Q: Do you think a great project has to be expensive?
A: No, but to avoid the hazards of fly-by-night operators you may have to be willing to negotiate between your budget and your wish list. Contractors willing to cut corners on a quote just to get the job may wind up passing on greater costs to the client further down the road.
Q: But in those cases, can't the contractor or tradespeople be held responsible for shoddy work?
A: Of course, but no one wants to spend time and money chasing after something that could and should have been done right the first time. That's why my relationship with my tradespeople is so important - I know I can trust them to do the job right.
Q: Don't you think that sounds a bit like a standard answer?
A: Only because it is true. If a client asks for something that is unsafe or unwise, I know my guys will speak up rather than just cash a cheque and disappear. I live here, I will see my clients again and again in my daily dealings, and it is important to me that I can hold my head up when I encounter someone who has trusted me with working on their home.
Q: Any advice for people looking to hire a landscape design company like Artistic Gardens?
A: Sure. Like anything else you have to do your research. Find someone who has been in the business a while, who handles the scale of project you are looking to accomplish, and if possible, find someone you know who has dealt with that company. Word of mouth is very, very important in this industry, and that is why we do our best to make sure people are genuinely satisfied with our work at the end of each project.
Q: Thoughts on what makes Artistic Gardens stand out among the companies in Toronto?
A: I would say mainly that we live here, right in the heart of the neighbourhoods we serve. In our day-to-day travels we drive by the homes we've worked on and it is very satisfying to know we made someone happy, that we helped them make the most of their home. Okay, that, plus I think my designs are pretty great! (Laughs)