How to avoid disputes with my landscaper

Stress less - enjoy Your Landscape Journey!

How to avoid disputes with my landscaper

You can have your project run smoothly … learn how to avoid disputes in your landscape project with these useful tips …

How to avoid a dispute when landscaping, hopefully your landscape project is just an idea at this stage? If so, great, because this means what I’m about to tell you is just in time to save you from a potentially stressful situation. If not, don’t despair there are still solutions available to you so keep reading …

Avoiding Disputes and Conflict with my Landscaper

Stress less and enjoy your landscape journey with careful preparation and planning.

A major factor for disputes, in general, is a lack of communication. This is why, depending on the complexity of your project, having a design package and/or a project manager can help. An initial consultation is a prudent place to start. Having plans and/or a project manager can improve the communication of your dream landscape significantly, making it a reality.

You’ve got this! Tap into Angela Maroney’s extensive knowledge and experience and get the guidance you need to design and project-manage your next landscape project!

Choose your landscape professionals wisely 

The first factor you should consider before engaging any trade is, do you need a landscape designer or landscape architect?

It may seem like an unnecessary expense eroding your total budget, however, careful consideration of your unique site and personal preferences by a qualified and experienced landscape designer or landscape architect can save you significant expense, time and heartache.

If you are unsure of which service or services you will need why not check out our blogs Don’t get led up the garden path by the wrong landscape professional and 4 costly mistakes to avoid in landscape design learn more?

Get the team right to avoid disputes

Are they easy to talk with? Do you feel like you are on the same page? Do they explain things well?

A good Landscape Designer/Architect will tell you the truth rather than what you want to hear. For instance, if you require extensive retaining walls and/or drainage work they will tell you that there will be a lot of extra expense involved.

Further factors to consider:

  • Do they present in a professional manner?
  • Are they on time for meetings?
  • Do they let you know when they are delayed?
  • Do they return calls and provide information when promised?

Do they seem genuinely interested your project, to the point of asking for more information about what you want?

They push you into quick decisions, pressure you sign a contract or to add options you didn’t ask for this should cause alarm.

Equally, if they come up with solutions during the initial consultation that should ring alarm bells, as a good Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect will be on a fact-finding mission during the initial consultation. In so much, as they should gathering information from you, the client, for the brief and assessing the site for design constraints and opportunities.

This information will be used in combination with research of all relevant legislation to provide you with design possibilities at the next stage.

Has your landscape professional got what it takes?

Be sure to check out your landscape professionals qualifications, experience and insurances. Think of this information as an insurance policy against possible disputes. Questions to ask your:

Landscape Architect:

  • Can they provide verification that they are currently registered with AILA?
  • Can you see plans they have drawn up for past clients?
  • Can you see photos of their designs once they have been installed?
  • Can you contact past clients for references?
  • Do they have professional indemnity and liability insurance as a minimum?
  • Are they up to date with council regulations in your area?
  • Can they provide an estimate of probable costs so that you end up with a design you can afford to build?

Landscape Designer:

  • Are they currently registered with AILDM?
  • What formal qualifications do they have?
  • Can you see copies of design plans for past clients?
  • Can you see photos of their designs once they have been constructed?
  • Do they have knowledge of current Council Regulations and Australian Standards?
  • What practical experience do they have?
  • Do they carry the necessary insurances, i.e. professional indemnity and liability insurance?
  • Can they provide an estimate of probable costs so that you end up with a design you can afford to build?

Landscape Contractor:

  • Are they affiliated with The Landscape Association?
  • Do they have a current structural landscape license?
  • Do they have formal TAFE qualifications?
  • Are they up to date with current Australian Standards and Council Regulations?
  • Do they have Home-Owners’ Warranty Insurance for jobs over $20,000? © 2020 Your Landscape Journey
  • Do they have current liability insurance?
  • Can you contact past clients to obtain a reference?
  • Can you see pictures of past work?
  • Can they provide a quotation for the work to be carried out?

Get everything in writing

Good communication is essential in avoiding disputes so ensure you have a contract and that all verbal agreements are confirmed via email or letter. The work to be carried out should be clearly detailed within the contract and/or quote.

All contracts and quotes should be clearly explained to you and reasonable time should be provided so you can review the paperwork before signing and returning to contractor. You should not feel pressured to sign anything on the spot!

For further information on contracts I recommend you read the Small Business Commisioner’s advice Avoiding business disputes

If you have a dispute with your landscape professional, what are your options?

Initially, you should try to resolve the issues with the landscape professional responsible.

If this fails, for a nominal fee, you can arrange to a have mediation convened by the Small Business Commissioner. A mediation would be preferable to taking the matter to court.

However if, you are unable to resolve the dispute, you can contact their relevant association, or Fair Trading NSW, if you need to proceed the matter to court proceedings.

Angela Maroney of Your Landscape Journey has helped many clients over the years turn their projects around resulting in approved, beautifully resolved outdoor spaces.

To arrange a consultation with Angela visit Your Landscape Journey to learn more about how we can help. 

About Angela …

Angela Maroney, of Your Landscape Journey has over 30 years’ experience, with extensive qualifications in Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design, Horticulture, Consulting Arboriculture and Construction. Angela has a Practitioners Certificate in Mediation (IAMA) and is a member of AILDM.


Tips to avoid disputes..

Do they refer to relevant Council, State DCP/LEP/SEPP/Tree Management Plan / Bushfire / Heritage / Environmental planning documents and Australian Standards, ensure your designs adhere where applicable

Get proof of their qualifications, current insurances and professional affiliations.

Get client references, photos of work completed or plans. 

Get a formal contract for the job so you’re all on the same page

Do they have Home-Owners’ Warranty Insurance for jobs over $20,000 (Construction)?

Why not sign up for Your Landscape Journal? It's free! Never miss out on our useful tips, latest news and exclusive offers