Design and/or estimate process for landscaping, deck or roof structures, is always the most exciting part! During our meeting, we will talk about your lifestyle, wants and needs. Ahead of our initial meeting, it is advised that you think about the spaces you would like to create, the use of your backyard space and the design style you like. A picture is worth a thousand words so, if you see something you like, we encourage you to bring it along!
There are two ways that an estimate can be done for landscaping: either the customer already has a design (i.e. done by a design firm) and we provide the cost for work, or we can provide a quote for both the design and work to be done.
Working with a finished design, is a much quicker process and usually we can provide a quote on a project within 1-2 weeks, depending on the complexity of a project. Estimates are free of charge.
When we get hired to do a design as well as a quote, it is a much longer process. The design and quote process is outlined on our Landscape Design Services page. The timeline depends on the complexity of the design and the amount of back and forth communication with a customer.
Zoning information is one of the most important aspects when creating a design. Zoning will give us restrictions on the size of structures, coverages and setbacks from property lines. Zoning is specific to the city and zone you live in. You must remember, each zone will have different requirements. Therefore, it is best to check with your local zoning department ahead of our initial meeting.
If building starts without a permit, an inspector can stop work effective immediately, until all necessary permits have been obtained. Assuming the design complies with all zoning restrictions, permits can be obtained, and work can be resumed. If the design does not comply with zoning requirements, the project must be either, redesigned and rebuilt to comply or it has to go through a process with the Committee of Adjustment, which does not have a guaranteed outcome and is a lengthy process. It is always best to apply for a permit before work starts.
If a project is finished without a permit, there could be issues with your insurance company if something were to happen, or during the sale of a house.
The City of Toronto has one of the strictest zoning requirements regarding the amount of mandatory greenspace in the back/front yard. This condition does not affect a permit requested for a deck, roof, pool or any other structure. If landscaping is the only work being done, then no permits are required; however, compliance with softscaping coverages are required. This is to provide enough softscaping for rain water to get absorbed into the ground and to minimize the amount of flooding Toronto has been having, along with other benefits associated with more greenery.