It’s not quite spring, but the weather sure feels like it here in DC Ranch, and along with it comes the urge to head outside and revamp your yard. Whether your landscape makeover requires changes to the hardscaping (patios, driveways, structures such as firepits, outdoor kitchens) or soft-scaping (plants and turf), odds are you will probably need a professional to help you tackle your project.
The jargon alone may set you back: aligned design philosophy, edible landscapes, playful Zen garden, drought-resistant foliage, Xeriscape, and many more terms you need to get a handle on before talking to a pro. You’ll want to do your homework before you make a call. But when you do, you’ll want to make sure you ask the right questions before signing on the dotted line.
Here are some topics to cover and questions to ask to determine if you are a fit for one another, yes, it goes both ways. They will be interviewing you as well to make sure you are a fit for their firm’s team and expertise.
- Is the initial consultation free? Most landscape architects will welcome your invitation to come to your home and property to take a look at the scope of the project, and they usually will do it for free. As a homeowner, have your ducks in a row so you are not wasting each other’s time and to get the most out of the initial consultation.
- Decide if the landscape architect gets the gist of what you are trying to create, which will aid in the project turning out like you imagined.
- Ask for a written estimate of what the project will cost. Talk is cheap and everyone needs to be on the same page about the scope of the work and whether or not it fits your budget. By all means be honest about what you plan to spend.
- Ask what they see as the biggest challenge with your outdoor space and your project ideas. Pssst, this may be an indicator of unexpected change orders that are likely to come down the pike which will bump up the cost of the project and put you over budget.
- What is their preferred method of communication throughout the project? Meetings? Emails? Phone calls? Text messages? Does it match your preferred method of doing business?
- Ask to see pictures of prior work or a portfolio if they have one, and ask for testimonials or prior client references. Follow through in contacting them.
- Can they help you obtain approval for your landscape changes from the DC Ranch Covenant Commission? Typically, the Covenant Commission requires homeowners to submit a Landscape Modification Request that includes a drawing and description/samples of materials to be used.
If you we can help you with references for good landscape design companies in the DC Ranch area, reach out to us. We’re happy to help.
Looking for DC Ranch homes for sale? Contact us at 480-360-0281 or fill out the contact form below to make an appointment to view properties.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255