FAQ'S

Whether you are a homeowner with a landscape renovation project to undertake or a home builder/landscape contractor with a client that needs a professionally designed plan prepared, our process has been designed to allow you to have a great amount of input into choosing the elements to be included in your plan as well as the placement of those elements. And perhaps the most beneficial part of our plans, and something you will never get anywhere else, is the flexibility we give you when it comes to choosing your plant material. Because of our propriety process, we can give you optional choices when it comes to selecting the specific plants for your yard to not only help you stay within your budget but also to let your personal tastes be reflected in your plan.

The first question we typically hear is, "how can you do this over the internet without coming to our house?"

The simple answer is because of our experience and our extremely thorough process.  We provide an online Questionnaire which allows the client to provide as much detail as they like on every item to be designed....the same questions we would ask if we were there in person.  We then ask the customer to provide photographs of their entire property which allows us to "see" your yard for our site analysis process.  That information combined with a copy of your property survey provides the foundation for our design discussions and our design process. Our landscape architects have dealt with almost every situation imaginable regarding landscape design and because of our years of experience, we can assist you with your project as simply as if we were your next door neighbor. 

Why should I use LandscapePlan.com instead of a local landscape design firm?

LandscapePlan.com is first and foremost a landscape architectural design firm. Because we use our streamlined process for data collection and frequently our propriety process for preparing planting plans, we have eliminated the need and all the additional costs of having someone actually come to your project site. In many cases, our prices are less than half that of other landscape architectural design firms without sacrificing any of the quality. But if you can find a local firm that will come out to your house, provide you with one on one consultations for up to a full year, and can beat our prices, hurry up and use them because they probably won't be in business too much longer!

Why is it important to use a registered landscape architect as opposed to a landscape designer?

While this question may seem obvious to many, it is a question that is asked every day by many homeowners interested in having a landscape master plan prepared for their homes. The answer is simply that landscape architects have the education, training, and experience to deal with the various aspects that may be encountered in any given project. Typically that will involve site planning, plant material design, civil engineering, building architecture, drainage and storm water design, and construction techniques as they relate to commercial and residential applications. This is not to say that there are not many good landscape designers working in the industry today. But it takes many years before someone becomes a "landscape architect" while in most states anyone can decide to call themselves a "landscape designer" at any time and without any education or training.

How can LandscapePlan.com be less expensive than my local landscape architectural firms?

We are less expensive than most or all landscape architectural firms that are local to your area for several reasons:
1) Our process greatly reduces the time spent designing any given project.
2) We use state of the art software which eliminates many hours traditionally spent compiling information.
3) Because we allow the client to assist us with the collection of the design criteria, we no longer have to spend time on the actual project site collecting the data, nor do we spend countless hours driving from our office to each project site.
4) Lastly, we are less expensive because we do not have expensive offices with high rent, advertising, and overhead costs such as staffing. Our process is as "green" (meaning environmentally friendly) as you can get in our industry and that benefits us all.

What can I expect to receive?

Once you pay for a plan you will be taken to your own Project Page. This is where all communication takes place between you and the landscape architect (LA) designing your plan. You have a personal dialogue box that goes straight to your LA and you can exchange files, images, design discussions, etc. much as you would on Skype.

Once you provide answers to our Questionnaire and provide the requested photos via our upload link, your LA will contact you to discuss your design criteria in detail. You will receive updates on the design progress being made and ultimately your landscape plan will be uploaded to your page in a .pdf format. Other files, documents, instructions, etc. can also be sent to you from your LA to help you manage your project successfully. Lastly, your link to your LA will remain open for up to 12 months so you can ask questions at no additional charge. Obviously we can't do free consulting forever, but we are more than happy to provide you with assistance on your project should you need it providing our workload allows.

How do I pay for the landscape plan your landscape architects design for me?

Once you have completed the online registration, you can conveniently pay for our services with your credit card through our secure payment portal.

How long does it take to design my plan?

Typically our turn around time on any given project is 2 weeks once we have received all relevant information from the client. Various factors such as project complexity, existing workloads, not receiving all requested photos or answers to our questionnaire, etc. can impact the timeline, but we make every effort to complete each project as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

What if I don't know anything about plants? How can I give you enough information so that my plan will suit my needs and reflect that it was professionally designed?

Our clients don't need to know a single plant name to be able to provide us with critical data regarding their likes or dislikes. We have designed our questionnaire so that you will be providing us with everything we need to know simply by answering a series of questions on various subjects. We also provide plenty of dialogue boxes for you to fill in to make sure we cover any unexpected concerns that you might have. Once we have received your information, one of our landscape architects will call you and go over your questionnaire thoroughly to ensure that we understand your desires.

Will LandscapePlan.com take my ideas and wishes into consideration when preparing the plan?

Simply, YES. The goal for every plan we undertake is to not only satisfy all design criteria provided by our clients but to do so in a creative, and well thought out manner. This doesn't discount the possibility that clients might provide us with conflicting desires, but we use the client's "wish list" as our primary criteria when undertaking a landscape master plan. This is the reason we will contact you once we have received your information so that we can clear up any conflicting or unclear design criteria.

