Exterior Worlds ensures the highest structural, functional, and aesthetic quality of its professional landscape designs at a cost representative of a high level of excellence well worth investing in by clients looking to improve home value and maximize their quality of life. Estimating these costs is done systematically in conjunction with a master plan we develop through close, ongoing consultation with each client. We never assume anything, but rather make it a point to listen carefully to client needs and wishes first, and then make professional recommendations on how to best fulfill these expectations.
Because many landscape designs represent highly variable cost factors, the master plan is essential to accurately estimating final cost well in advance of project implementation. This is why Exterior Worlds spends so much time in consultation with the client in order to develop every detail of the plan before cost are every finalized.
There are two reasons we do this. To begin with, placing a detailed schematic in front of the client allows all of us to see exactly what elements are most essential to the project, and which elements may need to be modified for the purposes of trimming costs. Secondly, it shows our team exactly where additional expertise will be required from partner companies who are subcontracted to build specific structures and assist in further developing landscape aesthetics.
There are many types of subcontractors that we work with, any number of which may called upon to fulfill a role in one of our projects. Lighting design professionals are always hired to so that guests and visitors can clearly see and enjoy the landscape throughout the night. A large percentage of hardscapes require specialists in concrete or masonry. Swimming pools always have to be built by pool companies who are hired to follow our specifications for custom swimming pool design.
Estimating the costs of these many specialists involves factoring their cost of materials and labor rates into our project invoice. We also have to take into consideration the total number of subcontracted entities involved in any given project, and we must factor in the amount of management time we invest in overseeing the work of these specialists. This is the only way to ensure their products are developed in accordance with the scope and vision of our master plan.
Professional landscape estimating also requires cost studies to determine which materials are most appropriate to design objectives, and affordable to the client’s budget. If budget is a major concern, basic materials will have to be used in order to trim costs. Some people are willing to pay more to have an opulent or luxurious look, however, and authorize the use of premium materials in the construction of outdoor buildings and hardscapes.
For these clients, landscape estimating has to factor in the customization factors of both the design and construction phases. It takes much more time draw up plans that feature a high level of craftsmanship and ornamentation, and the cost of the materials needed for such sophistication is almost always higher.
Labor costs can be highly variable. Depending on the complexity of structural design, the amount of time needed to complete the project will vary significantly. Larger structures are naturally going to feature more square footage and open vertical space, and this, of course, will directly impact project completion time.
It may be necessary at this stage of the landscape estimating process to pause and take a step back. We may need to scale down the size of some of these structures in order to keep costs within client budget. Or, we may need to implement the project in phases so that the client can pay for each stage of the project in an installment plan.