Why change what is already there ? There can be numerous reasons but below are just a few that typically arise.....
Sometimes the household has grown up, children have left home and consequently the use of the garden isn't as it was in earlier times. Or indeed, the reverse could happen: a space needs to become family friendly !
When people buy a property the main concern is to get everything right with the house first to make it a home. When that has happened thoughts can turn to what is outside and ideas to make the most of the garden or outside space come to mind.
Sometimes people may just want a change !
Whatever the reason, deciding on the need for a change can be very exciting and very motivating.
Why do I need a design ?
When someone wants to build a house or add an extension to an existing property they generally go to an expert to help transform their ideas and needs into a workable design and plan for the right budget. Garden design is very similar. There are decisions to be made about a garden's form, the functional areas in it, its style, the materials to use, the plants to buy. A good and experienced garden designer helps to draw out these points, generating design ideas for the garden and transforms them into a landscape or garden design that can be built for the budget a client can afford. Also, an independent garden designer can serve the interests of the client as opposed to a design and build firm that may want to optimise the use of their materials and products first.
Something worth noting is that a well designed garden that has good form and function, that is attractive and relaxing can add real value to a property and at the very least, if a property is being sold, can help its sale in a slower housing market.
How much will a design cost ?
An initial meeting with a client will normally draw out the cost of a design. There are a number of factors that can influence the cost for example the size of garden, the complexity of design and the budget. A garden designer should be able to break down the costs by stage if a garden is large and / or complex working agreeing with a client before moving on to the next stage. If the garden is small and the design likely to be simple, the designer should be able to give a proposal for the bulk of the design upfront. Sometimes a budget for a project needs to be developed - a garden designer should also be able to help with this.
How do I get the garden landscaped ?
Taking the analogy of house building again, a client may want the help of a skilled and professional person to coordinate the tenders of the building contractors and eventually, once a good, reliable builder is found, to coordinate the implementation between the client, the builder and any other trades and professions. A skilled and experienced garden designer can act in the same way but with landscape design contractors. Independent garden designers have the benefit of being able to help clients find the contractor they want to build the garden for the budget they agree and to help coordinate with the landscaper, clients, plant suppliers, electricians, plumbers etc. In some cases, garden designers can also help by monitoring progress of work against the contract agreed between clients and landscapers.
What happens after it's finished ?
Apart from ensuring any snags or defects are overcome during a build project, a good designer will want to make sure that the garden develops as planned and will want to oversee it at least for the first few months. A maintenance schedule can be provided so that a client knows what needs doing when during a yearly cycle. If a client cannot look after the garden themselves, a designer will know of reputable and expert garden maintenance firms that can help.