- Find inspirations! The internet is full of great landscape ideas, pictures, products resources, and suggestions. Find a theme that intrigues you. Having these visions available will help with the design phase.
- Determine your budget. Landscape projects can get very spendy very quickly. Often a large part of the expense is in the preparation work (think irrigation, drainage, and wall and patio foundation preparation). Having a set budget can help a landscape designer determine priorities and phases for completing the renovation.
- Be willing to spend $1000-$2500 on a scale design of your future landscape. Planning your landscape ahead of time can help ensure a cohesive final product when completed in multiple phases or all at once.
- Find a landscape contractor that fits your needs. The reliable contractors should be licensed, bonded, and insured; will have a great rating with the Better Business Bureau; can provide references and previous project examples; and will likely not be the cheapest option. Find a contractor that can see your vision and help guide you in the right directions to get the renovation completed.
- Be willing to pay a little extra for a quality project. There will always be a cheaper option for getting landscape work completed, but often the cheaper option comes with lack of quality, project completion issues, or logistical headaches for the homeowner.
- Plan ahead. Get HOA permission if need be, find out what permits you need, and consider the effect the project will have on your day-to-day life while being completed. Have a timeline of when you would like the project completed and start contacting landscape contractors with plenty of time to allow for design and implementation; potentially several months ahead of time. Winter is generally much slower for landscapers and could also lead to discounts due to it being the slow season.
- Be open to changes and suggestions. The design process can often lead to discovering many ideas and challenges that you never even considered.
- Be willing to wait for the right contractor or time of year if need be. Large landscape projects are not worth rushing.
- Don’t choose the cheapest materials and landscape products. Long term, the higher end products will last and remain intact and beautiful. And do not skimp on the unseen project elements: drainage is very important, particularly in the PNW; proper foundations for walls and patios are crucial; and a quality irrigation system is necessary for most landscape designs.
- Get ready to let your creative juices flow and prepare yourself for endless possibilities.
1. Start up all your powered landscape equipment. Repair any tools that are not running at top notch. Re-fill you gas jugs with fresh gas and mix oil. Sharpen any tools that were missed last fall. Replace air filters. It is better to sort this out now than when the grass is growing like crazy!
Tayler is ALM's Landscape Installation & Renovation Supervisor. With a BA in Natural Resource Conservation and years of experience operating heavy machinery, Tayler brings all of her skills and talents to every job she does. When she's not creating beautiful landscapes, she enjoys hiking, woodworking, home improvement projects and gardening.