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. The help clear the lines, many design-build companies have in-house architects and designers who take care of everything, from designing to installing to maintaining landscape projects; other architects and designers, on the other hand, each have their own contractors the work with. You can also hire a landscape designer or architect to create a plan for you, and then have them recommend a Good contractor. If you work with landscape contractors, all design work is considered part of the deal.
So the question is, how do you decide whether to 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 believe it or not, there’s a fifth factor, which is generally considered the ultimate litmus test: personality fit.
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, whether you’re looking for a landscape professional or any other service provider, a personal referral or recommendation is your best bet. Ask your friends, neighbors or coworkers if they’re hired a good one before. You can also scan online directories built and maintained by several business associations. Ask them whether they have licenses, certifications and professional affiliations; if they say yes, have them show proof. All proposals must be given to you in writing, and make sure all the terms and conditions, including the fees, are clear to you.
Even if you’re thinking of pulling a DIY on your landscape project, the advice of experts is still indispensable. After all, there are many reasons people call them that. And of course, since this will probably not be cheap, you’d like to ensure that it will be done right the first time around.