Total Concept’s John Storch explains why it is important to find the right designer for your property, including your pools!
A good designer or professional landscape architect will add value to your property, so it’s worth the investment. Not only will a designer ensure the entire space looks good and suits your needs, but they’ll also make sure the pools and features are located in appropriate positions and comply with regulations. But how do you pick one?
1. Research the designer
A swimming pool, cabana and landscaped garden is an investment. Just like a car or a home, it is important to get it right the first time. Be sure your designer specialises in pools (and understands the intricacies of how sanitation, filters, finishes and lights all work). Ask to see their portfolios and when you get shown a beautiful pool or cabana in a garden setting, ask what they have actually designed in the image.
2. Make a wish list
It pays to read up on the latest technology and gather ideas to decide exactly what you want. Consider how you plan to use the swimming pool, cabana and garden areas and look at functions, styles and materials you’d like to incorporate. When you convey this information to your designer, they should comment and let you know if your wishes are feasible for your property and also give a broad range of costs.
3. Make a scrap book
It’s often difficult to put ideas into words, especially when you need to agree with a partner! Images give your partner and your landscape architect a good sense of what you’re interested in for the swimming pool or cabana design.
4. Organise an initial consultation
An initial consultation with a landscape architect can be well worth the expense. They will sit down with you and ask about your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle and requirements for your pool and outdoor area. They should listen to your ideas and try to integrate them into a design. If they think your ideas are not suitable, they should also be confident enough to say so, give reasons why, as well as suggest alternative ideas. They should not simply dictate their own ideas to you.
In the initial consultation, a designer may:
- Make suggestions about what would suit your home, garden and other requirements.
- Discuss authority requirements and give you a better understanding of the approval process.
- Provide you with a fee structure.
- Show you before and after images of other projects
5. Develop a budget
Decide what you want to spend on your project. Speak with your designer to get a sense of what your project will cost and whether your budget is realistic. It’s best to know up front if you may have to adjust your ideas or stage your project as funds become available. Any good designer should be able to design to a realistic budget if required and help schedule the works, if staged, to ensure areas don’t need to be reworked or items forgotten.
A designer should have a good working knowledge of the various approval processes available and be able to guide you and organise approval for your project. Once approval is given, your designer should be able to recommend suitable pool builders, cabana builders and landscape contractors in your area and be able to provide specifications so you can obtain “apple with apple” quotations.
If you want to know more about the right designers for the pools’ aesthetic that you want, check for our Pool & Spas section!