Frequently Asked Questions

What is design/build?
A professional design/build contractor has the resources necessary to complete a project from the earliest concept to final installation. Southern Landscape is a “one-­‐stop shop” - our professional designers and in-­‐house construction crews work as a team to ensure a seamless process, from dream to exuberance. This allows us to control quality, timing, phasing, and construction details and plan modifications that ultimately determine your satisfaction.

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?
Wow. The number of variables that impact cost in an outdoor kitchen is enormous, as every creation is absolutely unique. The cost of an outdoor kitchen will be determined largely by the number and qualities of amenities, type of materials, size, and location. We have found that people in the Austin area typically spend $20,000-­‐$30,000 for a custom outdoor kitchen with a quality grill, refrigerator, and sink. Basic kitchens with minimal amenities can be constructed for less, and gourmet outdoor kitchens can approach $100,000 for top-­‐of-­‐the-­‐line, luxury appliances.

Is there a fee for the initial consultation?
We do not charge for the initial consultation. This is your opportunity to share your ideas and vision for your project and meet and learn about Southern Landscape and our design/build process. It is an opportunity for us to learn about you and your dreams.

Can you give me an estimate for my project during the initial consultation?
As professional landscape contractors, we take your dreams and your property seriously. That means we use our skills and professional expertise to assess and analyze your site, your project, and your expectations. That takes time and expertise, which is why we do not give estimates. Beware the contractor that immediately throws out a price without first considering all the details of your specific project.

Why do I need to hire a professional contractor when an unlicensed one may be cheaper?
There is always a cheaper option or a corner to be cut. We have been in business for over 40 years and have seen them all, from concrete poured without reinforcement to improper retaining walls to pipes and wiring cut and left exposed.

A professional contractor offers many protections to the property owner, even beyond the value of experience. If a worker is injured on your property and the contractor doesn't have insurance, you could be legally liable to pay for injuries and rehabilitation. We are fully insured and make safety a priority. Our employees are trained in their jobs and our expectations, and average over 10 years of employment with Southern Landscape.

Perhaps most importantly, you can find us when you need us. We proudly list out physical address and phone number - no hiding behind PO Boxes, prepaid phones, or non-­‐descript email accounts.

Is permitting required?
It depends. Most pure landscape projects do not require permits. Most projects involving construction (patios, arbors, fire-­‐pits, pools, or retaining walls, for example) will require some sort of permit. Our professional landscape designers will determine the permits required and handle the permitting process for you.

Will you work with my HOA?
Absolutely. Every HOA is different, and we have worked with most of them. We work with your HOA to conform to all specifications and approval processes during the design and construction processes.

We want a lot done, but cannot afford to do it all now. Can you still work with us?
You bet. It is not uncommon to do large projects in phases. Because we are a design/build firm, we can make recommendations as to phasing and design and construct your project in a way that minimizes staging conflicts and maximizes your return.

What if I already have a design or plan?
That is a great way to help communicate your ideas. We will review your design at the initial consultation and discuss the best way to proceed and achieve the very best finished product. In almost all cases, we will require additional design work to confirm that your design is complete and the details necessary for us to construct the project are sufficient.

If I already know exactly what I want, why do I even need design services or consultation?
Constructing a landscape or outdoor living project that meets your dreams and lasts a lifetime is more than simply digging holes and hammering nails. Every site has its own unique set of issues which need to be addressed -­‐ items such as sun exposure, site drainage, grading, materials selection, and installation techniques can make a drastic difference in your satisfaction.

Here’s an example. A recent client was determined to use a beautiful painted clay tile in his new pool, which we recommended against. When we refused to install that tile, he hired the local “tile guy” to install it. Three months later, we were called back to replace not only the disintegrated tile, but the pool equipment that had been destroyed by recirculating the debris. An expensive lesson in the value of professional design!

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