FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you give free estimates?

Do you work with anyone?Do you charge for your designs?

How can I phase the installation over time as finances allow?uld I get the pool done st and design the rest of ther?

What is the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

Can I get a design only and do the installation later?

I want a pool. Should I go ahead and have that installed before I plan the rest of the yard?

What makes JSL unique compared to other companies?

 



Do you give free estimates?

Yes. I will come out to your property at no charge, discuss your plans, listen to your ideas, explain how the design process works and develop a budget range that the overall project would cost to build. Depending on how complex and detailed the project, you may need to separate the process into the design stage and then the construction stage. I will then tell you how much it would cost to develop a plan/design based on your criteria, the site and the complexity of the elements you desire. Not all projects require a separate design fee. See  Architectural Services  for fees.

Do you work with anybody?

My ideal client is one who is looking for a professional who delivers value and exceeds expectations and are willing to pay for that value. I am not your average 'landscaper' you see doing cleanups or tree trimming.

If you are shopping around for design ideas among 4-5 "bids" from several companies and not pay for a unique design, then I am not your company.  Conversely, if that is what you intend to do, call me first to create a set of plans so you can truly compare your bids "apples to apples" based on a design that is custom created for you. 

Do you just want a contractor to do some work in your yard? Or do you want a design/build contractor who can make the finished project look professional and have that "designer" flair to it? That is how I am different than most other landscape contractors.

Do you charge for your designs?

If your project is more than getting a "bid" or estimate from a contractor, you may not need a designer to prepare a set of plans. If you do, then a carefully thoughtout design will typically require a fee. However, not every project requires a carefully drawn plan, especially if the budget is fairly low. The other case is where the needs of the client are so straightforward, that putting it on paper would primarily be to calculate square footages and quantities.  However, if I am providing an estimate for a job and I prepare a plan to show the client, I do not give away the plan/design without first having a signed contract for the installation of the job.

How can I phase the installation over time as finances allow?

Once you have a final design and the total cost is more than want to spend or initially budget, I can develop a phasing plan that fits your budget. The design can also be fashioned in a way that provides for an interim treatment to avoid areas looking bare. Underground gaslines, electric lines, plumbing and sleeving all should be done in phase one to avoid massive disruption later. I can explain how and when components should be built so as to not create undue expense during the subsequent phases.

What makes JSL different than other companies?

Providing value to the customer so that the end result exceeds your expectations. Its not so much how much it costs, its the experience and the feeling you get when its completed. Trust, reliability, integrity, professionalism that you can expect.

If you want someone with a sense for design and creativity who is beyond your ordinary landscape contractor, JSL stands out in the crowd. You can also feel good about his masters degree in Landscape Architecture and a design approach that strives to achieve unique, highly creative ideas that transcend the mundane.

Should I get the pool in first and design the rest of the yard later?

You could be making a mistake. If you were building a custom home, would you work with a specialized kitchen designer and then build the kitchen before you designed the rest of the floor plan? Would you have the kitchen designer include the rest of the floor plan in their design? Or would you have a designer who could design the entire floor plan who is knowledgeable about all the components of the house and the costs involved so that you don’t end up spending your whole budget on the kitchen?

Too many pools are built before the surrounding landscape elements are considered which compromises basic design principles. A landscape architect takes a holistic approach to design. If you want your landscape and pool to look integrated, design the pool together with all of the elements. If you already have a pool contractor in mind, get me involved. I can help you avoid making common mistakes -- like spending your whole budget on the pool.

What is the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

A landscape architect in most states are required to be registered (passing a state exam) not unlike a building architect or civil engineer. All landscape architects have minimum 4 year degrees in landscape architecture. A registered landscape architect typically works on commercial projects such as public parks, government properties, shopping malls, urban squares, and housing subdivisions - generally projects where there is a high degree of public use. 

Most registered landscape architects do not involve themselves too much with residential landscape design except for very high end projects because of the steep fees they charge.

A “landscape designer” is anyone who designs landscapes but is not registered. You may encounter a designer who provides all of the services and abilities of a landscape architect but since they are not registered, they cannot use the architect title.

backyard patio

I need a landscape remodel. Do you do that?

Absolutely. Many of my projects are remodels. They provide an opportunity to fix all the mistakes made the first time around and achieve a truly custom look catered to your desires.