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Tuesday
Sep092008

Hiring a Landscape Professional in Jacksonville

Landscape designers and landscape architects offer a full range of services including consultation, design, installation and maintenance to name a few. Many different companies operate very differently and there is no industry wide standard for what to expect.

First, start by considering what you need or have in mind as far as level of service. Are you a do it your self-er who just needs a little creative advice? It often pays to consult a professional- even though you might be budget minded, a landscape designer can help you make the best use of your budget, often saving you money in the end. The right person will be able to help you develop a functional landscape that will grow more substantial over time and give you long term enjoyment for many years. Helping you select lower maintenance and native plants can also save you time, maintenance cost, and conserve water.

Are you more interested in keeping your hands clean? Some landscape design firms will have an installation arm that will carry out the plan from start to finish.They will keep an overall plan of the project to include irrigation planning, sodding, mulching, and every aspect of your design or re-design from start to finish.


Once you have decided to hire a landscape business, you typically begin with several interviews; this is where you have a chance to talk about your overall goals, visions, design objectives and the overall aesthetics. That is typically where the landscape designer or architect will take photos of the area draw a plat plan, and gain an overall understanding of the size of the work area, orientation to the sun, easements, septic fields, proximity to neighbors and the architectural style of your home. You may discuss landscape designs, landscape plans, permitting issues and cost estimates. Its important for you to be able to convey your needs through conversation, magazine clippings, or photos of things you like, giving an ideas of your style. You can also discuss the level of creativity you want them to bring to the project- in other words, how much you want them to add to or modify your vision.

After you have chosen your landscape or hardscape professional- You will then begin working on the scope of your project, phasing, scheduling, coordination, selection of all materials and construction methods, and project cost. Once you have approved all of the items above, the landscape company you have selected can begin the installation.

The fees for these services vary for each landscape business; sometimes charged as a percentage of the total cost of the work for the project, sometimes an hourly design fee or consultation fee, or in some cases there is no charge for the design when you are working directly with an installation company, especially common in the hardscape business.

Maintenance can be the most imperative ongoing service to insure that your asset develops into a mature and beautiful outdoor environment. A landscape company will normally include proper trimming of plant material and mowing of all yard areas. They should have a methodical feeding program that boosts the varying plant health of tropical, acidic and seasonal color plants. The feeding program may also include spring and fall aeration of lawn areas with the application of fall rye grass.

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