Questions to ask, when hiring a Design/Build Landscape Firm

Experience, creativity, credentials, owner involvement, solid references, viewing past projects, a clearly written or drawn game plan, and someone you can work with, is just as important as price. From start to finish, you will enjoy the experience working with our Cary landscape designer, so give us a call today 919-460-6364.

Landscape Design & Achitecture
Creative Garden Design

May I see landscape plans and photos of past projects?

Look for an artsy look to the plans, which is often a reflection of creativity. Ask questions about the plan layout, the intent of the design, plants specified and why they were chosen.

At Renz landscapes (RL) we ask that you view our site before our first visit…get to know us. Plans or simply proposals similar to what you will be receiving, are presented at the first meeting. In some cases, a simple sketch or a “list of work to be completed” is all that is needed to assure a solid understanding of what to expect. A price for “A Design Proposal” will be determined by the size and scope of the project.

We have a lot of community and city regulations; can you help us with these matters?

Yes. With our design background, we have worked with local landscape ordinances and regulations in the Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Chapel Hill, Durham, Holly Springs and Wake Forest areas. If you are part of a homeowners association, you may want to ask them for a copy of any standards or regulations, and how often they meet, before our initial meeting. A survey plan of your property that you may have received at closing is a good start.

Landscape Plan and Perspective Drawing

I see a lot of great ideas on Houzz and Pinterest; can I share these ideas with you?

Absolutely, also RL has an album of landscape photo ideas from patios, steps, outdoor kitchens to play sets that will get the ideas rolling. A photo is worth a thousand words, and can spark ideas about your potential project. Please visit our Landscape Ideas page to see more examples.

Landscaping Construction

What is the scope of your services?

Our services include: landscape design and contracting, drainage, ornamental plants and lawn installation, mulching, play areas for children, patios, decks, walkways, retaining walls, steps, driveways, outdoor kitchens, outdoor chimneys and fire pits, lighting, irrigation, drip irrigation, fences, gates, arbors, water features, and site grading. If a service is not mentioned above, we can recommend a reputable professional we know and trust.

How much experience do you have in landscape design and contracting? What are your credentials?

Curt Renz (Owner, B.S. in Landscape Architecture NCSU 1975) has 35 years of experience designing and installing commercial and residential landscapes in the Triangle Area. Our landscape foreman has 10 years experience in landscaping and hardscape construction. He is the backbone of our business with a designer’s eye, quality craftsman’s skills, and eye for detail.

How large is your selection of plants and where do you purchase them?

We purchase our plants from 8 or 10 wholesale nurseries in the southeast, with the majority of the plants coming from three nurseries in the Triangle area. We present photos of plants for your project during the design phase of your project.

Can you provide references with physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of past projects? Is it OK to call these people?

Yes. Below we have information on past projects, you’re welcome to visit, email or call. We find that emails work well, most people are more than happy to respond. Testimonials are the latest fad, but can you trust them?

Ornamental Trees & Plants

Landscape Design Drawing

How do you determine the price for completing a landscape design?

At our first meeting, we will briefly walk your property and discuss your needs, goals, budget, and the scope of your project. Next, we’ll get back with you presenting a written proposal or narrative describing issues and visions to be addressed in the design, and a price to prepare and present the design. Renz Landscapes realizes you want to invest in your landscape and not the design, so we keep the design time minimal, with enough written communication to avoid misunderstandings. Companies that charge cheap design fees usually build their lost time into the installation price and surprises always pop up. There is not a charge for the initial consultation if you estimate the project to be over $3,000.00 and you plan on breaking ground in the near future.

An estimate is what you do when you know what you want; a design is what you do to find out what you want.

If we hire you to design, are we obligated to you for the installation?

No, but we would like you to. You own the final landscape plan and are not obligated to have us install your landscape. At Renz Landscapes, we like to keep the design and the contracting phases as two separate financial steps. Some landscape companies don’t charge a design fee, but will add their design time into the installed project price. With this approach designers are rushed; because they are not being paid for their design time. Paying for design is an investment in a thoroughly thought out design, with phone calls and meetings obtaining your feedback, time spent locating plants that are available and preparing estimates of costs. In return you receive a plan of action tailored for you and you’ll know what you expect, preventing mistakes and miscommunication. Some “design only” companies will low-ball their designs, receiving 5-10% kick backs from the installers they recommend to install your project.

Thank you for your interest in Renz Landscapes, we look forward to meeting you!

landscape mural