items are too expensive based on market prices.

An important note to make is that nowadays gardens have a great deal of Hard Landscaping (Brickwork ext) involved and most Landscape designs will include this. Qualified landscapers know this and will have the experts who can implement the landscape design, sometimes not in-house (a pool structure for example) but with trained specialists in the market. The Landscaper does however support the customer in this process and will include any external quotes in the portfolio as part of the costing process.

The aim at the end of the day is to take the hassle away from the Customer and do the groundwork for the customer. Our main goal here is always to save money for our clients.

How much will it cost?

What I can say is the following – In the house you can spend either a great deal or little money on a dining room table. Depending on your style you might prefer a solid teak dining room table while the neighbour across the street prefers pine. Both achieve the same result (you can sit down and eat) but the teak will far more expensive than the pine.

The key is the design and the pattern, how we colour it in is a matter of budget and taste. We can supply various post from various suppliers and the price ranges vary. If budget is a constraint then we can often achieve the same goal (sit down) in various different ways.

So the answer is – What is your budget!!! (a question every Landscape Designer will ask you at the first consultation). If you tell your landscaper that you do not have a budget he will typically look at your home and the finishes that you selected there and apply the same thinking in your garden. A point to note however is that a garden is not cheap (a visit to your local Nursery will prove this point) but will always add more value to your home than it costs.

A good benchmark to determine budget should be the estimated value of your home. Take a range between 5 – 10% of your home value and expect to spend that on your garden.

A FINAL NOTE:

When Building From Scratch

Budget for the garden up front when you are building and involve the Landscaper from the start in order to avoid incorrect positioning of your pool and Lapa (These are normally there when we arrive and can create landscape design challenges)

When Giving Your Garden a Facelift

Don’t walk into the Nursery and start buying plants for a bare patch. 9 times out of 10 that patch will be bare again same time same place next year. Contact a Landscaper and ask him for advice. Some landscapers will be glad to assist. They will charge you a consulting fee that will be far less than the cost of replacing plants every year.

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