26 Jan Gambino Custom High Performance LED Landscape Lighting System: Our Process from start to finish
By Mike Gambino
Design Consultation meeting (with all decision makers present)
Getting to know our clients: The first step in the landscape lighting project process is getting to know our potential client. Sit down for a meeting to discuss and gather information about their personal style preferences and lifestyle. Discuss their specific wants and expectations, as well as their vision for their landscape lighting system. Get a sense of who our clients are and how they intend to use their outdoor space. Once we’ve get a feel for their unique personality and interests make some suggestions on how our business can turn their abstract ideas into reality, while still bearing in mind their need for a functional and practical space. Make sure to take note of all client details and communication history (the sales process from start to finish)
Ask questions and make suggestions:
- Why do they want a Custom Gambino High Performance landscape Lighting System on their Property?
- Why are they contacting us now? Is there an event or special occasion they need the project completed by? If so what is that date?
- Do they like bold dramatic lighting that will draw attention or a more subtle downplayed look? Or a combination of both? Their answer might determine how bright or dim the lighting should be.
- Are they hoping to use their landscape for entertaining at night? Will they primarily be viewing the lighting from outside or from within the home? What are the primary viewing locations?
- Do they have any special trees, plants, statues, water features or anything else they would particularly like to have illuminated maybe even a swimming pool or patio area.
- Do they have dogs or other animals that need to go out at night? Children that need light to play? Are they hoping to use the space in the winter months, as well as the summer? Listen to their needs and wishes and provide compelling feedback and ideas.
Explaining the process
After we have gathered enough information on our clients to really gauge their vision, we discuss our typical design process. Explain how our design concepts are generated and how our customers can expect the process to work:
Talk about the design layout process, as well as the actual building/installation process. And after explaining the course of action, show off some of our portfolio projects that will appeal to our clientele so they can get a feel of how lighting will look in their own yard. If they show an interest in outdoor entertaining, show some of our best patio, deck and swimming pool area lighting work. Point out fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, water features, interesting dining and lounging areas…whatever we think will get their attention and appeal to their vision and that is pertinent to their own project. Explain our expertise, and be honest and open about the types of projects our company typically handles and specializes in.
While our client is busy viewing our portfolio book of work we are walking the property collecting and gathering all necessary site information to begin the estimation process. Noting the amount and type of materials we will need.
Estimating the Project
We then put together an appropriate project quotation that keeps in mind all our costs – materials, labor, equipment and overhead onsite to present the estimate to our customers right there and then. We use this opportunity to explain our pricing and to go over the construction process with them. Also, use this meeting as an opportunity to answer any questions they may have so that we and the client are on the same page as to what is actually being proposed to them.
Once the quotation has been approved (If all goes well and hopefully at the first meeting), we’re ready for business! The Agreement is drawn up that includes a detailed description of the job that is to be completed, the warranties, payment arrangements, as well as the project’s estimated start and completion dates with a deposit from our new client tendered.
First Day on the Project
Crew arrives in morning, discuss any pertinent matters and answer any questions our team members might have
Ensure the property is accessible for our equipment and discuss with our crews where lighting equipment will be positioned. Go over site preparation and project setup with our crew so we all know what we are doing.
Make delivery of and Review and assemble materials and make placement of materials on the client’s property. Install timer controls, Hang transformers, layout cable , distribution/junction boxes, connect wiring, set LED module brightness levels and load balance the lighting system. This may take only 1 day or take several days depending upon project size. Client provides feedback as to brightness levels, design aspects or makes known to us any other concerns at this time. Adjustments are made as needed. Once client is satisfied and signs off on the finished look a project progress payment is due.
At this point, the design and build project is in progress – which might include digging conduit and cable into the ground, cementing spread/pathlights in place, making final load balance adjustments. Throughout the entire process, we are in communication with our clients. and near the end of the project, inform our clients of our final work day. Schedule a time for a final walk through.
With our clients there to ask any questions and complete a project inspection. After our inspection, present an invoice with full payment due.
Final Day on the Project
Focus is placed on final installation details and meticulously cleaning up the property and restoring the existing landscaping so our clients can fully enjoy their completed Gambino High performance LED landscape lighting system.
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 20 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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