LONDON, December 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Brits are now spending a whopping £7.7 billion per year enjoying their gardens. From choice of plants and soil analysis, to designing and building a new garden, expert input from a professional garden designer can help you to do more with your outdoor space. Paul Ellison of Floral & Hardy Gardens design shares his top 10 tips for planning a garden design project.
1. Get references
Before contracting work with a garden designer, speak to previous clients and visit completed projects. This way you can gauge quickly the quality of work, ask the opinion of the owner and see how a project has aged since installation.
2. Agree fixed costs
Always agree fixed costs for the project up-front. With no certainty as to how long a project will take, agreeing to pay day rates can cause the overall price to skyrocket. Make sure that the fixed costs agreed include: a breakdown of design and each phase of the project.
3. Read the small print
Ensure a formal contract is in place and always read the small print; investigate anything you're not sure about before committing to sign.
4. Agree to timescales
Agree estimated project timescales, but do have an understanding that uncontrollable elements, such as the weather, may cause some delays.
5. Make sure construction work is guaranteed
Ensure that all construction work is guaranteed; investigate the type company you are hiring. Generally a limited company will be able to offer better value for money than a sole trader; the larger scale of a limited company means that greater purchasing power can translate into savings on materials- which are passed directly to the client.
6. Choose a company to design and build your garden
Make sure the company you choose is designing and building your garden; many garden designers outsource to independent contractors. The risk is that a larger chain of design and labour is more likely to result in communication issues and differing standards of work.
7. Plan ahead for winter
Plan ahead for winter; consider the ways in which you would like to use your garden throughout the entire year, a good garden designer will not forget the winter months!
8. Consider your needs
Consider the practical side of you garden; do you need storage for children's toys or garden equipment? Be sure to build this into your plan.
9. Discuss future maintenance
Ask about the level of post-project maintenance of a proposed design. Unless you are an avid every-day gardener you will want to ensure your garden requires minimal upkeep.
10. Ask for advice
Seek professional advice before embarking on a project yourself; garden renovation can quickly become complicated. Before attempting complicated landscaping, such as changing landforms and bodies of water, seek professional guidance.
Paul Ellison, of Floral & Hardy Gardens design comments: "It's great that UK residents are embracing the outdoor spaces they have; a professional garden designer will take the client's needs into account, providing expert advice as part of the service delivered."
Regarding his advice, Ellison stresses the importance of research, "As with any investment, research thoroughly before committing to a garden design project. A positive recommendation from a previous client is the best way to gauge the capability and suitability of a garden design company."
For more information on garden design London and the South of England, contact Floral & Hardy on +44(0)845-603-2598.
SOURCE Floral & Hardy