In addition to the home itself, the landscape is an essential component for making a dream home come to life, which is why when it comes to building and creating your dream home, it's likely you will want to be working with trusted professionals to manage the various aspects of the project. Building your dream home will require several specialized professionals, such as: an architect, a builder, a landscape architect, landscape designer, etc. Bringing experts in from individual trade professions only makes sense. Having all these trade professionals working in collaboration with one another will, in many circumstances, be the key to creating the best outcome for your property.
As a landscape lighting professional, my goal is to evaluate each landscape & home to create layers of light for safety, security, and aesthetic appeal. For my company to create this to the best of its ability, we actively engage with other trade professionals and collaborate with them on the job site. Every so often, however, we are invited to the project after everyone else is long gone. We are frequently called in to do expensive repairs on problems that could have been avoided, if we had been there to work on engineering the outdoor lighting installation properly, and in collaboration with other professionals.
Sometimes we are asked to come fix the lighting problems that the Landscape Build Company inadvertently created. Understandably, for the sake of simplicity, some may choose the one stop shop approach and select to have their Landscape Build Design Contractor install their lighting instead of calling a Landscape Lighting Designer. In some cases this might be the better option. However, be sure to ask the following questions if you choose to have such a company light your property:
- Who will be performing the design and installation? Should a sub-contractor be used? How will warranties or service be addressed?
- Can they provide references whom you can talk to? If so, call and speak with these references. Ask how the process went; if they encountered issues how were they resolved? Would they use this company again?
- What is their process for service? Do they offer an Annual Service program? Make sure they not only offer service when needed, but better yet have a full service department that is dedicated to keeping your lighting system in tip top shape once a year, or whenever requested.
It has been our experience that most design/build landscape companies are limited when trouble comes down the road. A preventative maintenance program is imperative to keep your lighting system performing from year to year.
Collaborative planning, foresight, and collective determination are what you should look for in the professionals you hire. Hiring a company who claims they "can do it all" may be appealing for convenience sake, but it's important to keep in mind that these companies may not be able to provide you the quality and overall satisfaction that various specialized trade professionals can offer.