Creating Your Perfect Landscape

Now that you have decided to transform your property, we'd like to make the process run as smoothly as possible for you.

The first thing to do is to dream, to create your ideal surroundings, regardless of time, price, and product availability. If you're having trouble visualizing or getting a feel for what you would like to have, we suggest checking out gardens such as the Chicago Botanical gardens, which is one of our favorites.

Next, we suggest writing down what your perfect landscape would entail or creating a file of photos from magazines or other sources that you feel express what you would like to see in your landscape. Now think about your ideal landscape again; this time think about how you will use the area. It may be hosting a party for friends or just enjoying an evening in front of your outdoor fire. Since landscaping can increase your home's square footage, it is important to also consider just how much space you'll need.

Once you have an idea of what you would like to have done you will need to do a few things. First, determine what your budget will be for your landscape. If you're not certain what to expect as far as pricing, we suggest skipping ahead to selecting a contractor that is able to provide the quality of project you'd like.

Contractors are similar to other professional services. Some are on the higher end, in terms of the purchasing experience, the end result, the maintenance and service. Having said that, if a low cost is your sole driving purchasing factor, it may be best to go with a very small, possibly start-up company.

If you are more concerned with the quality of the finished product in terms of style, professionalism and service, it may be best to go with a larger firm that has a reputation of being current on trends and can provide a more smooth buying experience. Once you have selected a contractor that you feel comfortable with share your ideal landscape with them. If you are still uncertain about what an appropriate budget for your project would be, talk with your contactor about it. A good contractor will be able to tell you what you can expect to spend on your project and, if desired, suggest to phase your project so that you can reach your goal of having your ideal landscape!