"I want to add landscaping to my house, but I don’t know where to start!" This is a common statement we hear when clients call us to start a landscape project. Deciding on how to landscape your yard can be a very challenging process, and understandably so! Creating an entire outdoor living space is a unique process for every project. We hope you find the following guideline helpful to form ideas and make the most out of your consultation visit.
Step 1: Prioritze the Features You Would Like
Will your landscape occur in the front or back yard, include features such as a patio, water feature, or landscape lighting, address an issue such as drainage, or a combination of everything?
If you are unsure of what you are interested in, look through books, magazines, or make your own sketch to come up with ideas for your project. It may help you determine the desired size of your landscape, the features to include, how you would like to use the space, as well as your general likes and dislikes. Be sure to share what you have found during your consultation visit
Step 2: Prepare a Budget
Landscapes encompass a wide array of features and are customized for every project. We will work with you to propose a plan that will fit your budget.
If the project is a bit more than you are planning to spend this year, revisit the priorities of your project and discuss the possibility of completing the project in phases, such as: This year install the new patio and expand the driveway, next year install the retaining wall and plants.
Inquire about available financing. Visit CM’s website to see our current financing options, which currently includes several no interest paid options with regular payments through the Wells Fargo Outdoor Solutions Card.
Be prepared to provide a down payment for 1/3 of the total project upon agreeing to the proposal.
Step 3: Explore Options
There are many factors that need to be considered that may affect a project. The CM’s Team will help you determine the appropriate plants and structures to install for your property when considering such factors as sun and shade exposure, grading, and water flow.
Sprinkler systems do not have to prevent landscape projects from taking place. Heads, lines, valve boxes—they can all be moved! Drip irrigation zones can also be added to systems to help provide proper irrigation for new plant materials.
Consider new features such as, landscape lighting. It will not only accentuate features of your project, but it also adds safety and can extend the use of the area into the night.
Step 4: Consider Timing
Try to find time to have all decision makers present at the consultation so everyone has the same expectations for the project.
- Call at least one month before you would like the project to be completed. This will allow time for the initial consultation, designs and revisions, and estimates to be prepared.
If you would like an early spring or summer install, don’t be afraid to call in the winter to get the process started. Our designers and sales managers are available year-round.
Consider late summer or early fall installations to allow for greater flexibility in scheduling.
There are many questions you may have while looking at a potential project on your property. You have a world of ideas on what you want to do, but may not have an idea of where to start. A quality contractor can help you from your starting idea all the way through completion.
But how do you choose from all of the contractors in your area? There are many steps you go through when figuring out who to hire. You check with friends on who they have used, check the Better Business Bureau, take a look at rating sites like Yelp or Angie's List, you may even post the question to all of your friends on Facebook. Regardless of how you get your information, you still have a decision to make.
There are several things to keep in mind before making your final decision.
- Do they comply with state and local codes and regulations.
- Do they have the proper certification for the work they are doing.
- A quality contractor does not offer price as the only consideration. Often times the cheapest in the short run is not the cheapest in the long run.
- Check out references and/or portfolio.
- Ask if any sub-contractors will be used and what work they will be doing.
- Are they insured.
- Check with local building supply retailers. An established contractor with a reputation for using quality materials and paying his bills with suppliers is more likely to do quality work for you. If need be, during the interview process, ask where they get their supplies from.
- How many projects like yours have the completed in the last year. This will help determine how familiar they are with the type of work your project requires.
- Do they listen to you and your ideas or are they pushing theirs on to you. It is your home and your investment and you want to be happy with the final project.
- Get the final agreement/ plan in writing.
Choosing the right contractor is not always an easy process, but it is the most important step in your project. When you choose the right contractor you have peace of mind that your project will be done on time and that you will have quality workmanship that will last for years to come. Remember that price isn't the only factor to consider. If a project is done too cheap you will have to re-invest money again to get things fixed. And believe it or not, this can be as soon as 1 year down the road.
Remember, this is your project! Your satisfaction is the most important thing!