A professional landscape design is an important tool for your landscape project. If a design is scaled properly, and works on paper, it will work in the field. When elevations and cross sections are added to a landscape design the homeowner gets a chance to see and feel what the job will look like. We consider a landscape design as an insurance policy for an installation project. If there are ever any questions we always go back to the design to make sure the installation is a match. The design will protect the homeowner and contractor. It should be included with the contract as an exhibit.
There is a big difference between a professional landscape design and a computerized concept. A computerized concept is a quick way to provide an idea of what an area will look like. A concept plan is not scaled. Its purpose is to give the customer a visual image of what will be achieved. A concept will not have any measurements and is not intended to be used as construction plans. Today you can buy $25.00 programs at Best Buy to design a landscape concept. They can be helpful for the design process, but are not adequate for construction.
Some landscapers give free designs. There is a 2 part problem with a free design:
1. LOW QUALITY DESIGNS--often they are quick hand sketches that are hard to understand. I have seen them done on the back of a Burger King receipt. You will have nothing to go back to if your expectations are not met.
2. HIGH QUALITY DESIGNS--It belongs to the contractor and they may not let you keep it unless you hire them to do the project. That makes it impossible to get competitive bids. Some home owners may feel obligated to go with the guy who spent a lot of time on their plan, BIG MISTAKE, you may pay 10 fold for that free design. Sometimes designers try to take Copyright ownership on ideas they have produced.
At Squeals, we offer design services. For a minimal design fee we will create a scaled drawing using your home owner's survey. Upon receiving your design, it is yours to keep and you can get other bids to compare pricing. If you choose to use us, your design fee will automatically shift into a deposit toward your landscape project. If you already have a landscape design, we would be glad to give you a free estimate based on that plan.