Landscapes for Northwest Washington


Do I need a planning or building permit for my landscaping project?

Generally, yes. Some areas have very restrictive ordinances. In such cases, plans may need to be submitted. It is important to consider all of these issues when designing your property. If your project consists of planting, irrigation, and soil preparation only and is of a relatively small scale, permits generally are not required.

How can I control the costs?

Before starting the actual construction of a project, whether with a landscape architect, contractor, or on your own, determine a set budget for the project. A good landscape architect will provide cost estimates throughout the design process so that you have a general cost range. During this time you will be able to react to the bottom line costs and request design modifications to suit your budget. A contractor should give you either a fixed price for the project or a range that can only be added to upon justification and your approval. It should be clear that no additional work or additional costs can be implemented without your written approval.

What about maintenance costs for the landscaping?

It is important that you clarify your maintenance desires during the design phase of the project. If your yard is currently barren dirt, obviously there will be increased maintenance costs. As with a house, which needs to be periodically re-roofed, painted, , there are ongoing maintenance costs associated with a yard. Whether you hire a gardener or not, you will incur costs related to fertilizer, water, pruning, seasonal clean-up, repainting of any outdoor structures, etc. The best way to find out what possible maintenance costs might be is to talk to neighbors and obtain rough quotes from their maintenance contractors.

How long does it take to complete a project?

Generally speaking, very rarely are projects designed and completed in less than two months, and an average time may be nine to eleven months. It's always a good idea to begin the planning process well in advance, and the planning time will vary depending upon the complexity of your project. Processing through planning can take up to a month or two. Bidding and arranging for a contractor can take up to a month. And, of course, there are the variables of availability of our schedule, the contractor's schedule, and weather conditions.

If you have a green thumb and strong back, a landscape consultation may be all you need. If your time is limited and your interests are other than landscaping, we are available to design a custom landscape plan.