Not having a landscape design/ plan.
The design/ plan gives both the client and installer a clear picture of what is included in the scale. It incorporates all the custom designs that you personally decided on from your wish list, but also serves as a working blueprint for the installation process.
Here is a sample of how much it can cost you when you don’t have a design/ plan
Clients hired someone to build a patio 12’ X 12’, without a scale plan or design. Then once the patio was installed the clients put all their patio furniture on their new patio and realized that it wasn’t big enough. During the planning process, you would have discussed what you wanted to use the patio for and what type of furniture you were planning on using, which would have been drawn on the plans. This way we assure you that everything will fit. The cost of making this patio larger after the fact is far more costly than the plan itself.
A plan/ design will cost approximately 3% of your overall project cost. For example, if you were going to spend $50,000 building your outdoor living space, the plan would cost approximately $1,500. If you made any changes to your plan during the construction/ installation of the project, where we would have to redo any work that wasn’t clearly stated on the plans, you would easily spend more than 3% on the redos. Change orders are costly and can be avoided in the planning process.
Not selecting products prior to the construction process.
For example. so many plans call for Natural Stone Steps. They are beautiful but also very expensive, this is why it’s very important that you are choosing the right color, texture, and finish that will compliment your home. Natural Stone Steps come in a wide variety of colors, textures, and finishes, so make sure you see them before they are installed at your home.
Basing your decision on price alone.
A common practice in any type of construction is to go get yourself 3 different quotes. We agree with this 100%. However, it is important that people are quoting apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Again we emphasize having a plan/ design so that the contractors who are quoting the same plan/ design. An example of when not to choose the lowest bid is when one price is much lower than the others.
The first contractor gives you a bid of $30,000. The second contractor bids $31,500. Now the third contractor bids $18,000 for the project. This is where a RED FLAG should go up. Most companies try to operate at a 10 -15%profit margin. Therefore someone who is doing the job for $18,000 is trying to do the job for less than the actual cost. It should become clear at this point that this particular contractor is probably using inferior products, not doing the same scale, cutting corners, or will even ask for more money during the project. In any case, you don’t want to choose this kind of contractor.