Communication, Communication, Communication! I say it 3 times because when it comes to the Landscape process, 3 important groups of people are involved: the Client, Contractor and Designer. And it is very important that all 3 work together to make the project happen, whether it is a large landscape installation or a simple garden planting.
The client wants ideas and solutions from the designer. Good communication is key here as it is the clients’ garden after all. But there are also practical limitations at work in your yard. A rose garden on the north side of your house is not going to work no matter how much you communicate the desire!
From the contractor the client wants value, a schedule, an excellent finished product, a warranty and possibly even maintenance. These are practical tangible things on the list but here communication is key as well.
Is your priority the front yard this year but you have plans to install a pool in the back in the next year? Well we need to discuss that since accessing the backyard next year may damage what you do in the front yard this year. Or do you require the work to be done this summer or specifically during the 2 week period you are away on holidays so that you can come back to a completed job? When specific details like this are discussed during the early stages, then all the kinks can be worked out. Since we are at the mercy of the weather, a plan B should be put in place and most good contractors will prefer you to be home so that you can be involved in any changes or last minute decisions that need to be made.
The designer wants and needs things from their client as well. The designer initially needs a wish list, a budget and eventually, timely decisions on materials like brick choices or tree sizes. And the designer wants the contractor to communicate any issues or necessary changes to the plan or project as part of the planning process as well as when the work has begun. No designer wants to design something that cannot be built!
The contractor wants and needs a detailed plan from the designer and for the designer and client to help facilitate a seamless construction process. It’s never good when a crew is waiting at the site for decisions to be made or things to be delivered.
Here’s a quick checklist to help you prepare and fulfill your landscaping plans:
1. Organize your ideas, needs and budget.
2. Contact a Professional Landscape Designer.
3. Work closely with your Landscape Designer to ensure your vision.
4. Contact a Professional Landscape Contractor(s) to quote on design.
5. Client, Contractor and Designer work closely to refine the design.
6. Good communication is key during the installation.
Good contractors and designers work hard to make sure that the client gets what they want on time and on budget but if and when unforeseen things happen, good communication will make sure they are dealt with promptly and that they don’t impact the final product.
The above demonstrates the importance of working with a designer to create the plan for the contractor to follow. You can see how it all ties together and that good communication from the start can ensure a final product that everyone is proud of.