Designing & Planning
Is A Costly And Easily Avoidable Mistake.
When you decide to build a swimming pool in your yard, whether you have a brand new home with a bare yard or a home that has existing landscape and hardscape, you will need to consider the various elements of your outdoor living space beyond the pool and spa. Elements such as perimeter fencing and gates, decking, masonry, patio covers, gazebos, barbecue area, planters, drainage systems, irrigation systems, lighting systems and last but not least, landscaping!
To get off to the right start when embarking on your pool project you should strongly consider hiring a landscape architect or landscape design firm to put an all inclusive comprehensive plan together. Not all landscape designers or landscape architects are the same. When it comes to budgeting for plan fees, expect to pay a landscape architect anywhere from about $2000 to $7500 depending on the firm and the complexity of the project. Some Landscape architects work on an hourly basis. A client can expect to pay $75.00 to $150 per hour. Other firms will charge a percentage of the cost of the entire project. This fee is generally 5 to15% of the total project cost. In other words, for a $75,000 job, a homeowner can expect to pay $3,750 to $11,250 to the Landscape Architect should they take on the project from site work to plan to planting.
Another option is to hire a landscape design firm, we recommend this option, which will typically cost you a great deal less than an architect ($1000 to $2500). An experienced landscape designer can take you from the conceptual design phase of the project all the way through the Homeowners Association approval process. Typical plans will include working drawings, plans needed for your homeowners association and three dimensional color cad drawings that show you what your project is actually going to look like when it is completed. We believe that bad design costs you so much more in the long run than any fees that are spent up front developing a proper plan.
We believe that the best plans available these days are those that are designed and rendered in 3D. Having a complete set of colored 3D cad drawings gives you the ability to “walk through” your entire project as if it was already completed. If there is anything that you would like to change, design revisions can easily be made at this crucial time easily and without regret or additional costs. Most design firms will allow for a series of revisions after the initial viewing of the drawings without an additional charge. The landscape design firm that we work makes the design and revision process easy and comfortable as they hone your custom plan to your liking.
Another important aspect of having these drawings is that when you go to start the contractor selection process everybody will be on the same page, apples to apples. There is no room for error or interpretation. If there is a large discrepancy in the bids you receive it’s time to ask why.
Then once construction has started the construction crews actually doing the work will have the 3D drawings to use and reference, eliminating interpretation issues and mistakes. They love having the 3D cad drawings and renderings that show the visual aspect of every element in color! We have seen time and time again how the 3D drawings equate to a smooth construction process and a happy customer. Gone are the days that a project would get interrupted and delayed because a decision that should have been made prior to beginning of the work, was still pending. With our 30 years plus experience, we have seen projects that should’ve taken 10 to 15 weeks turn into 20 to 40 week projects because this pre-planning phase wasn’t implemented as it should have been.
If you wish information on the design firm that we recommend and see examples of their work please visit the Design website.