getting the most from an initial landscape consultation
Hiring a landscape designer is a big decision! An outdoor renovation is just as costly as an indoor remodel, with an even greater potential to enhance your quality of life.
Professional advice and a set of design documents to facilitate the bid process and guide your contractor are the best investments you can make.

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 During an initial consultation, we’ll tour your existing landscape and discuss your requirements and objectives.seating-area

My goal is to bring your vision for your outdoor space to life, so understanding your personal style and preferences is important. This is not a portfolio review but a working session. In addition to providing feedback on your own ideas, at this meeting I will share options on general layout and may provide some preliminary information on possible material choices for typical landscape items such as patios, arbors and lawns.

In addition, we will review the design process with you in more detail and answer any questions you might have. Project scope, budget and design goals all affect the process. I don’t believe in over-designing, so this initial meeting will help determine what level of design and planning is appropriate for your project.An initial consultation generally lasts an hour to an hour and a half.

To make the most of the meeting, it is worth taking some time to prepare. Use this checklist as a guideline:
Do you have any specific goals for your space? (Improving access in the front, creating an entertainment space in the back, etc.)

Do you have a specific style in mind? (Mediterranean, cottage garden, contemporary, etc.) If you aren’t sure how to answer this question, take some time to think about your personal style, which will provide some insight for your landscape design.

Is there functionality you want to include? (Play area, barbecue island, vegetable garden, etc.)

What is your budget? This question is often hard to answer – if you’ve never renovated a landscape before, you may not know where to start. New landscape installations range dramatically in price, so understanding your budget will help us provide better design advice. At a minimum, determine some budget parameters, such as less than $25,000, $25,000 to $50,000, $100,000 to $125,000 and so on.

Photographs are a great way to give us a sense of what you want to achieve. Magazines such as Sunset and Better Homes and Gardens are a good source for this. Online, Pinterest and Houzz are two of the best sources for landscape design inspiration. If you’re a pinner, feel free to make a board that we can review together!

Whether you decide to move forward with a new design or prefer to take some time to consider your options, this meeting will help you understand your garden’s potential. To set up an appointment, contact Susan Morrison at info@celandscapedesign.com or 1-925-825-8285.

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