3 Seasons offers an in-home consultation with one of our professional landscape designers, free of charge, for homeowners looking to make large or small changes to their existing landscape and those who are starting fresh with a new build. A little bit of preparation prior to a design consult goes a long way to making the design process smoother, making sure the design meets your expectations, and speeding up the process. Below are a few helpful tips on how to get the most out of your design consultation and provide our designers with all of the important information they need to move forward with a design for your yard.

1.Goals and Priorities

Setting out goals and priorities prior to meeting with a designer will help you narrow in on what areas and issues you want to address in your landscape. Ask yourself questions such as – What are the things I like and dislike about my current landscape (ex: I really love my back deck but the lawn is a disaster)? Are there problems or concerns I want addressed with a new design (such as drainage/grade issues or grass that won’t grow because of too much shade)? Are there things my landscape is missing that I would like incorporated in a new design (ex: firepit, dining area, play area for kids)?  These questions should help you generate a list of goals for your new landscape design which you can then rank from most important to least important in case your budget just doesn’t allow you to do it all.

2. Functionality

It is very important to consider how you use your yard. It’s great to be able to tell a designer you want a new patio but the size and placement, as well as choices about materials, are dictated by how you will be using it, and this holds true for every aspect of a landscape from patios to plants. Ask yourself questions such as – Do I entertain a lot (or do I want to entertain more)? Do I like to work out in the yard or do I hate getting my hands dirty? Do I like to chat with my neighbours while out in my yard or do I prefer it to be a sanctuary? Having a sense of how you use your landscape helps our designers make recommendations that will suit your lifestyle. 

3. Style Preferences

Taking some time and thinking about how you want your landscape to look and feel is an important third step in preparing for a consult. Think about descriptive words that you would want to use to describe your landscape such as calm or comforting, vibrant, dramatic, lush, forested etc. If this seems a little weird or uncomfortable for you taking a look at images of landscapes will help you narrow in on styles or ‘looks’ you like. This can be done by walking around your neighbourhood, flipping through books and magazines, or browsing websites such as www.houzz.com or www.pinterest.com. However you choose to look for landscapes that you like, make sure you bring examples of your preferences to the consult.

4.Budget

The question of budget can be a hard one to answer, especially if you have never done a landscape renovation before – you simply won’t know how much things cost. Also, depending on the scale of your project, material choices, and project goals, the diversity of budgets for landscape projects is infinite. Sometimes it is better to think of a range for your budget instead of a hard number. Maybe your range is $5,000 – $10,000 or $10,000 to $25,000 or perhaps it is $50,000 to $100,000. Whatever your budget is, it is important to have a range that you can share with your designer so they can ask appropriate questions and give pertinent design advice when you are working through the design process.

If this all feels a little daunting, don’t worry, our designers will be asking you these same questions during the consult and guiding your through the process – we are here to help so email or call us today!