What if in addition to plants, I want LandscapePlan.com to design multiple other features into my yard such as a swimming pool, a driveway, a sidewalk, a new deck, etc. Will my plan cost more?

We offer two types of plan design elements from which to choose:  BASIC and PREMIUM and both are flat fee based.  BASIC elements include the design of driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, lighting, drainage, lawn areas, and all plant material.  PREMIUM elements will cost more than the BASIC but include additional features such as retaining walls, water features, patios, pools, firepit/fire places, and decks. Both plans are a flat fee so there will never be any "additional" hidden design charges. Our goal is to provide all of our clients with a plan for their dream yard at a price that is affordable to everyone.

Why is it advantageous for landscape contractors to use your services?

Our desire is to prepare the best landscape design we can regardless of who our client might be.  Contractors can use our services on behalf of their clients and thereby provide services they previously could not have provided.  When a contractor hires us, they are provided a Client Project Portal just as a homeowner would be.  The contractor then simply provides the required information and project photos instead of the homeowner.  When the project design is completed, the contractor presents the design to the homeowner charging whatever fees they deem appropriate.  We are frequently asked to place the contractor's logo and information on the plan and we are of course happy to do this.  But a great feature of our site is that contractors can have us prepare plans for many of their clients and each project can be managed by using the same user login.  In this way, landscape contractors can show potential new clients images and designs we've prepared for them to help assist them in selling more design and installation services.

What if after I receive my completed landscape plan I want to have certain changes made to the plan?

Due to the fact that a "good" design is a subjective term at best, so is any process when one person tries to convey their desires accurately to another person. Therefore, we cannot charge a flat fee for a landscape master plan and perform unlimited changes at no charge. Should you request a change to one of our landscape plans we will evaluate the nature of the request. If it is found that we did not include an "element" in your plan that you requested, there will be no charge for the change assuming the missing "element" was not in conflict with another requested "element". If however, the request involved a change that was for any other reason other than an omission, we will simply charge you at the rate of $50 per hour for the change. Because our goal is to make each plan as affordable as possible, whenever a change is requested, we will provide an estimate of the time we anticipate it will take before beginning the new work.

Where will I find a copy of my property survey from which my landscape plan will be based?

In all but a small percentage of cases, when the property in question was purchased, a boundary survey was prepared showing the location of all structures as well as the property line bearings and distances. In cases where no survey was prepared, a copy of the survey is typically kept on file with the county or city of your residence and can be obtained for a minimal charge. In the event that no property survey has ever been prepared for your property, we can instruct you on how to take the measurements we will need to prepare your plan.

Why is it an advantage for me, the client, to be able to pick my own plants?

Several reasons. Each client will have different likes and dislikes regarding the plant characteristics. Some clients will want fragrant plants while others will not. Some clients will want lots of colorful flowering plants while others prefer muted, less showy plants. Some clients prefer lower maintenance plants, while others truly enjoy the time spent pruning and taking care of their plants. For this reason, the conventional method of preparing landscape master plans inevitably requires that expensive, time consuming "down the road" changes be made to the selection of plants. Changes mean additional hours to be billed by the landscape architect. With our method, we provide you with the important characteristics of the plants to be used and give you a list of optional plants that fit the required characteristics. As long as you choose plants from the specified category and place them where we say they should go, you will have a successful design. This is because we know how to vary the characteristics of each plant grouping so that we can avoid using plants adjacent to one another that have similar heights, leaf sizes, etc. If this doesn't seem important to you, the next time you look at a yard that isn't attractive, look to see if they have properly varied the heights of each plant grouping, avoided grouping plants with similarly sized leaves adjacent to each other, or used too many evergreen or deciduous plants side by side. In most cases, poor landscape designs do each of these things. We design your plan properly to help ensure that you won't make the mistakes everyone else makes.

What makes our service unique and less expensive than other landscape architects?

This is because we allow you to collect the data for us. Our process guides you through simple step by step instructions on how you can provide us with pictures of your yard, a copy of your property survey, and answers to our questionnaire. The questionnaire has been designed to allow you to simply and systematically provide us with your likes, dislikes, and your "wish list" of elements that you would like for us to include in your design (i.e. a swimming pool, a new deck, retaining walls, ponds and waterfalls, etc.). We then prepare the landscape master plan based on your desires, our communications with you, and our professional knowledge of what makes a good design.

The next statement we often hear is, "But our yard is different because it has drainage problems. You will need to come out to see our property."

The fact is that almost every yard has drainage issues or other problems that need to be addressed. Because you will be providing us with photographs of your property from locations that we suggest, our landscape architects will be able to see factors such as slopes or poor views that might impact the design. We also include chat box discussions and a phone consultation so that the landscape architect preparing your plan will have the opportunity to discuss your project with you in detail. After that, should additional questions or uncertainties arise, we are not shy about picking up the phone or sending you chat messages via our system and asking you for additional information or feedback. Keeping an open line of communication makes our service that much more detailed and tailored to your needs.