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Questions to Ask a Landscape Designer in Bergen County, NJ

In these tough economic times, it may seem like a landscape designer for your Bergen County property is too much, but it’s an investment that pays.

The landscape is a defining asset of any New Jersey home. It factors into property values not just for your house but the entire neighborhood. How does one go about finding the right professional for the job though?

Why Hire A Landscape Designer?

Landscape design is an art form. It takes the science of shape, texture and color and uses it to create a look that complements other aspects of the property. That is something that takes expertise and finesse. Anyone can plant a garden; it takes a pro to sculpt a yard.

Planning is one of the most crucial factors in landscaping, and that is where a proper designer in northern NJ comes in handy. An industry professional has access to the best raw materials too. Things like plants, soil and light elements are time sensitive. There are growth patterns to consider, nutrients to balance and irrigation paths to plan.

What Should I Ask Landscape Designers?

Don’t be shy about conducting a proper interview for potential landscape designers – complete with a full bevy of questions. You are committing to a long-term investment. It is prudent to ensure you hire the best in the business.

Ask about his or her background? Education is a plus, but experience is a necessity. A simple, “How long have you been a landscape designer” will get the ball rolling.

If they don’t offer information about education or apprenticeship, then ask. Most will cover that without the necessary prompting.

Look at a project portfolio. An experienced designer will know that you want to see samples of his or her work. Ask specifically about projects in the area. This will give you something to see first hand.

Discuss available design packages that include:

  • Plan sketches

  • Material samples

  • Preliminary cost estimate

Ideally, you will get sketches and samples that allow you to be part of the process, so you can provide input and make changes.

Do you need a professional land survey or a contractor for construction? There may be more to the design process than just vegetation.

How long will it take to prepare a preliminary design concept and cost estimate?

Is there a charge for an additional set of plans? You may need to submit plans to a local governing agency or neighborhood association for approval, for example.

Ask about a cancellation clause and written warranty. This protects both the client and the designer in case it becomes necessary to cancel and for any material installed.

Are you insured? This is important if the designer has employees working with him that would be covered by worker’s compensation.

Questions for the landscape designer are just part of the process. At the end of the interview, take your time to review all the pertinent data and to check references.

See as many different candidates as you want. You need to feel comfortable with your choice.

Creating an innovative and intriguing landscape is something that can only enhance your Bergen County property, but takes a skilled designer to make that happen and a smart consumer to find one.