What to bring to your first design consultation

Residential. landscaping.Phase3

An insiders guide to what to expect when starting a project. 

So you’ve made the big decision to create, renovate or construct an outdoor area, garden, or swimming pool. Great! So what’s the next step? 

Well, next steps can be pretty daunting. Things like engineering and building code compliance requirements alone can knock your initial enthusiasm levels down a few pegs. But throw in a whole stack of other elements – boundary restrictions, pool fence compliance, access for excavation and construction, town planning policy and neighbouring property protection works – and things can turn from exciting to exhausting pretty quickly. 

Engaging a professional landscape designer/builder can save time, money, and your precious sanity. Not only do they bring with them a wealth of knowledge about all of the above requirements, they also provide efficiency and an assurance of quality. Phase3 employs both landscape architects and landscape designers, so our clients benefit from the expertise and skills of both. 

In this blog, we walk you through the design process and offer you our best tips on what to bring along to your first design consultation.

1. Your site information

Relevant information about your site – plans, accessibility, heritage conditions (if applicable), and existing vegetation – helps the designer visualise the opportunities and constraints that will shape the concept. The more information you bring, the clearer the designer’s vision can be, but don’t panic if you forget to mention the heritage listed fig tree in the back yard! A full site inspection is undertaken after your first meeting to ensure the designer has absorbed the full scope of the project before they begin.

2. Your vision

Don’t worry – we’re not expecting a thousand word essay, just a few key ideas or images that inspire you. Design is a process – it takes time and effort to evolve, so a flexible approach and an openness to new ideas is also a plus. Your designer will work with you to create a concept that best fits your vision and budget. A useful source for inspiration is houzz, where you can create a mood board from a variety of finished projects.

3. Your budget

A good designer can work within your budget, but this is where flexibility and teamwork will really work to your advantage. Your designer is a trusted confidant, someone who can answer all your questions and come up with solutions if your budget doesn’t allow for the full scope of your grand plan.  

After your first consultation, you’ll receive a quote for the preparation of a concept plan. This includes a detailed summary of your first meeting, to ensure all aspects of your design brief have been covered. And now the real fun can begin!  

Read our next blog, A 3 Step process - Turning your vision into reality, for more information on what comes next!