If you read “Backyard, Now What? Part 1,” you are already on your way to turning your backyard “blank page” into a beautiful masterpiece for you and your family to enjoy. However, like a good student, you should also make sure you are asking the right questions. Asking the right questions will not only help you increase your own understanding, but also make sure you get exactly what you want with top notch quality. Here’s the Top 5 Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself to Create the Backyard of Your Dreams.
#1 How do I want to use the space?
This is arguably the most important question you will ask yourself throughout the entire design process. Are you looking to entertain groups of people? Are they large groups or small groups? Do you want a more intimate space for relaxing with just your family? What about your kids? How old are they now and how will their needs change as they get older? Do you want a pool, playset, basketball court, etc., that encourages an active lifestyle? What about grilling or other forms of outdoor cooking? What about privacy, protection from the elements, and light for enjoying your space at night? We know there are a TON of factors! That is why our team of experts recommends you “start with the end in mind” and then fill in the little details.
#2 Are there plants or features that I know I want?
What are your “must haves”? Is it a shade structure, the sound of water trickling for relaxation, or maybe a favorite plant? If you are not sure what you want, brainstorm! Check out our Garden Trends of 2020, research online, ask us for resources, and bring everything you collect with you when you meet with a Vande Hey representative. You do not need to make every decision right away, but get some ideas and we can help fill in the gaps!
#3 What is my budget?
Be realistic with your budget, but also remember to keep the end in mind—there are many adjustments that can be made to meet your budget, while not sacrificing your dreams. For many people this means landscaping in phases; our team can help recommend steps so adding additional features like lighting, grills, or pergolas is not as costly in the future due to having to remove or relay pavers in order to run conduit or pergola posts. It could mean selecting younger plants that are much more economic than larger sizes of the same plant. Or you may want to DIY part or all of the installation; for example, Vande Hey Company could install the beds and you could install the plants with special instruction from us! These are just a few options to consider before settling for lower quality materials or installation.
#4 How do I choose a landscape designer?
A good landscape design and a great landscape design are two different things with differing aesthetic and functional results. You should consider factors such as reputation, services offered, cost, and their design process (see question 5). How many years has the company existed, and what examples of work can they show you? Are the designers degreed/licensed? Do they provide both design and build or do you need to hire install separately? Do they install all the elements of your design: plants, pavers, pools, structures, lighting, athletics, etc.? What about providing maintenance after the project is finished? Asking these questions will help ensure beautiful quality and longevity for all of your landscaping.
#5 What is my time frame?
When do you want the project completed by and what does the process look like? For spring install, it is best to start the process in the fall; and for fall install, it is best to start the process in the spring. It is also important to understand that weather such as rainy seasons or extended snow could also impact the scheduling of your project. In addition to scheduling, each landscape company will have their own unique process. It is important to ask about the process and understand the expectations. You can learn more about Vande Hey Company’s interactive analysis, design, and install process here.
Don’t flunk on your landscaping since you were not paying attention during class. Be part of the process, participate, and ask these questions to ensure that your yard becomes everything you want and more.
Vande Hey Company has been creating a legacy of landscape excellence since 1950. Call or stop by today to learn more about our process and how we can help you answer these 5 questions!