Frequently Asked Questions

What makes JSL Exteriors unique compared to other companies?

Providing value to the customer so that the end result exceeds your expectations. Its not so much how much it costs, its the experience and the feeling you get when its completed. Trust, reliability, integrity, professionalism that you can expect.

If you want someone with a sense for design and creativity who is beyond your ordinary landscape contractor, JSL Exteriors stands out from the crowd. You can also feel good about his masters degree in Landscape Architecture and a design approach that strives to achieve unique, highly creative ideas that transcend the mundane.

Do you give free estimates?

Yes. I will come out to your property at no charge, discuss your plans, listen to your ideas, explain how the design process works and develop a budget range that the overall project would cost to build. Depending on how complex and detailed the project, you may need to separate the process into the design stage and then the construction stage. I will then tell you how much it would cost to develop a detailed plan/design based on your criteria, the site and the complexity of the elements you desire.

Not all projects require a separate design fee. See  Design Services  for fees.

My ideal client is one who is looking for a professional who delivers value and exceeds expectations and are willing to pay for that value. I am not your average ‘landscaper’ you see doing cleanups or tree trimming.

If you are shopping around for design ideas among 4-5 “bids” from several companies and not pay for a unique design, then I am not your company.  Conversely, if that is what you intend to do, call me first to create a set of plans so you can truly compare your bids “apples to apples” based on a design that is custom created for you.

Do you just want a contractor to do some work in your yard? Or do you want a design/build contractor who can make the finished project look professional and have that “designer” flair to it? That is how I am different than most other
landscape contractors.

Do you charge for your designs?

Yes and no. Not every project requires a carefully drawn plan, especially if the budget is fairly low. The other case is where the needs of the client are so straightforward, that putting it on paper would primarily be to calculate square feet and quantities.  However, if I am providing an estimate for a job and I prepare a plan to show the client, I do not give away the plan/design to the prospect without first having a signed contract for the installation of the job.

How can I phase the installation over time as finances allow?

Once you have a final design and the total cost is more than want to spend or initially budget, I can develop a phasing plan that fits your budget. The design can also be fashioned in a way that provides for an interim treatment to avoid areas looking bare. Underground gas lines, electric lines and plumbing should be done in phase one to avoid massive disruption later. I can explain how and when components should be built so as to not create undue expense during the subsequent phases.

Should I get the pool done first before the rest of the yard ?

You could be making a mistake. If you were building a custom home, would you work with a specialized kitchen designer and then build the kitchen before you designed the rest of the floor plan?  Or would you engage an architect who could design the entire floor plan, work with your kitchen designer and design all the other parts of the house knowing the costs involved so that you don’t end up spending your whole budget on the kitchen?

Too many pools are built before the surrounding landscape elements are considered which compromises basic design principles. A landscape architect takes a holistic approach to design. If you want your landscape and pool to look integrated, design the pool together with all of the landscape elements.

If you already have a pool contractor in mind, get me involved.  I can work with them or bring in my pool contacts. Bottom  line is I can help you avoid making common mistakes — like spending your whole budget on the pool.

What is the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

A landscape architect in most states are required to be registered (passing a state exam) not unlike a building architect or civil engineer. All landscape architects have minimum 4 year degrees in landscape architecture. A registered landscape architect (RLA) typically works on commercial projects such as public parks, offices, hotels, shopping malls, urban squares, and housing subdivisions – generally projects where there is a high degree of public use and the plans must be stamped.

Most registered landscape architects do not involve themselves too much with residential landscape design except for very high end projects because of the steep fees they charge.

A “landscape designer” is anyone who designs landscapes but is not registered.  They may or may not have education. JSL Exterior’s owner has a Masters in Landscape Architecture, not just a 2 year degree in Horticulture like many other landscape designers.  You may encounter a designer who provides all of the services and abilities of a landscape architect like JSL Exteriors, but since they are not registered, they cannot use the RLA title.

Can I get a design only and do the installation later?

Absolutely. If you would like to have a detailed scaled plan prepared with materials and specifications in order to get several bids then you will need a plan so that the bids are all preparing a proposal based on the same details.  Having several contractors prepare a bid based on their version of the design that you told them you wanted, is not comparing equal bids. Separate the design process from the bidding process and have a separate “master plan” prepared. JSL Exteriors can certainly help you with that see Architectural Services.

My landscape needs a makeover. Do you do remodels?

Absolutely. Many of my projects are remodels. They provide an opportunity to fix all the mistakes made the first time around and achieve a truly custom look catered to your desires. Or you may have purchased a home without much landscaping in the backyard. Perhaps you would like an outdoor kitchen or fireplace or replace and old cracked patio. Contact me for a Free Consultation.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions for JSL Exteriors