Can FREE Designs be Successful?

garden design technical drawinggarden design technical drawing

Free design services for gardens have become very popular in recent years offered mainly by landscape contractors. Whilst it sounds like a good service for contractors to offer potential clients some free help to come up with ideas in exchange for a chance to win a project, is this really a successful and value for money approach? Of course a free design has to be done by someone after a careful survey which takes time and will cost something, which is usually built into the quotation for the works. When a design is being done for free, not much time can be afforded to work out the best ideas or accurate details. Few free services will give the clients the drawings unless they go ahead with the project. This is fair because the contractor has to pay for time to produce a design and can’t afford to have his drawings shared freely with others.

The images shown are one type of free survey / design commonly offered with minimal detail or design and an extract of my design later for the same job. The client was fairly pleased with the initial free survey ideas but couldn’t visualise the finished job and called me to look at it afresh. The client was amazed how much more was possible and had my design built for very close to the same initial quotation including my survey and design fixed fee. A good design worth having done, needs to be carried out by an experienced surveyor and designer who can spend a lot of time with a client to guide them expertly through many choices and likely costs to arrive at the best design for them. It is surprising to many clients how long it takes to work out the best design for them, even on very simple projects. A detailed accurate design is needed to get competitive quotations on a like for like basis.

Clients who pay to have a survey and design done independently put themselves in the driving seat and can use those drawings as the basis of a contract to get best prices. Inaccurate sketchy free designs even produced on computer programmes will need a contractor to add costs to his quotation to work out the fitting detail of a job on the ground which is easily more expense than my survey and design service costs. My survey and design service is so competitive that project build quotes with my contractor contacts from my designs are more competitive than free design jobs even on small projects and I spend much more time with clients, getting designs just right, achieving so much more for less money.

If you are considering a project why not give me a call and we can have a chat about some initial ideas for you and how you could progress your plans.

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