16 Oct Frequently Asked Landscaping Questions
When you are planning a garden makeover you are bound to have lots of questions. This article aims to answer some of the more commonly asked landscaping questions.
A garden makeover is an investment. Not only will it enhance your lifestyle and your wellbeing, it can add value to your property too. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to before you sign that contract.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that the Holland Landscapes team answer on a weekly basis.
Is it expensive to hire a landscape gardener?
Hiring a good landscaper will enhance and add value to your property – so it’s an investment. The cost of course depends on the scope of the project and the choice of materials. Please don’t make cost the only consideration when hiring a landscape gardener. Remember, these people will be working in your garden for (possibly) some time. Make sure you feel comfortable with them.
A skilled landscaper uses a wide variety of skills to create the perfect finish in your new garden
How do I go about hiring a landscaper?
The first thing to know about hiring a landscaper is that there are good ones, mediocre ones and poor ones. Your job is to differentiate between them. Ideally, before you make that first contact.
A google search is great, but what’s even better is the “find a landscaper” tool on the APL website. All of the companies listed have been inspected, are fully insured and offer great customer service.
Look for a local firm then check their websites and reviews to see if they seem like the kind of company you want to do business with.
When you have narrowed your choices down, a quick phone call will let you know if the landscaper sounds friendly, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Trust your instincts
Every landscaper has a different way of structuring the first contact. But expect to be asked about your ideas for your garden, your budget and your timescale. A good landscaper won’t waste your time, they will let you know straight away they think they can help.
After a site visit to discuss your garden design, your landscaper will compile a quotation that includes materials, labour and everything needed to complete the project. You will also be given a copy of the landscaper’s terms and conditions to read. If you are in agreement, contracts can be signed and the work can be scheduled.
Do I need a garden designer AND a landscaper?
All of the best projects start with a plan. Without an agreed garden design there can be all sorts of breakdowns in communication. After all, your mental picture of a deck for your hot tub may be completely different to what your landscapers are thinking.
A garden designer will put your ideas onto paper (or a screen) so that your landscaper knows exactly what’s required. The design also allows for efficient project management and makes sure that you are quoted fairly for the work to be done.
Holland Landscapes have strong relationships with garden designers in the Colchester area and even offer a garden design service through our sister-company Tapestry Design Studios.
How long does it take to complete a garden makeover?
A garden makeover depends upon many things. The size and complexity of the project, access to the site, the good old British weather, availability of materials and more.
Some landscaping projects need extensive ground works to improve drainage and ensure that permanent structures do not lift, buckle or twist….a bit like the foundations on a house, you never see them but you’d be in a muddle without them.
If you are working with a reputable landscaper, you should be given an estimated start date and an approximate time span for the work to be done.
The best landscapers usually have a waiting list, so if you are working to a deadline, start the quoting process well in advance and make sure your contractors know when the work needs to be completed.
At Holland landscapes we do our best to minimise any inconvenience and complete work within a given timeframe but from time to time there may be delays. For example, unexpectedly awful weather may bring work to a halt.
What is the best time of year to landscape a garden?
In the UK, most landscaping works can be carried out at any time of year. When planning your garden makeover with your landscaper, try to consider which months of the year will be best for you. For example, if you have school aged children, you may not want your garden dug up for the summer holidays.
Can I have just part of my garden landscaped?
Absolutely, yes you can. If you want to enlarge the patio, create a wildlife pond or build an outdoor kitchen it’s perfectly possible to landscape a section of the garden.
If you are planning on gradually redesigning the whole garden but completing the work in stages, I would strongly recommend employing the services of a garden designer. That way you can prioritise jobs and the finished product will “flow” much better.
This wildlife pond was a standalone project. As you can see, the rest of the garden was already beautiful and didn’t need any enhancements.
Will landscaping work upset my neighbours?
The Holland Landscapes team always do their utmost to cause the least possible disruption to the neighbourhood. We are careful where we park our vehicles and don’t use noisy machinery too early in the morning. However, major landscaping work nearly always involves a certain amount of noise and dust.
In my experience, provided neighbours are warned that there’ll be some temporary disturbance, they are usually quite amenable. Especially since raising the “tone” of an area will reflect on the value of their property too.
Do I need planning permission for landscaping works?
It’s always wise to check whether or not your project needs approval from your local planning department.
In general, landscaping works don’t need either planning permission or building control. However, in some circumstances, the planners will need to approve your plans. For example, there are strict rules about changing front gardens from soft landscaping to hard standing for vehicles.
Do I need to do anything to help the project run smoothly?
Good landscapers are also good project managers. In most cases there is absolutely nothing for the client to do except sit back watch their new garden grow. At Holland Landscapes we organise everything for you….. skips, machinery, materials, deliveries, specialist trades ….everything.
No stone left unturned! Your landscapers should organise waste-away during the project and tidy up after themselves at the end.
Will the landscapers need access to my home?
There is no reason whatsoever for landscapers to come into your house – unless of course you are generous enough to invite them in for tea breaks.
All the landscaping team will need is access to an electricity supply and a water tap.
When it comes to food, drinks etc, landscapers are very good at looking after themselves. (But we do appreciate the occasional cup of tea). They will even put a portaloo on site if there are no facilities available.
How do I know if a landscaping company is reputable?
Always always always check out a landscaping Company before agreeing to have any work done. Look for online reviews, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations and check to see if the Company is a member of any trade organisations. In particular, the Association of Professional Landscapers is a trade body who actively vet landscapers to make sure that they are honest, reliable and competent.
What questions would you like to ask?
When you are investing in a garden makeover, it’s important to ask questions at the beginning of the process so that you can relax and trust your landscaper to do a good job.
If there’s anything you need to know about landscaping costs and/or processes, please don’t hesitate to ask.