If you’re planning on a landscape project, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to hire a landscape architect, designer or contractor. Their expertise and knowledge may be of the same levels, but their areas of focus sure vary considerably.
It can indeed be hard to separate the tasks of these three types of landscape professionals. To clear the confusion, many design-build firms hire architects and designers internally to handle everything, from design, to installation to maintenance; other architects and designers, on the other hand, hire their own contractors. You can also hire a landscape designer or architect to create a plan for you, and then have them recommend a Good contractor. In most cases, when you hire a landscape contractor, all design work will be part of the deal.
So the question is, should you hire a landscape architect, designer or contractor? The answer depends on a few factors, particularly your budget, the size and timeline of your project, and the complexity of the job. But whether you believe it or not, there’s one more factor that is even deemed to be the definitive litmus test: personal connection.
You’ll want the landscape pro to listen to your ideas and goals, and work around your schedule. They should take their time checking out your property and asking you important questions, like what overall ambiance you want or whether there are specific design elements you’d like to include (for instance, wicker outdoor furniture). Of course, if they think that what you want isn’t very wise or possible at all, they will give you their professional opinion.
As always, when you’re looking for any type of service professional, the best route to a good one is a persona referral. So ask relatives, friends or coworkers if they’ve worked with a good one recently. You can also scan online directories built and maintained by several business associations. Ask about your prospects’ licenses, certifications and professional affiliations, and always request proof. Any proposal you consider must be presented to you in writing, and be sure to understand every single term and condition, as well as the fees.
Even if you’re planning on a DIY for your landscape project, the advice of experts is always valuable. After all, they’re not called that for nothing. And of course, considering the usually expensive cost involved, you’d like to make sure that everything is done right on the first try.