Before interviewing contractors, figure out the basics. Proceed with what you learned in school about writing assignments – use the ‘What, Where, When, Why, and How’ method.

Have a clear landscape plan so that the improvements can begin quickly with no wasted time, money, or effort.  The following five basic questions are essential in getting started with a plan.


Ask yourself first, ‘What are the problems that need to be solved with my landscape?’ Consider if there are any:

  • Drainage issues
  • Parking issues
  • Aesthetic goals – I want my landscape design to look nice, or I want to impress my neighbors… Or, I want a pretty and tranquil space to call my own.
  • Privacy issues
  • Deer or other critter issues

Once you’ve determined your landscape issues, take time to consider what you currently like about your yard, if anything. And while you’re at it, you should also jot down your wish list. In other words… ‘What does your landscape not have that you’d love to see in your yard?’ For instance, personal waterfalls, gardens, or additional trees and shrubs are great additives to any landscape design.

The main reason for considering the what is so that you can let your landscape designer know your general plans.  Even if you think there’s no way some of your plans can happen, it never hurts to ask. Designers will frequently surprise you with their creativity after you’ve discussed your wish list and your ‘what’ with them.


The next thing to consider for improving your landscape is determining where it needs attention. What areas need tending? Is it the front, back, side, courtyard, or another part of your property? Once you’ve chosen your ‘where’, put a label on it. Every professional landscaper has to start with a location, even if they have to work on your entire property.

From there, you’ll want to continue to be more specific about the different areas that need work. For example:In this corner, I want a butterfly garden.’ ‘Over in that spot, I want more privacy.’


What is your timeframe? Based on your budget and schedule, you’ll want to plan WHEN a timeframe is most suitable for you. For example, you and your family should consider:

Completion Pace

Do you want your project done in phases? Or, do you want landscapers to complete the work all at once and ASAP?

Scheduling Factors

Will the weather be a concern?  Will it be too hot or too cold for work? Homeowners also look at if they have events coming up and/or need the project completely finished by a specific date. At the same time, most people don’t want to schedule work around major Holidays.

Always Determine Your WHY

It’s important that you determine why you need these chosen areas in your yard addressed. Furthermore, ‘Why is this important to you?’ For example:

  • Do you want to use your yard in a certain way?
  • Is there a problem that’s costing you money?
  • Are you concerned about tree roots destroying your driveway, or faulty drainage causing foundational problems? In other words, is the issue causing other problems?


Lastly, you’ll want to consider the ‘how’ of your landscape project. How will you go about accomplishing the work? Determine the following:

  • How do you wish to use your yard?
    • Entertaining
    • Playing games
    • Exercising
    • Pets
    • Just want it to look nice.
  • How do you want it done?
    • Example #1 – You are very busy, and don’t want to deal with three different companies.
    • OR #2 – You want to manage this in detail, you want to hire a specialty company to come in and do what they do best.
    • Example #3 – You’re a Do-It-Yourselfer and want to attempt to do the project on your own after educating yourself. Or, you believe certain myths about landscape services and don’t want to hire professional help.
  • How do you want to pay?
    • Would you like to finance it?
      • Is this even possible? Where do you start looking for financing?
    • You’ll pay with a credit card.
    • You want to pay CA$H. Is it possible to get a discount for a cash payment?

Archer Lawn is Here to Update Your Landscape

You will always minimize distractions and mistakes when you take time to think about these vital questions before starting to search for contractors or gathering ideas on HOUZZ or Pinterest.  The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and money planning your project, only to learn that the work didn’t solve the real problem.  This will also help ensure that you select the correct company to do the work for you. Companies like Archer Lawn are professionals who can help you get the job done right the first time.

Starting with the right questions will ensure that you solve the correct problem(s) with the least amount of time and effort. It’s also vital that you have fun with the process. Whether you have done this before or your first time hiring a landscape company, the right company will make this a fun and easy process. Your landscape should never be a cause for worry or stress. With proper planning, it can be a beautiful, functional, and happy place to enjoy!

Trust your landscape to the pros at Archer Lawns.

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