I receive hundreds of calls every year from clients asking for help designing something for their property. My first question is always, “What is your budget for installation?” That may sound like a strange question for a design company to ask, but it is very important in understanding what can potentially be designed. Your budget for installation is determined by several factors, including whether or not you want to Hire an Installer, complete the project yourself, complete the project in phases, and even the value you personally put on the finished product.
Typically my clients do not have a budget in mind for the design fee or the installation, but they do have an impression of what an installed landscape should cost them. 75% of the time this impression is far lower than what it should be. I will admit, shows like Yard Crashers (yes, HDG designed for this well known show) do give the impression that DIY projects, completing a design for a backyard, obtaining the materials, removing existing site conditions, and installing the new design takes only 2 days. (What they do not show you is the crew of 20 people behind the camera, 4 months of planning and design, and the night shift crew. We estimate that to be about 400 man hours.) So, how do you determine a budget for installation when you are misled so well even by us!? Will this bubble burst cause you to Hire an Installer, or are you certain DIY is the right fit for your project?
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