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The Landscape Design Process: An Interview with Fred Parks of Pine Ridge Lawn & Landscape, LLC

By Fred Parks

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

We are a full service design, build and maintenance firm with over 30 years of experience in the high end residential market. We pride ourselves on exceeding client expectations each and every time.

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

  • What experience do you have?
  • Do you have a designer in house?
  • What parts of a project do you subcontract?
  • What is the fee associated with the design?
  • Do you offer a concept plan, cad drawing or scaled drawing?
  • Is any part of the design fee refundable and under what circumstances?
  • If we implement your design with your firm who will project manage our project and can we meet them prior to signing a contract?
  • Can we visit some of your clients sites to get a feel for your design style?
  • Can we have a referral list?
  • What are the guarantees on the installed project?
  • Who handles any local or state permits?
  • What is a reasonable timeline?

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

First we have the initial meeting where we will be taking copious amounts of notes during the client interview. We will prompt them with questions and listen intently. We will also make sure to take photos and site measurements for reference. Then we will create a timeline and expectations for the client to review, as well as discuss budgets and fees. Asking the client if we can tour the inside of the home to see their taste to create harmony between the interior and exterior is also helpful. Creating a list of "Wish List" items if the budget was not a concern, so we can attempt to incorporate some form of the desire (i.e. If they would love a pool but it's not in the budget or space maybe it's a water feature or reflective pond instead that would provide the same feel).

How do you suggest clients prepare for a this process?

Obviously having a concrete idea of their vision for the property is very useful. If they also clip out photos from magazines of styles they like and even styles they do not particularly care for allows us to get a better understanding. Also having pre-considered such things as, what type of landscape maintenance are they looking for? How involved do they want to be with their new design?

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

Making certain we have a clear understanding of the client's needs, vision, timeline and budget.

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

It's easier said than done, but staying patient and communicating your desires is key to creating what you want to accomplish with your landscape. It's important to have a comfort level with your designer, and to have a mutual understanding. Collaboration is key.

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

Email or phone call to set up a free initial consultation.

  • Email:
  • Phone: 603-253-6622

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