In a context where face to face contact between professionals and homeowners has always been key to successful projects, how do we move forward when that contact is now done virtually? Keep reading to learn about the steps you need to take to get your dream backyard in today’s climate.
Step 1: Establish contact on your terms
Call your landscape professional and advise them that you wish to limit face to face contact from now on, until further notice. Establish how you want to communicate moving forward and how you want your interactions to go. To establish virtual contact with your contractor, there are many free platforms you can use. If you both have iPhones, you could communicate through Facetime, which is an easy and effective platform for all parties. If you’re both using different devices, you could use Facebook Messenger Video Chat, Skype or Google Hangouts. There is also a video chat platform called Zoom. Learn more about its features and benefits here. Luckily, in this day and age, there is no shortage of available platforms to communicate with!
Step 2: Describe your vision
Provide your landscape professional with a detailed description of your vision. Be as precise as you possibly can. Discuss your description with your contractor to make sure they understand everything and that you’re on the same page. Some homeowners even create mood boards using Pinterest Pins to properly communication their vision to the professional. This is a free and easy way to make sure your contractor fully understands the aesthetic you want. For inspiration, we offer many tools for you to filter through. Check out our Pinterest page or our Catalog and Look Book. No matter your style, we’ve got you covered! At this stage, you can also provide a wish list to your professional in which you list the features you want your space to include. Later on, you both can figure out which ones match your budget. Check out our feature checklist in our Backyard Planning Guide!
Step 3: Send photos and videos of your current outdoor space
Provide your contractor with as many pictures and angles of the site as you can. Walk-through videos are also a good idea. Videos allow you to add commentary, which allows your contractor to get a better idea of your vision. Patrick also suggests recording audio notes if you have ideas or questions that pop up along the way that you want to run past your contractor.
Step 4: Measurements are important
Providing measurements to your contractor is ideal. That gives him the opportunity to know exactly what he’s dealing with in terms of the size of the site and possible challenges. If you’re uncomfortable with taking measurements yourself, ask your contractor if he would be comfortable coming over to your house to take them himself. You two don’t have to come into contact with one another, which makes this option very interesting for both of you.
Step 5: Receive your estimate
In a week’s time, the contractor should provide you with an estimate and, if you decide to move forward, you could request him or her follow up with a drawing. Once the drawing is approved by everyone, the project officially begins. How exciting!
Tools that exist
Furthermore, to simplify the product selection phase, we’ve designed a 360 virtual tour of one of our Dealer boutiques. Walk around our store and discover our vast selection of products, right from the comfort of your living room! Your landscape professional can also drop off product samples for you to see and get a feel for. There’s even an app called iScape that allows you to visualize your project virtually. Choosing your products has never been easier!
These are challenging times for everyone. However, it doesn’t mean everything has to stop! We are lucky to live in a time where technology is so readily available to us and allows us to find ways to work around today’s challenges. You don’t need to put your dream backyard on hold. We’re going to help you make it a reality!
Check out our Estimation Tool to have a good idea of the cost of your future backyard renovation project!