Contracting out a landscape design

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Hotty Toddy, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Ive been in business for one year. I do lawn maintenance as the mainstay of my business, but I prefer landscaping and landscape maintenance. My business is promoted mainly by word of mouth.

    I just got asked to take a look at a home in a very upscale neighborhood. The owner wants a complete renovation of his front landscape.

    This would be the largest project I’ve done to date, and definitely the most upscale.
    I’m considering paying for a landscape architect to draw up some plans with my input. Approximate rates here are $90-120 per hour.

    Do you think this is a good idea? I wonder if having some drawings would help me sell the project to the client. A future goal of mine is to get some software to do my own drawings.

    I’d appreciate your advice.

    HT
     
  2. JLSLLC

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    you can probably handle it if you do your research and get help here. Share the pics
     
  3. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    Probably not a bad idea considering the client and your still new to the game. Over the years I've had customers use a designer then have me implement every ones ideas. Good designers are worth every penny they charge. Doing things this way will help you develop your design skills and will quickly introduce you to a wide variety of plants and design basics. I ended up hand drawing my designs using some tracing tricks a designer showed me. I can usually turn a drawing out in about half an hour. just find a good designer.
     
    1620cwj and oqueoque like this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Will do. The existing bed you can see. The owner laid the stone widening the bed. He likes the arborvitae, but wants them replaced with more mature specimens. He likes azaleas. Does not like anything with thorns.

    I don’t know if you can see, but the bed extends to the left and curves out to the street. That part gets afternoon shade. The house faces south and gets a lot of sun otherwise.

    My goal is to have a good evergreen “backbone” structure to the landscape with room for some annual color.

    Another goal is to fill the dead space created by the white brick wall.

    Let’s see if these pics show what I’m talking about.

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    A8B0F417-C683-4FA0-B044-BF84FC7F0342.jpeg

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    C5AB5610-DB27-40AE-AF77-DE09709F636F.jpeg

    BB140CAA-502A-4773-A645-EC6E1BC14919.jpeg
     
    oqueoque likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    The widest depth of the bed (the curved part on the right) is 14 feet.

    The depth will easily be able to accommodate 2-3 layers of plantings. I want some continuity (perhaps with azaleas) from the street wrapping around the front of the house and repeating on the small bed on the other side of the driveway.

    Any thoughts on the design and/or on the architect consultation is appreciated
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Good points. I would get a kick out of learning from his/her design.

    There are landscape designers and landscape architects. I’m sure the latter are more expensive. Reputation is probably key.
     
  7. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    I wouldn't get to crazy with the evergreens, the area where the edging curves into the driveway is just begging for some sort of ornamental tree along with some flowering perennials. One of my favorites that does well here is the Limelight Hydrangea tree. Maybe towards the back of the garage would be a good spot for a larger upright Arborvite. I've used edging stones just like that here in MN, it was called Buckskin.
     
  8. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    Don't get me started on Landscape Architects. Most usually have one way of doing things-their way. I'd be looking for someone at one of the larger nurseries and most likely would be a woman. Somehow when a man says a plant or tree would look beautiful, it just doesn't sound right and can be a tough sell.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    D2AD2185-1390-48ED-9D39-4B01AA379F63.jpeg D2AD2185-1390-48ED-9D39-4B01AA379F63.jpeg F281BF03-769D-4348-80F9-15E8118C1E4F.jpeg 3E2F57A3-5986-44C2-A47E-227BCA45924E.jpeg What do you think about the border? The homeowner is doing the border himself (I don’t do hardscape yet). Is the proposed bed size off balance? I suggested that he reign in the depth of the bed a bit. Here are his latest pics.

    Would you tighten up the curve even more? He doesn’t like the gaps/wedge made when going for a more acute angle.

    Thoughts appreciated.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  10. Baker's Lawn & Landscape

    Baker's Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Consulting with a landscape architect/designer is your best option here. They will provide insight on the best plant material, placement of plantings, and overall structure of the planting design. Yes, landscape architects will charge a premium, but you get what you pay for here.

    A quick side note- I would stress the importance of properly installing the stone edge border. As tempting as it may be, those stones can't simply be placed on top of the turf like that. I'm not sure what the freeze/thaw cycles are like in Little Rock, but that edging should, at the very least, be installed in a trench about half the depth of the stone, or preferably, sitting on top of a bed of crusher run or similar material.
     
    hort101 likes this.

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