Yard 101: Landscape Maintenance versus Design

Seeing Is Believing

Your landscape designer should provide you a design that looks something like the image below.

Sean combined technology with expertise to bring the discussion he and my family had to life. These were concrete views rather than dream-clouds of what everything would look like. It also gave us a piece of paper to stare at for days upon end. This was important, since we could look up information (and share with friends too!)

What was great with the design is that it was a standalone purchase. If I like the design and did not think A&T could handle the build then I could go elsewhere. It also took me interviewing five different designers before choosing Sean.

In the Beginning

Like many Long Islanders Danielle and I paid for a lawn service for our first couple of years of house ownership. How did I get this lawn service? I watched a truck pull up to my neighbors’ house to take care of the lawn and asked how much it would cost.

A couple of years of living on Long Island – and Danielle having enough of the kids’ electric Barbie car – it was time to make the yard OURS. It was time to get LANDSCAPING done. To engage a professional who could take our half-thoughts, general ideas and make them better. Time to find a LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT!

Oh wait, turns out it wasn’t since a Landscape Architect since an Architect has gone to architect school and works on commercial projects or really wealthy house project. It was time to find a LANDSCAPE DESIGNER.

Differences Between Designer and Maintenance

It seems obvious that there is a difference. Maintenance takes care of your lawn, such as seeding, cutting, trimming and taking care of the day-to-day. Meanwhile a designer takes the entire yard into account, works with you for your likes and dislikes, helps develop a style.

Two distinct different jobs. Sean and his group can handle both though I was more focused on the design. Once my lawn maintenance person learned I wanted to rip up massive amount of concrete the job was beyond his expertise.

A Few Important Tips

  • You need to be comfortable with your designer. Danielle and I are hands on and needed someone who could work with us on improving a few general concepts we had
  • The largest part of the cost is the demolition work
  • You are hiring the design for expertise. There were a few ideas Danielle and I that would have been very expensive to execute in the colder Long Island climate. Very very expensive.
  • Do not let a person offer to just bring in lots of trees “within your price range” and let you pick. Well you can let the person offer, the important part is everything has to be cohesive.

Mostly though, you need something in your hands to look at and reflect on. Someday you’ll be sitting in that same space and living with the decision.

Have a happy day.