Ginkgo Design


Why Do I Need a Designer?

  It seems accurate to start off my first blog post with the importance of hiring a designer.  I have been a Landscape Designer for over 10 years and I still find myself educating homeowners, local business owners and even landscape contractors sometimes on why my chosen profession is so important.


               Aside from providing a beautiful and well planned design, the major thing a landscape designer is going to do for you is save you money.  I can’t say that enough.  I will save you money.


               As a Landscape Designer I am trained to walk onto a site and see multiple possible scenarios and layouts that could accommodate your wants and needs.  From that grows your design.  The cost saving benefit from planning this in advance is man hours and possibly materials during your build.  With no plan in mind, your or your construction crew could be faced with digging and re-digging multiple variations of a patio or garden bed until you get it right. 


               Another cost benefit to having a plan is knowing the details of your job going forward into the build so there are as little surprises as possible.   Not quite knowing what or where your landscape components are can cost time and man hours by promoting confusion on the job site, often causing it to come to a full stop to make important decisions about layout and materials- leaving you paying for a crew, machinery and sub-contractors that aren’t working.  This is not only costly but it eats precious time as well.  


               Finally the last cost benefit will be seen in the quoting phase of your project.  When you have a design in hand, with all the materials, construction notes, and details laid out, every contractor who quotes the build will be giving numbers on the same materials and quantities.  It’s that old adage about ‘apples to apples’.  This also cuts down on the amount of ‘extras’ that can be charged to you through-out the build.


In my experience, having a designer can save you up to 25 or 30% of your construction costs with preplanning and valuable construction knowledge.


               Cost saving is not the only thing a Landscape Designer brings to the table.  With a designer, comes a plan.  As your designer will be able to tell you- not everything will go according to plan, but it does go smoother with one!  A Designer can consult with you to help you identify and prioritize the steps of your project leading to reduced stress levels.

               Another major factor a designer brings to the table is knowledge and education.  Knowing proper plants to place in each growing condition your space provides, proper patio sizes to accommodate traffic flow and furniture in dining areas, fire pits, kitchens and more, calculating proper slopes and grades.  Some of these things, if not done correctly could cause a lot of grief in time and money later on, if not done correctly now, and some can cause lasting annoyances like having to squeeze around tight fitting patio furniture, or skinny walkways, or plants constantly dying and having to be replaced.


               Designer also have a large and varied network of contractors that they work on a regular basis with and can recommend.  This is a nice benefit, as you have some assurance that you are going to be meeting a trustworthy and competent company.


               I am always trying to provide my clients with all of their wish list items, while staying on budget. Sometimes that means having a hard conversation about money and goals.  This allows you to be realistic and honest about your budget and what to expect within that, before the shovel hits the ground.  I work with every client to find solutions to whatever problems they need fixed, so that they walk away happy and excited to use their brand new landscape space.

JANUARY 2, 2019

Kelly Keates