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ideas for an unlimited budget

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MILSINC, May 30, 2007.


    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    I have a job coming up next spring, and i'd like to give a little background and get some ideas. I will be a one- man crew (as always), and the property is mostly wooded. I will be tearing out all existing landscaping and starting fresh. There will need to be irrigation, lighting, pavers, retaining walls, steps, plants (everything). This is a job that has an unlimited budget, and I will likely be there for half the year.

    The ideas I am looking for are things like this:
    Are there any cutting edge materials, systems, methods that some of you now swear by, or wish they could use, but nobody seems to have the budget? I am considering doing a gridwork of netafim dripline for all of the irrigation. I will likely use kichler lighting, but would like interesting ideas in using the lighting (i will visit the forum).
    What about the Wright stair system? anyone had luck with that at all?

    I guess I'm just looking for something aside from the norm. If anyone has any products or methods that always turn out fantastic, i'd like to know more about it.
    Honestly, this job would be great for manufacturers to get to show off their product lines, etc. let me know what you think!
  2. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 273

    Unlimited budget - why don't you hire the best landscape architect in town, develop a nice plan, then get the best subs to bid it, then just manage the project (for a healthy fee of course). Then you will have a top notch job performed in a timely fashion by the best in the business (and you will probably make more money off of it and have more time to sell/pursue other projects). Sounds better to me than spending half a year chasing your tail trying to be a jack of all trades. Good luck with it.

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    I do plan on subing out quite a bit of the job - excavation, lighting, and a water feature. However, there are just certain parts of the job that I can't let anyone else do.. I'm a bit too particular, and I still like to get dirty. Additionally, to sub too much work out (in my area) is nearly unheard of. The area has too little money, and too many landscapers. So, I don't like the idea of inviting too many sharks to dinner. However, the architect idea hadn't yet even occured to me. I have done countless designs, and I did go to college for this. But, I wonder if the architect can truly take it over the top? what's your take on them?
  4. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    too little money. and too many landscapers? How does that work? What is an unlimited budget anyway? 40k, 150k, 500k?

    For an unlimited budget make the stairs interesting with curves not standard steps. and if it is unlimited why are not using natural stone?

    For drip systems we use rain bird drip emmitters they are far superior to netafim drip systems and if you are looking for ctting edge that would be one way.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Yes! I knew I liked you, Patriot. Finally, someone who uses emmiters instead of netafim.

    If the budget is high, it makes sense not to use "user friendly" marketed products and go with natural materials that are traditional and timeless with handcrafted quality. Block systems, concrete paver products, and stair systems are all products invented to use cheaper materials, mass marketing, and training so that anyone can do it. The problem that you may run into is that these materials require knowledge, skills, and experience to produce quality results. ... but, so does project management.

    One thing does not add up and don't take this wrongly. It is an honest question and maybe there is a very good explaination. Why would someone with an unlimited budget hire a small one man operation who is not already familiar with and experienced at putting such a project together? Would it not make more sense for the client to seek out a proven designer and/or project manager who has been routinely doing this?

    The answer is that that they feel that you are the right man for the job. That could be because they think you are much more experienced and capable or it could be that you are being manipulated into believing that this is your "big chance" to make it big which gets you to value doing the job more than they value having you do it. Beware of this age old trick that is often pulled by builders, developers, real estate people, and other members of the sales professions.

    Would this client fit one of those descriptions? Are you doing a lot of work getting information and laying the groundwork to get this job without yet having a contract and deposit?

    Maybe none of these are the case here, but for the purpose of discussion for others to be aware of these ploys, it should be talked about even if it does not apply to your situation.
  6. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    why don't you act as a general contractor, get an architect, get a plan, get the help you need and get the job done, why do you have to wait until next year, with unlimited funds or close to it, theres no sense in waiting, how much money does waiting pay? and i would definitely get a contract and money before thinking of lighting and irrigation systems, and spending a half a year on project is ridiculous, i would jump on this project asap and get started..... unless you're filled this year, about how big is this project 1 acre more? unless your landscaping a farm i dont think this project should take a half a year :) ........ good luck it sounds like a challenging project
  7. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Unlimited budget? No such thing. :rolleyes:

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    I take it that I should have been more clear. Not only am I qualified, but quite experienced in managing and installing large, high end landscapes. The real question here was " are there any great, grand, and wonderful new things out there that are revolutionizing the way you do installs". I may or may not already be using them or aware of them, but I am simply trying to be as prepared as possible.
    Another point I should make is that the area is saturated with people who call themselves landscapers, but they are simply lawn maintenance crews who say they can do it all. I, on the other hand, do a select grouping of mainenance, but mostly I am a designer and installer of landscaping (fieldstone, flagstone, irrigation, pavers, etc. etc.).
    Finally, the budget is no concern to the client. However given the size of the property, there will be a limit as to how much can go into the project, thus capping the cost at whatever that may be.
    I am filled this year for work, and the client wants the project done in the spring. He is just moving into the home this month, and is having the interior redone this year. He only wants so much commotion at a time.
    He has hired me to do the project because this is the exact type of work that I specialize in. I installed the landscaping for his office, which was about two months solo. I keep my money close, and select number of clients happy.
    And, of course I will have a contract. I don't work without a contract and deposit. I have been hired to do the design at an agreed price, and we will get to the contract when a design is agreed upon.
    So, again, the real question was not intended to open up a can of worms as to whether i know what I am doing.. The question was intended to bring out things like Rain Bird emitters, (which I do use and have for years). I suppose I will have to revisit this when the design comes a little further along, and I need input on certain areas.
  9. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    I'll need a $100k retainer to get the creative juices flowing.
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    Ah... You might be takeing the term Unlimited budget literally. But in reality I could also say that several of my regular customers have mind blowing crazy money where their pockets are so deep they can only be measured with quantum physics and when it comes to landscapeing their is no govener on me or my billing.

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