Choosing a Landscaping Design Company

Like most people, your home is probably the biggest investment you have made in your life. A great way to enhance this investment is to landscape your yard or garden. Again, if you are like most people, you may have only a small knowledge about the principles of landscaping so it may be a better idea to hire a landscaping design company rather than attempt to create a design yourself.

Whether it is your first time to landscape your garden or you are looking into changing the look of your existing garden landscape, hiring a landscaping design company is the easiest way to get the job done. Designing a garden or yard landscape can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are many competent and reliable landscaping professionals that can handle the work for you and ensure you achieve the results you want.

A landscaping design company will work with you to create a landscape design tailored to your needs and preferences. However, it is also the responsibility of the designer to give you expert advice and ensure that you make the right choices from selecting plants and other materials to proper layout, lighting and other concerns.

A landscaping design company consists of landscape professionals such as designers and architects. A professional landscape designer may or may not have a landscaping degree or a license. On the other hand, a landscape architect should have both in order to practice landscaping. In the project has many “issues” such as slopes and high terrain, the services of a landscape architect may be necessary.

If you would also require landscape construction or installation services in addition to design, the landscaping design company will be able to refer to you to a landscape contractor. Alternatively, you can choose to work with a design-build company, which is a firm that employs both designers and contractors.

When choosing a landscaping design company, do not forget to request for references from past clients and ask to see their work portfolio. It would also be good if you can check the sites that they designed. Find out how long the company has been in the business, their professional affiliations and if they are insured and licensed.

It is recommended to evaluate a few companies before making a decision. Be sure to let the company know how much you are willing to spend. Your chosen landscaping design company should present to you a written service contract with detailed project specifications, costing, and schedule.

The Elements of Landscape Design – What is Hardscape Design and Hardscaping?

Many homeowners are familiar with landscaping and associate the term with a well groomed lawn and a pickup truck full of men with great tans and dirt under their fingernails…they work for a living!

Landscaping is synonymous with cut grass, weedless flower beds, and pickup trucks parked out front once a week. Interestingly, landscaping and landscape design has taken on a whole new face. With the integration of hardscape design and hardscaping, as well as water feature design and creation, a full-service landscaping firm is about so much more than cut grass and weedless flower beds!

Interestingly, and particularly for the uninitiated, the term “hardscaping” or the phrase “hardscape design” may be as familiar as Swahili or Afrikans to the average property owner, commercial or residential, in the United States.

Hardscape design and hardscaping is a subcategory of landscaping that refers to the usage of inanimate objects in landscape design. As the subcategory implies, hardscape design and hardscaping refers to “the hard stuff,” components such as metal (i.e., iron), brick, stone, concrete, and timber.

Hardscape design is just that, the design process, creating a plan to integrate inanimate objects into a hardscape. Hardscaping includes patio and deck construction, the creation of a stone or brick walkways, stone wall construction, creating a wooden fence or gate, and so much more. The application of hardscape design and hardscaping is limited only by the design team’s imagination.

Significantly, hardscape design and its implementation, hardscaping, is not limited to large-scale undertakings. In fact, any metal, stone, brick, or concrete decoration integrated into your existing landscape is hardscaping.

When planning a big project from concept through design and on to construction, it is crucial to consider both hardscaping and softscaping elements. Creating the proper plan, considering all aspects of an intelligent, well thought-out landscape and hardscape design is crucial to its success.

A question that must be addressed early on is what comes first?

Do we begin with the hardscaping or the softscaping (the landscaping)?

In most cases, it is advisable to begin with the hardscaping elements because they are the easiest to work with. By beginning with the hardscaping, you lessen the risk of injury to the softscaping (the plants), which may be damaged or destroyed by the physical exertion required by most hardscaping projects.

When integrating hardscape design elements into an overall landscape design, many favor curved objects instead of straight lines. By recognizing how hardscape and softscape elements compliment each other, an aesthetically pleasing design is the end result.

Creating curved walls and walkways may soften the landscape, counteracting the harsh, straight lines offered in most housing construction, sidewalks, and driveways. Consider a curvilinear walkway or path of stone to break up an area and create visual interest. Consider a water feature, flower bed, shrub or tree line, balanced with just the right hardscape elements.

