24   DALIA SPEAKS                                                                                                         ...
26   DALIA SPEAKS                                                                                                         ...
28   DALIA SPEAKS                                                                                                         ...
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About the Landscape Designer


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Why and how to hire a landscape designer and landscape contractor? What is the landscape design and contracting process? How to get the most of your landscape designer and contractor? What are their fees? These are some of the questions that Dalia Sadany addresses in this article about the landscape designer and landscape contractor which also includes useful tips and illustrative diagrams.

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About the Landscape Designer

  1. 1. 24 DALIA SPEAKS APRIL 2012 25 budget a design preceding any constructions, There is a common misconception between a Picture credit: All photographs are taken from WHY HIRE A PROFFESIONAL TO therefore any cuts or amendments can be swiftly Landscape architect and a Landscape designer actual Dezines’ sites DESIGN YOUR LANDSCAPE? made, and if a stages plan is required then he worldwide, in Egypt the term Landscape If your goal is a unique, distinctive landscape, the can draft it simply with a budget for each stage. Architect is rarely used, the commonly one most vital factor that has to be considered is that used is Landscape Designer,only professionals properly studied plans, schedules and pricing would know the existence of separate identities. LANDSCAPE II Even if you are working within a tight budget, have to be prepared before using a shovel it does not make good economical sense to A Landscape Architect is licensed to offer both in order to achieve your goal in having that cut corners on designer’s fees in hiring a good commercial and residential design services. outcome as much as you have in designing the professional aware designer. Since talented His study entitles him to design: urban design, THE PLAYERS interior of your home. So why hire a professional, professionals will help you avoid costly mistakes site planning, environmental restoration, to design your garden as opposed to attempting and can assure that the design you aspire is parks, private estates, golf courses, ski resorts to conduct the procedure yourselves? ideally suited for the way you live and in every and many other services. He would also be possible means within your desired budget. skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable of Landscaping design requires the systematic local and government regulations. Landscape investigation, study and collaboration of various So you can now visualize the diversified fields Architects are usually educated in a HUGE disciplines such as the geological profile of the a professional have to cleverly and consciously range of subjects; planning, urban design, site involved as in soil type and the construction take into consideration when designing a architecture, horticulture and botany, ecology, methods plausible for it, the environmental landscape, in addition to presenting this blend soils and geology, and especially civil and study of factors like wind, sun, air direction etc in an aesthetically appealing result that not only structural engineering. and its consequence on zoning of the elements pleases but personifies the residents. It would in the project, as well as architectural design and require a truly aware homeowner to grasp all A Landscape Designer are not licensed, are not its different styles with distinguished elements needed factors as well as having a lot and I required to obtain educational and/or training and features for every style , in addition to mean a lot of time on his hands to accomplish background Many landscape designers are horticulture with its subdivisions whether in that mission. self-taught after having read and worked in the evergreens, seasonal trees etc. landscape business. Knowledge is picked up in nurseries, workshops and so forth. The landscape As I have stressed earlier, prior to any design Professional designers designer is focused on residential garden design. task, whether architecture, interior design and now landscaping , every home owner have to spend every working day have a scrap book of pictures from magazines, internet or even ones he shot himself of solving problems most preferable features and ideas that he would desire to apply in his project. Only a professional people only face once or can implement all those ideas in a coherent design that combines successfully both utility twice a lifetime. and beauty. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE Another important fact that only a professional can wisely perform is budgeting, it is a vital BETWEEN A LANDSCAPE influence in any design, as a matter of fact it could ARCHITECT AND A alter it entirely. A professional designer can easily LANDSCAPE DESIGNER? Dalia Sadany Ask Magazines design consultant, Chief Designer & Founder of “Dezines” Architecture & Interiors, Managing Director& Partner of Divine Contracting as well as the creator of the new furniture brand GUSH is dwelling into the world of Architecture, Interior Design, Contracting and Landscape." INTRODUCTION In the former article of the March issue, I Recapping my most important advice to anyone plans are far more elaborate and involved than initiated a discussion about the extensive field on the threshold of designing their yard or just deciding which plants to purchase and of landscaping. For a full six page article, the better yet designing their entire house, “Never where to plant them. surface of this broad undermined topic was underestimate the significance of a properly merely scratched! I gave a swift review of the designed landscape “. As I mentioned ,it is a Note that a lot can be said about the different history of this interesting subject, as well as commonly made mistake among home owners styles and types of landscaping but that is a its definition and its main branches, whether to exert excess effort on the architectural design huge subject that will be discussed individually hardscape (i.e. all elements that are built and of their dream houses and as much devotion to later when we initiate the research in The inanimate such as