Hiring a landscape designer can seem like a daunting prospect. The decision is an important one, as the person you choose will have a big impact on your entire landscape design experience, not to mention the finished product.
What steps can you take to make sure you hire someone who is a good fit for your project? One of the best things you can do is ask the right questions. Here are 5 questions that will help you make an informed decision when interviewing a potential landscape designer.
1. What type of work do you do or specialize in?
At the most basic level, you want someone who can actually do the work you need them to do. If you want to install a swimming pool, for example, you need someone with experience designing pools. If it’s very important to you that your landscape be sustainable, you’ll want to hire a designer who knows how to make that happen. There are many nuances and niches within the world of landscape design, and this question will help you find the right person for your job.
2. Are you design only?
Some landscape designers are strictly design only, meaning they help you design your outdoor space and then bow out of the process completely. Others are more hands-on throughout the process, connecting you to tradespeople, supervising installation, and generally sticking with you to make sure the design is implemented to your satisfaction.
The direction you take will depend entirely on your preferences, but this is an important question to ask so you know what kind of working relationship to expect with your landscape designer.
3. Can I see examples of your past projects?
In landscape design, the finished product often speaks for itself. A professional landscape designer should have plenty of examples of finished projects to show you that will give you a good feel for their style and experience. Ask specifically for examples that are similar to the look and feel you want for your yard. Seeing something similar to your own vision will help you move forward with more confidence.
4. Can I speak to some of your past clients?
You want a great finished product, but you also want a pleasant project experience. The problem is, online reviews can only tell you so much about working with someone. The best way to really understand what it will be like to work with a designer is to talk to some of their past clients about what the experience was like.
When you talk to past clients, ask questions like: Was the project completed on time and on budget? What was communication like? Would you recommend this designer to other people? This will help you hire someone who is easy to work with, and who you can trust to get the job done right.
5. What ideas do you have for my space?
While you want a designer who will implement your vision and ideas, you also want someone who can bring their own creativity and expertise to the project. Give the potential designer some space to voice their own opinions about the elements they think would work well for your yard and lifestyle. Talk to them about current industry trends and whether or not any of them would work for your landscape. In short, try to get a feel for the direction your project would take if you were to choose to work with this designer.
A great landscape designer can make all the difference in your landscape project. Increase your chances of hiring the right person by asking them these questions, and step into your next project feeling informed, confident, and ready to create the outdoor space of your dreams.