If you are in the market for a major landscape and pool construction project for your home and yard, and you are feeling inspired with the many home and garden ideas that are shown on TV and in print, you may already know you want something different than the status quo. However, if you’ve never worked with a designer before but are looking for pool design
ideas, you should realize pool designers have a very different approach from that of the construction companies.
Construction companies are specialists in construction and their staff are salespeople, not designers. The hallmark of a true designer is that he or she has credentials in design, and charges for their services.
The major benefits of working with a designer are that he or she takes the time to walk you through the process, considers your individual site, budget, concerns, taste, and can offer custom pool design ideas.
Here are FAQs for pool designers from people who have never worked with a designer before, including valuable landscaping design tips.
1) What do you charge?
As customary to architectural services, landscape designers charge a nominal percent of true construction costs, or hourly, or per square foot. Each project is different and requires a design cost that is scaled according to each project and client objectives.
2) I’m not sure I want to allocate so much of my budget toward design, as this will take away from what I have left to build with
It’s far more costly to spend 100% of your funds on something that is regrettably wrong or downright mediocre, that you tolerate every time you look at it, and may eventually rip out, than it is to properly plan and allocate only pennies for every dollar, to get something truly spectacular that you are in awe of every day and makes you delighted every time you interact.
3) Can you design for my budget? What if your design costs too much?
The design that I create will be the best use of your space, the best esthetic lines, and no more. You direct the true construction costs by which elements you decide to implement, and what materials and finishes you select.
4) Can I hire you for design only and use my chosen contractors to build?
Pools and landscape, unlike built structures, are more subjective and organic. They are far more interpretive. The best plan is still no better than a Mona Lisa “paint-by-number.” It maps out the major elements and where they go, and it will get you in the ball park. But if you want true magic, you need someone, a team, in fact, who can apply the paint to the canvas with Da Vinci finesse. Otherwise, you get a paint-by-number result.
5) How detailed are your drawings? Can I build from them and get them bid out, or are they concept only?
The design process is like peeling an onion. The first round of drawings and services are conceptual and are at the macro level, mapping out the large areas and elements. The goal is to get a scale plan from which takeoffs, general pricing and allowances can be derived before moving forward with details that may prove irrelevant. Once a budget and allowances are approved from the conceptual plan, we can then move to service level two and provide construction drawings for the exact amenities you choose. Typically, the cost for these drawings are included in the cost of the build as an incentive, rather than being an added cost, when you choose to retain the
‘s affiliated contractors.
6) What if I pay you for a design and I don’t like it?
True design is good listening, acute observation, and a process of elimination. It is a logical process and not arbitrary guesswork, based on client input and the factors of the site itself. Great designs are the perfect blend of the client’s unspoken wishes and the merits of the site itself.