walkways, patios, gazebos, the interior design of the dwelling and tend to Architectural styles. A Landscape Designer is NOT permitted to fences, gates, stairs, bars ,water features pay less attention to performing a successful, prepare any construction documents, details, etc.) or softscape( i.e. all living , horticultural coherent landscape design. Today I will focus more on the practitioner or specifications for tangible landscape objects components of the gardens such as trees, shrubs, in this profession; The Landscape Architect or landscape features and may NOT prepare turfs, flowers etc.) .I followed that by, important The simple fact that most homeowners overlook or commonly yet mistakenly known as a grading or drainage plans for the alteration pointers to be taken into consideration before is that gardens are an extension of their homes. Landscape Designer, which is a difference that of sites. They are limited to preparing specific plunging into the experience of designing your There are more aspects to landscape design I will elucidate on later, in the article. plans for a single family home only such as garden, your sanctuary. than most homeowners realize. Landscaping softscape layout. ASK APRIL 2012
  2. 2. 26 DALIA SPEAKS APRIL 2012 27 Landscape architects have a wider repertoire and 14. Acting as the owner representative in matters consequently offer a wider range of skills and of dispute with contractor. expertise from planning, project management, and design at various scales/size. They have a Basically administer your project from start different and much broader education beyond to finish that of a landscape designer. WHAT ARE THE SERVICES This is what is referred to as the "backwards compatibility;" A Landscape Architect can be a AN L.C. CAN PROVIDE? landscape designer, but a landscape designer The scope of work for the L.C. has identical cannot be a Landscape Architect. criteria to that of the Architect that was published in the October 2011 issue, here is a reminder of his work; WHAT IS THE LANDSCAPING PROCESS AND WHO ARE ITS 1- Bidding: The tender is treated as an offer to do the work for a certain amount of money PLAYERS? (lump sum), or a certain amount of profit A residential landscaping project doesnt have (cost plus). The tender which is submitted by to be overwhelming, this overview will help you the competing contractors is generally based know what to expect. The two main player in on a bill of quantities, a bill of approximate that department are The Landscape Architect quantities where the materials, parts and labor (abbreviated as L.A.) and The Landscaping costs are itemized. It would generally show you Contractor (abbreviated as L.C.) .The relationship the cost estimate with regards to area in square between the homeowner and the tw players is meters for flooring cladding etc. or number of shown in diagram 1.The process of landscaping items installed. your yard can be broken down into two phases: design and construction. desired purpose for you yard, what features will Diagram two clarifies the Design Process Diagram three clarifies the Construction developing ideas with the client, establishing The designing phase carried out by the L.A. be included and what landscaping style will The construction phase carried out by the L.C. Process budgets, assessing their needs. From my long consists of research, idea gathering, and be employed. The designing phase ends with consists of the actual building process. Most and extensive experience in both fields , stay planning. During this phase you, the homeowner, you receiving a completed set of drawings that designers will sub out the work to a contracting alert and make sure your agreement with your will work closely with a landscape architect that proposes location and materials for hardscapes company that specializes in residential WHAT ARE THE SERVICES L.A. , abides him to the following points that specializes in residential design. Together you and outdoor living features, as well as softscape landscaping.During this phase the designer and AN L.A. CAN PROVIDE? resemble the tasks expected from him/her ; will address design considerations such as the with its numerous categories of plantations. contractor will work closely together to bring The scope of work for the L.A. has identical criteria to life the design plan created in the previous to that of the Architect that was published in the 1. Discussing the objectives, requirements and phase. At the end of construction, your yard will September 2011 issue, but let us recap it. budget of a project. have been transformed into a space thats ready 2. Consulting with other professionals about the for you to enjoy with friends and family. Landscape Architects are involved from the design. earliest stages of the project, which starts with 3. Preparing and presenting feasibility reports and design proposals to the client. 4. Using software packages such as Computer Aided Design (CAD)to present drawings, as well as colored presentations and /or 3D max presentations if needed. 5. Producing detailed workings drawings and quantity specifications (BOQs). 6. Specifying the nature and quality of materials required. 7. Preparing tender applications and presentations (i.e. all the necessary documents for tenders). 8. Preparing drawings and documents for 2- Working: The contractor hires sub-contractors permits approval if needed. as well as individual workers. The Contractor 9. Helping choosing the appropriate contractor hires, schedules and pays the subs. When you ,and negotiating with him. hire a Contractor you only have a contract with 10. Project managing and co-coordinating the him not the subs. A good Contractor has an work of contractors. extensive network of relations with all types of subs. He has worked with many subs and knows 11. Regular site visits to check on progress, the best in terms of quality, cost and ability to ensuring that the project is running on time deliver on time. He also knows how they work and to budget. and deal with them. It is because of this ongoing 12. Resolving problems and issues that arise relationship, the Contractor is assured of a high during construction. quality job from the subs, they are confident of 13. Supplying any altered drawings during the dealing with a professional that will pay them construction process. on time and bring future jobs. ASK APRIL 2012