Creating a curving path or walkway will also allow you and your visitors to wander through your landscape, taking in and enjoying the experience and the view.

Balancing landscape design and hardscaping, along with water features, into a unifying theme and a complete presentation is the real value of a full-service landscaping firm. Understanding these elements and how to apply them is crucial to your landscape design firm’s success.

Awesome Back and Front Yard Landscape Designs

Most amateur front yard landscape designs include some grass, a tree or two and maybe a flower bed. And sadly, a lot of people completely ignore their backyards outside of the grass, the pool or a vegetable garden. But the benefits that come from adding professional landscape to your back yard or front lawn are incredible. Everything from the worth of your property to the condition of your neighborhood can change when you commit to professional landscaping. Your front yard and back yard will not only look great, but the improvements have some terrific additional benefits, too.

Energy Conservation: You can actually cut down on your utility bills with professionally landscaped front yards. If your home sits on a corner property, or faces an intersecting road, you probably get the full force of the sun and wind. NJ landscapers take those elements into account when they create designs, and as such might plant trees that will provide shade (keeping A/C costs down), or construct hardscapes that will protect your home from the winter winds (keeping heating costs down.) Some front yard landscape designs even help absorb the heat of the sun by working like a natural form of insulation.

Bio-Diversity: In the interest of honesty, it has to be said: bugs are pests. Grubs and beetles will eat your plants, and mosquitoes are both annoying and dangerous. But when you have someone professionally landscape your backyard, you get a person who knows which plants will attract which insects or birds, and which are more likely to attract bugs or rodents. Certain flowers will attract butterflies, who will take of pollination, saving you money on expensive “flower food” or fertilizers. And while birds might be a problem when you first seed a yard, they also eat the bugs that may destroy your plants later.

Additional Living Spaces: Most people want to get the most use they can out of their outdoor spaces. When you landscape your backyard, you can create an additional living space for you and your family to enjoy on nice days. You can have a design team build the perfect outdoor kitchen, or create a peaceful Zen garden. You can even incorporate such elements into your front yard landscape designs, too. If you have a large front lawn, why not add a reading corner or a water fountain? Professionals who create landscaped front yards for a living know how to make private areas for you to use, so that you can utilize all of your space without feeling exposed to the neighborhood.

Curb Appeal: Landscaping your front yard adds monetary value to your house – period. Landscaped front yards look better, encourage sustainability and water conservation, and promote the value of the neighborhood. In fact, studies have shown that people searching for their first home believe good landscaping is indicative of better housekeeping – a fact NJ landscapers will willingly share. So by landscaping your front yard, you’re showing the world that you devote time and energy to maintaining your house. Think about it: who on earth would dedicate so many hours to pruning the trees and mowing the lawn if the roof leaked or the foundation was bad, right?

Continuing the Landscape into Your Backyard

There’s a lot to be said for continuity, and having your front yard landscape designs flow into the back yard is a good idea. Hiring a design team is the easiest way to do this, because they’ll know exactly how to create beautiful front yard landscape designs that become useful and practical in the back yard.

Need an example? Let’s say that while landscaping your front yard, you decide you want to add a natural stone wall to set off the plants and shrubs that have already been planted. When it comes time to design the back yard, you need to reconsider that stone choice: will it be strong enough to double as pavers? Will you need to double the amount you purchase because your back yard is very large – or will they look out of place because your back yard is small? Will it break your budget?

Hiring professionals eliminates these issues, because they’ll already know which materials will work best for both beauty and utility. They’ll have a specific budget with which to landscape your backyard and your front yard, and can choose plants, stones and trees that are both pretty and sturdy. They’ll keep costs down, too, because all of the guesswork will be eliminated. NJ landscapers make it a point to know which materials can be purchased locally, so that the natural environment of the area will flourish – and so that you won’t pay a fortune in shipping costs, either. Overall, it makes more sense to hire a contractor to create the designs from beginning to end. You’ll always know what you’re getting, and you’re sure to be happy with the end result.