Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
Garden design includes both softscaping and hardscaping and both are necessary in any garden. Softscaping is the plants that are used in the garden. Hardscaping includes driveways, patios, paving, decking and other elements of hardscaping. A good garden designer can help you with both softscaping and hardscaping.
A garden designer can make a plan for your garden or supervise the project. Both of these will come at different costs:
As a general rule, landscaping should cost between 5 percent and 10 percent of the value of your home. 5 percent will be for a smaller garden and 10 percent will be for a large garden, including softscaping and hardscaping. If your house is worth $600,000, 5 percent will be $30,000 and 10 percent up to $60,000. While that may seem like a lot of money, overlooking your garden design can bring the value of a home down, while a good garden design will increase the value of a home.
Landscaping can add at least $15,000 to the value of a home. In one case, a man landscaped his property and it sold for $150,000 more than a home in the same suburb that didn't have a garden. A front garden adds to the street appeal of a property and a back garden also adds to the value of a home, especially if it is designed for outdoor living.
Do you need to hire a landscape architect for a garden? Landscape architects have degrees in their chosen field and have the expertise needed to do more complex jobs.
A garden designer is the equivalent to a landscaper in Australia. Each state has regulations regarding landscaping:
For more information, visit Licensed Trades: Landscapers.
A garden designer can be an ideal choice for a smaller garden, but you need to look at portfolios and find a garden designer who has designed gardens that are similar to what you want. For a large project, you may want to choose a Landscape Architect, especially if there is a large amount of hardscaping in the project.
Don't rule out hiring a garden designer. They often take courses in horticulture and can help you with hardscaping, too. When choosing a garden designer:
Their portfolio will tell you if they can design a garden that is similar to your vision for your front and back gardens. References will tell you if other clients have been happy with their work. Insurance is necessary for any trade that works on your property. The insurance protects them and you. An experienced garden designer will have dozens of clients before you and can help create an innovative garden designed for your lifestyle.
Any good garden designer will come to your property to view the gardens and make suggestions on how to improve the front and back gardens. They will explain all the elements of a garden and recommend plants for various areas in the front and back gardens. They will make these suggestions taking the amount of sunlight that is available and will choose plants that don't require too much sunlight for shady areas. Since any garden designer you choose will have experience in your area, they can recommend the best plants for your environment.
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They will also make hardscaping suggestions. They may recommend:
They will discuss everything with you, including how the different elements of the garden fit in with one another. They will also give you approximate costs to help you plan your garden. If you want a plan only, they will take your suggestions and do a CAD drawing of your garden and some may even sketch a garden while they talk with you and give you the opportunity to help create a garden design you are happy with.
Some garden designers work with larger firms that can handle all aspects of garden design. After you have agreed on a garden design, they can give you a price for the whole project. If they are an independent garden designer, they may have to get quotes from the various trades you need, which may include:
An independent garden designer can get quotes from trades so you won't be in the dark about how much your project is going to cost.
Why should you get quotes from garden designers? You can compare their costs, but that may not be the most important part of getting quotes. When you get quotes, you can give details about what you want and garden designers will get back to you with general quotes, but they may also send you photos of their previous work. This gives you the opportunity to compare garden designers and choose one whose work is similar to what you want done in your garden.In most cases, a garden designer will do work on your front yard and backyard. Each is different. A front yard should flatter your house and provide easy access to your front door. A backyard is a place for relaxing, entertaining friends or having a barbecue. When you choose a garden designer, they will be happy to listen to your input and design front and back gardens that reflect your lifestyle.
Choose a garden designer carefully and look at their ratings. Some have been on Home Improvement Pages for a long time and may have more customer ratings than others, but also look at the Star rating. This will tell you how satisfied their clients have been with them. 5 Stars is the highest rating and you may be surprised by how many garden designers have 5 Star ratings. When you are satisfied with the rating, look at their portfolio and find a garden designer whose vision matches your own.
*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.
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