Picture this: I’m in my office and the phone rings. It’s Mrs. Smith, she saw our website, she has been pondering what to do with her yard, and she thinks we can help her create her perfect outdoor oasis! We start chatting, ideas flow, and it is really exciting! Then comes the crucial question:
“So, what is your budget for this project?”
Awkward Silence. I can almost hear Mrs. Smith thinking “Why is she asking me THAT?”
Believe it or not, I am not trying to figure out how much I can make off of you! Of course, a landscape business, like any business, needs to make money to stay IN business. But what we Green Industry Types REALLY want is to create a great place for you to enjoy your life, something that maximizes the usefulness and pleasure that you get from your property. After all, it is a lot of work moving the dirt and stone and soil amendments and plants that go into even the most basic landscape. We want you to LOVE what we have done for you, and LOVE your yard. (We also want gorgeous “after” pictures.)
What does a budget have to do with that, you ask?
First, it helps us give you the best recommendation on what you can do. If you would like a 6 foot high retaining wall, a 500 square foot patio and a fountain, but your budget wouldn’t cover the cost of the materials, that’s obviously not going to work. But I might be able to suggest an alternate plan that will achieve your most important goals.
Second, an initial budget saves your time, energy, and patience. There are endless options for materials in the marketplace, and the choice can be overwhelming. A budget can narrow down the options and help you focus on your priorities.
Finally, having a budget can help you get more enjoyment out of your new landscape. If you fall in love with a concept that is way outside what you want to invest, there can be a lot of frustrating mental gymnastics trying to chop it so it fits. The end result can feel diminished instead of fresh and new. You want to be comparing before and after, not before, after, and might have been.