Sometimes getting your landscape exactly how you want it takes a team effort. Asking for help is not going against the DIYer’s code, it just makes sense. When in doubt on how to deal with a problem area of your yard or how to execute a specific design, call in a landscaping professional to help get you back on track.
Do You Call a Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect?
Say you want to create a backyard Zen garden, who would you call? A landscape designer has a horticulture background and can blend the right plants and materials together for your dream garden. A professionally trained landscape architect can also design your oasis but they know how to alter the lay of the land to appropriately deal with issues like bad drainage problems and soil erosion.
The Benefits of Working with a Landscape Designer or Architect
- Ideas – They may see options you haven’t considered.
- Wealth of knowledge – They know the best types of plants, hardscapes or water features that will work well for your landscape.
- Resources –They have the business contacts and inside knowledge on the different materials and companies you may want to use.
The scope of work you want to undertake will determine which of these professionals you use. (Architects tend to work on larger scale projects.) Decide on your budget and how far you want to take your partnership. Whether you want a design plan or someone to handle the bigger tasks, let these professionals supplement your landscaping needs in whatever way you desire.
Tips for a Productive Landscape Consultation
Your consultation appointment is a meet and greet when the designer or architect assesses the landscape. It is handy to have a site or plat map of your property – a map drawn to scale, that shows the land divisions in your neighborhood – so you can clearly define the area to be renovated.
- Give a brief overview of your landscaping plans – You will meet again to go over details. Focus on the desired look and feel you want in your garden.
- Tell them your budget – They will be able to tell you if your budget is feasible. You may need to do the work in stages as you can afford it.
- Discuss what you want from them – Do you just want a design plan or do you intend for them to build elements? Define your role and where you want to use your DIY skills.
- Find out how do they charge for services – This could be hourly or a lump sum quote. The standard request is to pay the cost of permits and some materials upfront. You should get an itemized quote within a reasonable time after your consultation.
- Ask for references and to see a portfolio – Most professionals will have a list available and their website should have photos of finished work. Ask them if you can contact their other clients.
- Discuss whether they are licensed and bonded – If they are doing some of the work then they should have insurance to cover their employees.
Why Go Through a Major Landscaping Project Alone?
A landscape designer or architect can resolve issues you have in your yard or help you formulate a game plan for that total makeover. Seek out the expertise you need and you may find it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Here’s looking at you, DIYer.
From bobcats and backhoes to wheelbarrows and shovels our expert staff is always on hand to help with your next DIY landscaping project. Does your landscaping design include a retaining wall? You’ll find lots of helpful tips in our blog, Summer Garden Update #1: Building a Retaining Wall. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.