Why do I need to employ the services of a garden designer?
“Fail to plan, plan to fail” is an adage that has merit here when it comes to carrying out works in your garden. When planning a full make-over, it is essential that both the landscape contractor who will be building your garden and you the client know precisely what the finished product will look like from inception. The only way of assuring this is to commission fully designed, scaled and specified plans. Just ask yourself, would you commission the building of a house or even an extension without detailed architects drawings? If you want to save yourself money and potential headaches it’s a no brainer. You’re likely to save as much as you could potentially lose by not employing a garden designer and the saving will most likely pay for the cost of the garden design, so it’s a win, win situation. Incidentally, comparatively speaking it cost no more to employ a garden designer than it does to employ an architect and often considerably less based on the project size.
Just as importantly, to have a garden design commissioned means that you can now approach several different reputable landscape contractors to request tender prices. The big benefit here is that all the contractors will be tendering for the same spec based on the garden design plans which allows you, the client, to directly compare their prices. Price of course is just one of the variables when choosing a landscape contractor to implement your garden design and we would recommend you assess the credentials of the contractors too, such as their qualifications and experience and even their likeability. A good garden design can go very wrong if inexperience, unqualified contractor carries out the work.
Finally having garden design plans ensures that no costly mistakes arise during the build of the garden and decreases significantly the chances of misunderstandings arising between you and your contractor (there is always a plan to refer too and a designer to consult). Blunders ultimately need to be rectified at what could be a not insubstantial cost to you. As a final point, employing a garden designer will ensure that upon completion, your garden will function exactly as you had anticipated from the outset.
Will I know how much it is likely to cost to build my garden project based on the gardens design plans I receive?
Yes. All our design packages come with an industry average costing for the implementation of your garden design plans. In addition, the design process is structured in such a way that the indicative cost of construction will become progressively more accurate with each additional design produced so for instance if you get a base plan, planting plan and hard landscaping plan produced, the indicative build cost would be far more accurate than if you just commissioned a standalone base plan.
How can I be assured of the quality of the materials specified in the plans?
All materials are specified are of the highest quality and in most cases, are guaranteed by the manufacturers or main suppliers. If you commission a garden design, the drawing will stipulate in detail all the materials to be utilised during the garden construction.
What if I require additional specific features or components not routinely included in design work?
Additional features and components can be incorporated into the design process upon request. These features might include garden lighting plans, irrigation plans, boundary specifications, mature planting plans, water feature construction plans, split or multi-level gardens plans and specific timber constructs such as raised decks or tree houses. Many of these components and features would require considerable additional design work and specification and are charged for on a case by case basis. You would be best to contact us first prior to commissioning any design work if you feel you may have a requirement for this level of tailored design. Identifying any such special features or requirements from the outset of the design process will ensure you receive the correct design quote and safeguard that you are requesting the precise design plans you are likely to need.
Can I receive an online design regardless of the size of my garden?
The online design process is only suited to typical sized suburban gardens up an absolute maximum of 120sq. m. Gardens any larger than this simply have too many variables to make it possible to design them accurately by remote communication. We do however design gardens up to 2 acres. These larger gardens would require detailed site analysis visits to be able to determine fully the requirements of the client, the site topography and the surrounding landscape. It is possible to take a portion of a larger garden but again up to a maximum of 120sq.m and produce landscape plans for this using an online design process.
Can I commission a garden design regardless of where I live?
Yes. We operate nationwide however please keep in mind that on larger projects, particularly those that require several drawings, there will be a necessity for an above average number of site visits and travel cost must be factored in.
You may consider the online design option where the nature of the work guarantees that designing can be commissioned and completed totally without the need for site visits, saving you what could be significant travel costs. The online option means that garden design work can be carried out on smaller sites (or portions of larger sites) anywhere in Ireland, completely remotely. Just keep in mind however it is the accuracy of your measurements, dimensioning and overall detailing that an online design is based on. There is also a restriction on the overall garden space size that can be accommodate for in an online design option, the absolute maximum being a garden space of 120sq. m. There is simply to many variables in gardens larger than this to be able to provide a viable garden design.
How long will the design process take?
Depending on the package you select and whether there are any additional design specification requirements, it is likely to take anything from 3 weeks for a concept design to 12 weeks or more for an all-encompassing package. Of course, the size of your garden will be a big determinant also so larger gardens may take even longer.
What happens if I am not happy with the design or elements of the design I receive?
In practice, this situation should never arise. You will already be aware of some of the elements of your design prior to commissioning through the submission of your own design brief which will itemise some of the must have features. Design by its very nature is a process and so contents of the finished plans will be a combination of your detailed design brief and a garden designer’s knowledge and experience of what will work best in your garden space. Essentially everything is done by agreement between the client and designer. In some cases, there may be minor adjustments or alterations to the final design but this is nothing to worry about and they can generally be corrected at no cost to the client.
Once I receive my garden design what should I do regarding finding a suitable landscape contractor?
If you are up to the process of finding a good contractor this may be something that you feel you can conduct yourself. Alternatively, we can conduct this for you; finding the appropriate contractors, gathering tender prices, and making recommendations to you on the best one to choose. On occasion, we may not be able to find a suitable landscape contractor to carry out an entire build project. In such circumstances, we may recommend a skilled contractor to carry out the hard landscape construction while completing the soft landscape elements directly through our own business.
We also provide a project management service which would involve us monitoring the progress of the landscape contractor to assure the correct implementation of the design, to ensure that correct building standards are followed and to sign off on payments to the contractor as the project progresses. In addition, we also carry out a limited number of landscape construction jobs directly through our own landscape construction business Cutting Edge Landscapes Ltd. and with our own employees and tried and trusted contract staff. We do limit the number of jobs we take on in a year. If you are interested and we can accommodate, we can also provide a tender price. If you are interested in receiving a quote for the build or alternatively for full project management, please do get in touch.