Garden Design Consultations
In Auckland, garden design consultations are often suggested as a ‘next step’ when you get in touch with a potential garden designer. However, if you have made several garden design enquiries, it can come as a surprise when one designer pitches a fee for doing the consultation and another does it for free.
So, a free garden design consultation versus paying for a garden design consultation. Seems like a no-brainer, right? I mean, why pay for what you can get for free? Well, having done it both ways over the 10+years I have been designing gardens, I can tell you that yes, there is a difference in what you get and that a paid consultation is the way to go. Here’s why.
Free Garden Design Consultation Versus Paid Garden Design Consultation
1. Good, affordable and experienced garden designers are hard to find, and they are always busy. In Auckland in particular, there can be significant time spent in simply getting to and from your property. If you are not prepared to pay for a designer’s time, they are unlikely to consider your project as attractive as one where a prospective client places value on their time.
2. The garden designer who is being paid to do a consultation will spend more time on-site with you talking about your garden. To cover a full Auckland garden in reasonable depth during a design consultation takes around an hour, minimum! Even in a small garden, there is typically a lot to cover.
3. A garden design consultation should be an open exchange of ideas and information, a chance for you to discuss lots of options and ideas with your potential designer, explore the possibilities of your site and discuss possible solutions for any existing issues you may have going on in your garden or specific problems that need resolving. An experienced garden designer has accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the years, but they are unlikely to give this IP (intellectual property) away for free.
4. So, a ‘free’ garden consultation in Auckland is likely to be more of a quick scoping trip with a few enticing but suitably vague ideas thrown in. The purpose of the trip from the unpaid designer’s perspective is to meet you, take a quick look around your garden and establish a feel for the project, so that they can provide you with a fee estimate to provide garden design services. This is still a valuable service, but it is not really a design consultation.
5. Remember, the consultation is about bouncing multiple ideas. This allows you to consider your options and explore the ideas before heading down the design path. The consultation is also about establishing a rapport with your potential designer before engaging them for a full garden design project. Even if you decide the designer is not a good fit for you, you will most likely like some of their ideas and these can still be incorporated into your project with another designer, so the consultation fee is not wasted money.
If you live in the Auckland Metro area, you can have our lead designer visit your property for a 60 minute, one-on-one, garden design consultation. She will walk the garden with you, discuss garden design ideas and give you practical garden advice and garden design tips. You will get great suggestions on how to immediately improve the look of your garden and resolve specific garden issues you may have. Following the on-site garden consultation, you will receive a follow-up report containing notes on the items discussed.
You also receive a complementary fee estimate to provide additional services if you would like to engage us to provide more detailed design services, such as the preparation of concept or planting plans.
We also offer an ‘Ask An Expert’ service, our online garden design consultation, for those living outside of the Auckland area.