Questions and answers

Melbourne's International Garden Concepts - Freehand sketchHow much will my garden cost?
Estimates – We can provide you with a free estimate. Simply send us by email or post (42/103 Beach Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207) a copy of your site plan (a rough size of your garden will also work at this stage) and include a wish list, the quality of materials required and any other information appropriate to the pricing of your garden. Within 5 working days of receiving your details, we will supply you with a budget bill of quantities for your perusal.

A quote from the Landscaping Victoria website: "When planning a landscape project it is important to be realistic of your budget and the cost of landscape works. To assist you, a rough guide for estimating the cost of your project (as at June 2008), based on 60% soft works (planting, soil, mulch etc.) plus 40% hard landscaping (paving, walling, etc.): $150 to $350 per square metre. This cost will vary according to site conditions, access, and demolition and does not allow for design, maintenance, design details such as curved walls, steps, etc., semi-mature planting or furniture. Hard landscaping is more labour intensive and therefore more expensive."

Quotations/design consultations – We provide a site consultation, including a detailed quotation with a scope of works, a bill of quantities, landscape documentation and a freehand sketch (see image above) of the proposed garden layout. The price is $275 (GST inclusive), which is fully refunded should we construct your garden.

Melbourne's International Garden Concepts - CAD landscape designsCAD landscape designs – Our landscape design fees start from $550 for a simple concept plan depending on the scope of work. Planting plan, profiles or paving and landscape details are additions to the basic concept plan and are normally charged at an hourly rate. The design fee includes A3 colour plans to scale (see example on the right) with a comprehensive bill of quantity.

I am in the process of building a new house; when is the best time to consult with a landscape designer?
As soon as possible. For large gardens definitely at the house design stage. In this way external services can be built into the house design and the garden will complement the building with no surprises when the landscaping phase begins.

How do I decide upon a landscaping look?
This is where I will guide you through the process at your first design consultation. You can also stretch your imagination in number of ways, for example:

  • coffee table books
  • tours of open homes and gardens
  • visiting garden centres
  • attending garden shows

Consider your likes and dislikes. Try to visualize your home as it will be when landscaped.

What should I do prior to meeting the landscaper?
Assemble your notes, drawing and list of preference for the first meeting. Any photographs, magazines or books you have are especially useful; just as important are your dislikes. You will need to provide the landscaper with a copy of the site plan (house including the site boundaries on the one plan).

What to discuss with the landscape contractor?

  • Enquire about the contractor's experience and knowledge.
  • Ask for a reference from a just completed project (you are only as good as the last job).
  • Enquire about corporate affiliations such as Landscaping Victoria
  • Ask about what is covered and what is not.
  • Enquire about the contractor's insurance coverage.
  • Be absolutely clear about the contractor's terms of payment and dates of completion.

In Victoria all work with cost over $5000 requires a written contract. The points discussed above plus other important details should be included.

Is investing in your landscape a good choice?
Investing in your landscape pays big dividends. Real estate experts agree that investing in you landscaping makes a home worth more and much easier to sell. The garden is the first thing a potential client will see and most probably the last, and we all know that first impressions are lasting ones.