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The Landscape Design Process with Tim Kessler of Summit Landscape Development

By Tim Kessler

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

We are a design, build & maintenance company with a presence in York, Lancaster, Hanover areas. We are in our 11th year in business. We offer many services including retaining walls, paver patios and walkways, water features, LED low voltage lighting, Outdoor fireplaces & fire pits, Outdoor grilling areas,Pavilion and pergolas and Plantings. We also offer Bed maintenance services like mulching, edging, pruning and weed control. We offer both residential and commercial services

What are some important questions to ask the landscape designer before beginning the designing process?

Are you licensed & insured, are you educated in landscape design, how long have you been designing landscapes. Do you provide a hand drawing or do you have capability to show your ideas in 3D.

If you could, please list the steps of the general landscape design process:

phone interview- discuss what type of project you are looking to have done, timeframe you are looking to have your project installed, set up a no obligation consultation meeting time if we seem like a fit for each other.

No obligation consultation- Meet at your house or business place to review what you would like to have done. At this time it is a good idea to give your designer pictures, sketches, etc that you as a homeowner or business owner might have thought of. This way it will give the designer a "direction" to start after he/ she sees your visions. It is also a good idea to have a ballpark budget in mind or a figure of what you are willing to spend so that the designer has this in mind when designing so that he/she does not design too little or too much for you. Once we see what you are looking for we tell you if there will be a cost involved for the design.

Follow up presentation- We typically design in 3D and can send you our ideas (screen pictures from the design and the 2D overhead Plan view) via email. This puts the design in your hands so that you can review and get back if any questions or concerns or changes. Once the design is finalized then the pricing process would begin. Sometimes we will put some ballpark budget numbers with the initial design for the client. The 3D imaging is a great way to visualize what your backyard or office place can look like before we would start any work.

How do you suggest clients prepare for a this process?

It would be good to go through home magazines, go to online sites such as Pinterest and Houzz, go to landscape companies websites in your area that you might be considering and see some of examples of their work,etc. Also, you could go to some local landscape materials stores to browse. Also, think about how you want to use your space.....How many guests will you be entertaining if it is and outdoor living space (Do you entertain large groups or just a few friends, do you need multiple seating areas, What elements are on your wish list, Do you have a green thumb or no interest in maintaining flowers and shrubs.

What are some common issues you face when it comes to designing landscapes?

A few issues could be drainage problems, township codes, Elevation changes which make it more challenging, etc.

What advice do you have for the homeowner during this process?

The more the designer knows from you the better.....Ex: Budget, your style, etc. Be patient on turn around time. For example Spring is the busiest season so the design might take longer to turn around than in the later Fall/ Winter.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

People can go to our website and fill out a consultation request form. One of our designers will then follow up with a phone call. www.SummitLandscapeDev.com

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