What to Ask Your Designer

Apr 05, 2010

You've decided to hire a professional...now what? Members of our Garden Design Advisory Board share the most helpful questions to ask your designer or landscape architect before beginning your project.

* Any and all questions are helpful.  -Raymond Jungles

* How do you work? Will you explain your process to me?  -Eric Groft

* Clients should not be afraid to ask for references, photos of previous work, about the designer’s background and their design philosophy.  -Vanessa Gardner Nagel

* What does your fee cover?
* Is your compensation based on an hourly fee or project price?
* Do you work with licensed sub-contractors?
* Do you have your own crew?
              -April Palmer

* One of the most helpful is what kind of time frame is the project going to take. It is always better to have a clear understanding of time expectations for both parties.  -Les Bernabi

* What is the amount of post-project maintenance that may be necessary for my “dream” garden?  -Allison Kuzniar

* Can I repurpose items that I have? Will the finished space be easy to maintain?  -Karen Robertson

* What is the RIGHT thing to do here?  -Katie Spitz

* Why should I hire you?
* Do you think my budget is appropriate for my objectives?
* Can I visit your office?
* Can I see the inside of you car? (If it’s a mess …that’s a bad sign)
* Are you the designer or is it done by others?
* Can you take me to see some jobs and speak to your clients?
* What is your construction experience?
* Can you provide an insurance certificate or license number?
* Can I see a portfolio, resume and references?
            -Paul Keyes

Still deciding between Pro and DIY? Read our Board members have to say about hiring a professional designer/architect and how doing so can help your timeline and budget.