Ready to Design Your New Outdoor Space?

Ready to Design Your New Outdoor Space?

The process of building a new landscape, renovating an old one, or adding onto an existing one can feel like an overwhelming process.  It can be hard to figure out exactly where to start!

You want the space to be reflective of your personal tastes and your home's architecture.  It also needs to work around your family's favorite outdoor activities.  Most of us don't have the time to DIY so we look to a landscape designer for our projects.  Who would you hire?  Choosing the right person to help you design and install your new outdoor living area is a big decision.  It’s good to understand what to expect once you begin working with a landscape designer.

Here are a few tips to get started:

Before you choose a Landscape Designer....

•  Collect ideas of the sorts of spaces you’d like them to design.  Pin images to boards on Pinterest, create Idea Books on Houzz and cut photos out of magazines.   Be inspired by everything around you.

 By Living Expression Landscapes

By Living Expression Landscapes

 By Living Expression Landscapes

By Living Expression Landscapes

•  What is important to you?  Do you plan on entertaining in this outdoor space?  Would you like a place to meditate in?  Do you have pets or kids?  Do you want to incorporate a water feature?  The elements important to you should be important to your Landscape Designer as well.

 By Living Expression Landscapes

By Living Expression Landscapes

•  Create a budget. Consider that data has shown a well-kept, landscape improvement will add a property value greater than what you spend, providing a home with a recovery rate of 100 to 200 percent!   A general rule of thumb is to spend 10% of your home's value on landscaping.   If money is tight, have your property designed and landscaped in stages, as you can afford it.

Then find the right person for the job!

  • Interview your candidates. Whether you find your potential candidate from a friend or online, have a list of questions at the ready.  A good landscape designer will answer your questions honestly, fairly and with respect.
  • Are you looking for a company who can also install and maintain your landscape as well?  This is important.  Landscape designers can be retained to create a landscape design "master plan" from which you and the landscape installer, builders, and contractors can work from to physically build your new landscape.  A company who can finish the job from beginning to end, then maintain it afterwards, will ultimately understand how to design your space better at the start of the project. Living Expressions Landscapes is just such a firm with complete services.
  • Ask for references. A solid landscape designer will have a list of references and portfolio photos ready.

Next, you’ll have a consultation....

This is usually the first step to creating the preliminary design.  The designer will ask you for a copy of your property survey plan, visit with you at the property and come up with a detailed landscape design site plan.  The cost of such a detailed site plan all depends on the size & extent of the project.  A landscape plan should take into account soil conditions, window views, drainage, area usage, plant maturity size, sun, shade, slope, level of maintenance desired, existing structures, and other factors.

A site plan will include the following:

Understanding what you are looking at will give you confidence in knowing what questions to ask or suggestions to make that will lead to your dream landscape.

  • The footprint of the house.
  • A footprint of any other structure including detached garages, pools and drives.
  • A property line drawn around the entire home and landscape.
  • Allowances for setbacks and rights-of-way.
  • Existing trees and plants and the proposed trees and plants: both using icons and drawn to scale. Trees should show canopy width.
  • A north direction symbol and a legend explaining icons and symbols.
  • A list of plants to be used in your unique landscape.

*The site plan design phase is a great time to make changes, ask questions or add additions to the landscape. 

Ready to dive into designing your new outdoor space?

 By Living Expression Landscapes

By Living Expression Landscapes

Living Expression Landscapes is a start-to-finish landscape design & services company committed to providing the highest quality of landscaping services to homeowners and businesses who want the most from their properties.  Meticulous attention to detail is given to everything from the design phase, to plants & statuary, to hardscape installation such as patios, to long-term maintenance.  Just take a look at some of our "Before & Afters"!  Our expert team ensures every element fits your taste and lifestyle and enhances your home and garden.  Give Living Expression Landscapes a call to set up your consultation today!