  3. 3. 28 DALIA SPEAKS APRIL 2012 29 3. Check out specialized magazines for information’s about Landscape. 4. Check out a literature as in a portfolio that describes the firms qualifications and experience. TIPS; *** Talking to your L.A. enables you to verbalize your needs and desires for your project. It helps the architect understand where you are coming from and to respond appropriately. *** Make sure you choose a well established experienced L.C. with a good portfolio, so as he would be as resourceful as possible with sub- contractors and if they drop out or don’t do their jobs right then their substitutes when needed. *** Make sure that the L.C. you choose is capable of working in your area, putting into consideration that small contractors could charge you excess money as travelling expenses. Whether bigger contracting professionals would have that point covered due to their various diversified work sites. PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING: sure they had some former satisfying experience *** Plan to spend at least one hour on your first HOW TO WORK WITH A L.A. B- As for the fixed rate per visit for the second A- The Lump Sum Contract is when the • In the field of landscaping there are three with them. One other venue I would highly meeting with each L.A. and L.C. main branches for the contracting ,hardscape recommend is driving around your area and AND A L.C.? phase of the work that is less predictable, like Contractor provides the required contracting There are plenty of tips I could offer on site supervision this is usually calculated as in services for a fixed price covering the cost subs(built items), softscape subs (planted looking at gardens having work done. You can *** Confirm that the professionals you are the most fruitful, flowing method you can the range of 1 to 2% per visit of his fixed fees for of labor, materials, supplies, equipment and items)and waterscape subs ( pools/fountains/ also check professional magazines which could meeting is the people who will actually work on exercise to successfully work with both your the design phase. professional consultants to do the job as well as waterfalls/Jacuzzis) you are preferable to hire be a good source of information. Surfing the net your project. main players the L.A and the L.C. , but instead the contractor’s overhead and profit margin. one general landscape contractor as to avoid should be your last resort. of spreading long lists of tips, I have simplified Some Landscape Architects have a lump sum hassle of dealing and collaborating several. After interviewing both your professionals , it into two diagrams , diagrams 4 and 5 . In figure for the design phase “ a quota “, and this B- Cost-Plus-Contract, its contract are direct Its advisable to make a short list for each via the make sure your choices are not affected only these diagrams you will be able to have a clear of course depends on several variables, the costs and an additional percentage. The • Some landscape architects offer project following channels; by pricing, but also factors such as portfolios, vision of how to handle each professional project’s size , the complexity of the design calculated cost of Labor, materials, supplies, management services. This means that after 1. Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers about previous work, compatible style to your ensuring benefiting the most from each in requested, his/her portfolio of whether he /she equipment known as direct costs, added to they have designed your yard they will sub- the required professional whether a landscape preferences and most definitely personal every work’s stage. is a reputable , well known Landscape Architect that a fixed percentage which covers the fees contract out the installation to one or more architect or contractor. chemistry. Hopefully you will end up with two contractors. This is most successful when the 2. Check out online directories, for the websites or a relatively young aspiring one. for the contractor. pros that will bring you closer to obtaining your I have stated that a reasonable budget for a And now as we have clarified all need to know architect has a pre-existing relationship with of Landscape with their recommendations for dream garden. landscape project would be in the vicinity of information about Landscape and its players. the contractor. the L.A. and or the L.C. about 10-15 percent of the value of the home. HOW TO PAY AN L.C.? Generally there are two types of contracts: You can reach me at my email This cost includes both hardscape and softscape daliaspeaks.ask@gmail.com • Many architects offer complete design and Lump Sum Contract and Cost-Plus Contract. elements excluding the pool and it’s supplement build services. This means that they have deck or Jacuzzi, since it’s quite an expensive item their own construction crews that come in on its own ,and its cost could vary drastically and install the design they created for you. according to its type , size and finishing and that In-house firms like this pride themselves on will be elaborated on separately later. good communication and on schedule results and this is the best deal you can get. HOW TO PAY AN L.A.? L.A. fees in Egypt are generally split into two HOW TO CHOOSE AN L.A. components by phase – preparing the project AND AN L.C? design documents during the design phase Part of your costs for your project will be the and site inspections during the construction design fees and naturally you would be worried phase. The fee structures are typically based on about the L.A. you end up working with. That a percentage of construction value, a visit rate actually is a key point to consider, the "working or a fixed lump sum fee. Combinations of these relationship" you develop with your architect structures are also common. Generally the L.A. not only for design purposes, but also because or their representative makes one visit per week he or she will be your representative throughout unless there is a problem and their presence is the project. requested on site. As for choosing your L.C. ,I am more inclined to A- Fixed fees are used for The first phase of personal recommendations. Start with your L.A. the work that they have the most control first, ask for his/hers preferences. If for any reason over, such as the preparation of design and that doesn’t work ask friends, relatives, neighbors, it is usually based on an a projects allocated colleagues etc. If you have good work experience construction cost and can range between 10 with subcontractors then ask them too, but make to 15 % of the full work cost. ASK APRIL 2012