28 Oct Questions to Answer Before Undertaking a new Custom landscape lighting Design or Redesign Project
By Mike Gambino
So you want to a new custom design or redesign of your landscape lighting? And it’s possibly the first time you’ve done it, or the first time you’re responsible to manage the process? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk through the high-level things you need to keep in mind when designing/ redesigning your properties landscape lighting system.
Why are you in need of a custom design or redesign of your landscape lighting?
Let’s get started with the reason you want a new custom design or redesign of your landscape lighting system. Is it because you’ve moved into a new home and there is no lighting or it isn’t to your liking or you are building a new home? An existing landscape in your home has matured and the current lighting just doesn’t quite meet the standards of your home and landscaping (aka, you need a refresh…bad)? Or are you going through a landscape update remodeling process? Regardless of the reason, designing or redesigning a custom landscape lighting system takes time, money, and resources, so it’s important to ask yourself the question of WHY before you get started.
How much will it cost and how long will it take?
Once you’re through the “why” phase, you’ll need to determine your budget. When it comes to landscape lighting design/redesigns, the cost varies just about as much as the timeframe. For a given project, the cost can range between $10,000 and $100,000+ (depending on the complexity of your project). The timeframe can be anywhere from a few days to more than six months – again depending on the scope and complexity of your properties landscape lighting design/redesign.
Who will Design/redesign your landscape lighting?
The next step is to decide who you want to partner with for your landscape lighting design/redesign. Most generalist companies do not have the capabilities in-house to complete a custom project like this. The good news is that you have options. For simpler systems, you might be able to work with the company that developing your landscape project. For more complex custom designs/redesigns, a boutique specialized stand alone landscape lighting design/build company may better suit your needs.
As mentioned, the costs can vary, but another element that varies is the style, capability, and experience of the company you decide to go with. When investing significant time and money into a project, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the prospective company’s previous work. Ask for referrals of past companies and talk to their previous clients to see what they liked, loved, or didn’t love about their work.
What’s your involvement once it gets started?
Once you get your landscape lighting partner squared away, and you know what you’re going to spend and how much time it should take, it’s important to realize that you’re going to be putting work into this as well.
What goes into a custom landscape lighting design/redesign? Project management for one…lots of project management. Whether it’s you, or someone else within your family, the landscape lighting designer/builder is going to seek feedback with approvals from principals along the way. While they are “doing the work” of building the landscape lighting system (and yes, it it’s worth it to spend the $$ to get a professional), don’t forget that someone on your end will be providing approvals and moving things along internally.
How much involvement with the design process do you want to have? Some want none at all leaving this to the experienced professional based upon the information they have supplied them. Some are looking to be very involved in all aspects of the process. Most custom landscape lighting design firms offer creative design services if that is not your forte. Keep in mind, the design of your custom landscape lighting system will make the greatest impact on the end result, it’s also one of the most important, so don’t under estimate the importance of hiring the best company to suit your needs..
The importance of keeping the project on task
Now that you know what goes into designing/redesigning a custom landscape lighting system from a high-level, it’s time to make sure you set a deadline and hold your landscape lighting designer/builder (and yourself) accountable. Many companies will take into account a variety of factors when quoting a timeframe, but simple things like making sure you turn around emails quickly (for approvals or any design ideas you’re providing), can either make or break your original timeline. It’s also important to hold your service provider accountable to the timeframe they’ve provided. Ask for progress reports, and ask hard questions if it’s not going the way you agreed to in the beginning.
4 questions to ask before you get started
Now, it’s time to get going – if you’re at the very beginning stages, answer the following questions:
- Why do you want a custom landscape lighting design/redesign?
- What’s your budget and desired timeframe?
- What kind of team do you want to work with, and do you have any contacts you can reach out to for a quote?
- Will you manage the landscape lighting design/redesign project yourself, or will someone else be responsible for project management and time/budget accountability?
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 26 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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