You’ve been dreaming about your backyard space for what feels like forever. And now the time has come to make that dream a reality. The energy and excitement you feel is contagious.
You can’t wait any longer. You’ve watched all the home and garden television and flipped through the magazines and you have your vision. It’s time to start talking to landscape design professionals about the next steps.
In fact, the design process is one of the most critical steps to bringing your outdoor living dreams to life.
And to get that design you’re envisioning means maximizing the landscape design consultation meeting, mainly nailing the landscape design consultation questions so you are thoroughly prepared to find the right partner to create your outdoor space.
If you are ready to schedule your landscape design consultation, read on.
Questions to Ask During a Landscape Design Consultation
You want the maximum benefit out of your landscape design consultation meeting. Both you and your designer should be able to ask and answer questions back and forth and find yourselves on the same agenda in the end: To create the best space for you.
Here are the 5 best questions to ask a landscape designer during your consultation.
1. What is Your Experience and Expertise?
When you have an extensive and elaborate landscape design, you want to feel confident that the professional you hire knows what they are doing. So, you should always ask a landscape designer about their experience.
This is particularly important if you have any special work being done that takes some specialty building and construction. That’s why this is a natural question to ask during a landscape design consultation.
KD Landscape, serving the Greater Chicago area, is proud that all of its foremen have been with the company for over 10 years, with some working there for 16 to 18 years. This means they have that innate ability from experience to problem solve on the job, use their refined level of craftsmanship and can deal with any issues that arise.
You’ll also want to make sure they have some expertise in specific areas that you are keen on including in your backyard design. For instance, if you want a retaining wall in your backyard, you want to ensure the company you hire has expertise in designing and installing them. Request to see examples of their work. Make sure you see examples that include big and small projects -- and ones comparable to what you’re seeking. This goes the same for outdoor fireplaces, water features, patios, outdoor kitchens, and landscape structures.
2. Can I See Your Portfolio of Work?
An established landscaping company who is reputable and reliable will be more than happy to show you examples of their work. That’s why this question to ask a landscape designer is high on the list.
Seeing these examples can give you a feel for their style, their capabilities, and their creativity.
You can also ask to see specific examples of your designer’s work so you can get an even more focused idea of what that person is capable of and what his special skills and creative ideas involve.
3. What Percent of My Project is Done In House vs. Outside Contractors?
If the landscaping company you hire is capable of handling your extensive project, then they should be able to do the work involved.
When it comes to special work like blue stone patio installation, for instance, you want a company that has that internal experience and expertise so you know your patio will be done right and will last for a lifetime.
And when it comes to special skills like electrical work, plumbing, or masonry, if the company doesn't have a licensed person on its team they should have a licensed list of reliable subcontractors they regularly use and rely upon.
At KD Landscape, we do 90% to 100% of the work ourselves. We feel it’s very important to follow rules and use licensed professionals to complete intricate work like electrical, plumbing, or masonry so it’s done right from the start.
You certainly don’t want some fly-by-night company who says they can do it but isn’t licensed to do it. Your project is too expensive to risk big mistakes with someone who hasn’t taken the time to learn the skill properly. Don’t be afraid of this question to ask during a landscape design consultation.
4. Can You Share Your Process and Timeline?
Another question to ask your landscape designer is, how long will the process take? Knowing how long your project will take from start to finish is important, but you also want to understand all the steps involved so you can keep ticking off the boxes as your project progresses.
You want to get a good sense of how the entire process will proceed -- from initial consultation to design to approval and permitting and then installation and completion. So keep this question to ask a landscape designer on your list.
Your timeline will be based on the scope of our project, but most landscape design/build firms with experience know how long various projects take -- even those with special products or custom installations. So they can give you a good guesstimate and keep those lines of communication open along the way to ensure you’re comfortable with how the job is flowing.
5. How Much Will My Landscape Cost?
It’s so important to talk about cost and budgets and start the process with open communication lines. This is one of those questions to ask during a landscape design consultation that can’t be ignored.
The reason? If you want some extensive backyard additions, you need to have an idea of what they might cost because your vision and your budget may not match. And an experienced landscape designer can go over ideas with you to give you the best of what you want based on your needs that also works within your budget.
Maybe your project can focus on your top wants, and then the next phase can focus on another important element to split up the costs and help you stay within an annual budget. You have more options than you think, and your designer can help you prioritize your big needs and deliver a landscape you love that won’t pinch your pocketbook too tightly.
Choosing the Best Landscape Design Partner in Chicagoland
Now that you have your landscape design consultation questions, it’s time to make that appointment and get your project started.
This meeting will be a great way for you to gather valuable data that can help you make the best decision for you and your space.
Being prepared is always better than jumping into this important meeting without any thought behind what you want to ask. Hopefully these questions help save you some time.
In the end, you want a landscape design/build company that is going to meet all of your specific needs and design a Chicagoland landscape that is exactly what you dreamed up … or maybe even better.
A company that takes you and your questions seriously is the one that will help you feel confident that you’re making a great choice. After all, a company that is detail-oriented in the beginning phases is going to bring that same attention to detail to the entire installation.
Ready to see how KD Landscape can transform your Greater Chicago landscape into something beyond your expectations? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you and deliver a custom space that stands out. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a plan that works best for you. Then you can enjoy your new space for years to come.