We engaged Green Apple in the summer of 2021 because they advertised themselves as the leading experts in Toronto regarding Front Yard Parking Pads. We paid for a front yard design. In short, we received the absolute bare minimum level of support, a generic unusable design that was way over our budget, and lots of wrong information.
Build Cost: The design was quite generic and not suitable for our home. We reached out to 15+ landscaping contractors for a build quote, and every single one of them gave us a quote of at least 2-2.5x the budget we had told Green Apple for the design. 0/10
Design Cost: The design cost is significantly higher than other landscaping companies. They maintain that this is due to providing support and knowledge for front yard parking applications. It is not worth it as no support is really provided. Another minor issue is that we were told that if we paid in advance we would receive a small discount. However, when the landscape designer got on site, he told us we had to pay there and then or he would leave. We intended on paying in advance anyways, but it seemed strange to mislead us about payment options. 2/10
Design: Every single one of the contractors we contacted for a build quote identified the same issue with the design (which we flagged during the initial design review and were told it could not be changed). Essentially, the design is unusable for actually doing the work. We had to make significant modifications in layout and materials, which begs the question as to why we paid so much for the design in the first place. 2/10
Support during the application process: As mentioned, one of the key points they advertise is that they are experts in front yard parking applications. Be warned, the extent of the support is that they e-mail the application in then send you a short pdf on how to talk to your neighbors during the polling. 2/10
Timeline: The timeline between requesting a design and obtaining and submitting the design to the city was good. A total of a bit less than 2 months including site visit, design, one revision and submission to the city. 7/10.
Some additional details on issues we faced with the design:
- The front yard parking pad dimensions were wrong as it did not include the required 0.3m driveway (no-parking-zone)
- As mentioned before, the cost to build as per the design was over 2x what we told them our budget was.
- There is an excessively large planter that we flagged during design and were told it was necessary. Not a single landscaping contractor was comfortable with building it as per the design as they did not think it would look good.
- We were told to not request a curb cut until then end of the process. When we asked the city bylaw officer about the curb cut, they told us that we should have requested it at the start and now it will be significantly delayed.