Before hiring a landscape designer, most people prepare a lot of questions to ask the professional to see if the person is fit to take the job and give good results. Starting from asking about their past projects and work experience, to understanding their idea of landscaping and analyzing their communication and interpersonal skills, a lot is judged. But what happens when the tables are turned? Ever wondered how and what you will answer to the questions that your shortlisted landscape designer may ask? Just as you prefer to assess the professional, he/she too would like to understand your requirements and check how well he/she gets along before agreeing to do the job and sign the contract.
It’s a good sign if your landscape designer asks you questions. It means that he/she is serious about the job and wants to have a clear idea about everything he/she needs to know about, before taking you as a client. This will help both the parties avoid wastage of precious time, effort and resources.
In case you haven’t given any thought to this process, here are some tips to answer queries during different phases of the project:-
- Initial Consultation: This is the phase where your landscape designer visits your lawn/garden to get a broad overview of the possibilities, desired outcomes and probable challenges of your project. He/she may ask you questions about the landscape, problem areas (drought-prone regions, if any, too much of wind or shade, etc). You should be able to give him/her a clear view of these facts to the best of your knowledge.
- Questionnaire: At this stage, your landscape designer will give you a questionnaire where you have to fill in the details. This would help the former understand your needs in the best suited manner.
- Development of the plan: This phase involves the decision-making process with respect to major factors like the kind of plants to be chosen, garden plot designs, features of walkways, outdoor lighting plan, types of water features (pools, fountains, ponds, waterfalls, cascades, streams, etc) and so on. You will have to sit with your designer and brainstorm together, often answering questions about what you need done and how you want it done, to get the initial plan ready.
- Fine-tuning the plan: Once the initial draft of the plan is on paper, the next step involves fine tuning it. This step includes factors like type of plants and other living beings that you want in your landscape (for instance, a bird bath or rock piles, hollow logs to offer shelter to the beneficial insects and microorganisms, etc), quantity and placement of trees, shrubs as well as other landscape features.
- The final plan: This is where the master plan is prepared, which includes all elements (soft and hardscape) as well as the estimated cost predictions and time needed for their installation.
There is no need to feel stressed when interviewed by your landscaping professional. Remember – you don’t need a mere gardener or contractor; rather, you need a professional who understands your vision and needs, and does the best to implement and meet them. You just need to answer any questions the professional may ask honestly and to the best of your ability, apart from sharing your vision and requirements, while being receptive to his/her professional opinions.