Understanding The Process of Outdoor Living Design

Table of Contents

    Today, most people spend the majority of their time indoors. While this is typically the result of necessity, it makes the importance of a beautiful, sophisticated and well-landscaped space outside much more important. In addition to providing a place for you to sit down, relax and unwind after a hard day at work or school, a professionally designed landscape can also help to diversify how the property is used and increase your overall property value.

    Consider this, if your property does not include landscaped areas, what you can do in and around it will be limited. However, with professional landscaping, patios, gardens and other hardscaped areas, you will find your yard is quite diverse and flexible. This will encourage you to spend more time outdoors, with your children and family. With a society that is obsessed with technology, a bit of encouragement to get outdoors is welcomed by most homeowners.

    You Want to Landscape, Now What?

    When you decide it is time to invest in professional landscaping for your home, you should find a landscaper who is dedicated to their profession. The person or company should have a clear process for how to proceed. The first part of the process will be an interview and consultation with two parts: The Client Interview and the Site Analysis. Some companies charge for the consultation, and that’s a good thing. Those companies are likely to provide you a higher-value more in-depth report, analysis, and better understanding of your needs. Would you get a better hair cut by paying for it or by going to a volunteer for a free hair cut?

    The Client Interview

    Your professional will interview you to clearly understand your needs, vision, desired function, design style and budget. Many landscapers will provide a design style guide or inspiration pictures to help generate ideas. An excellent designer will pinpoint your design style and mesh that style with the existing architectural style so that the investment fits the space. This is a perfect opportunity for you to get to know your landscaper. Gauge their professionalism, enthusiasm for your project, and technical knowledge.

    Once the initial interview is complete, the landscape professional should analyze the site with your specific needs in mind.

    An In-Depth Look at the Site Analysis-Beyond Just Measuring

    When you hire true professional design-build landscapers, they are going to analyze your property in detail. Some areas they should check include the existing grade and drainage, they should test the soil for structural integrity and ability to drain, and check how they will access the space with their equipment. Landscapers should also note wind directors and what parts of the yard receive direct sunlight to properly place outdoor elements. For example, if you are having an outdoor fireplace installed, it should be placed where the smoke will stay away from the home. Likewise, open air patios should be in shaded locations to minimize heat exposure.

    During their analysis, landscapers should also observe any architectural elements that are present and determine whether or not they can work with the new design. During this observation, they can also consider how to integrate unique design elements.

    The Difference in a Landscaped Yard and a Designed Landscape

    When you call the professionals and if you expect professional work, you should expect to invest in design fees. This is the only way a higher level of professionalism and sophistication is going to be brought into the space. While it is true anyone can call themselves a landscaper if they have planted a few plants, the difference between an average landscaper, and a landscape design specialist is vast. Also, if your landscaper offers any type of “free” service, be cautious. Free may mean serious issues for you down the road.

    Terms and Principals a Professional Landscaper Will Use in a Design:

    • Form
    • Texture
    • Scale
    • Balance
    • Emphasis
    • Color
    • Flow

    In addition to finding a design specialist, you need a team behind them that can make their vision a reality. After all, if you have a good design with poor execution of the construction, you are completely wasting your money. The exact same is true for the opposite. A poor design with excellent construction capabilities is a waste of potential. It is essential to find a landscaping professional that is able to offer a balance in design and construction excellence to create a high-style and functional outdoor space.

    Questions? Comments? Please contact High Prairie Outdoors.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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