Why should I hire a Landscape Architect?
Registered landscape architects (LA) gain thier expertise by completing undergraduate studies at an approved university followed by a year internship and then sitting for the state licensing exam. This thorough process gives the landscape architect a unique and broad perspective and understanding of design and the environment.
In addition to guiding you through decisions relating to aesthetics, form and function, the LA is an important key to controlling budget and defining quality. When you hire an LA, you have a professional on your team who may qualify bids, inspect performance, and then give final approval of the workmanship and quality so that you know that you will be satisfied with the final project.
Is hiring a Landscape Architect expensive?
The cost of professional design is usually offset by the benefits of the bidding process. The fact that the LA can provide you with a plan that can be bid "apples to apples" by 3 or more contractors has tremendous value. The difference between competitive qualified bids is often 10% or more, which is the typical cost of a basic plan. Also there are several ways you can engage an LA, each with different costs. What you are paying for is time and talent. If an LA meets with you personally, prepares plans, participates in the bid process and then oversees the work, the cost will be around 20% of the construction expense. On the other side of the spectrum, you may engage a web based LA who receives your information via email, prepares plans and you do the rest. This can usually be done for 5% or less. Bottom line is that hiring a LA is a very cost effective and a financially prudent part of your sucesful project.
Is landscape architecture limited to planting design?
Definately not. Planting is but one element of outdoor planning. LA's are trained and qualified to guide you through grading issues, pool and patio layout, lighting, site planning, driveway configuration, rainwater harvesting, pond and waterfall design as well as a host of related subjects.
Okay, I want a landscape architect, what do I do now?
First you should determine your budget and how involved you would like me to be. If you would like for me to meet you on site to evaluate your needs, there is a reasonable initial consultation fee. I will be able to provide you with a accurate design estimate after our first visit. You may save the initial consultation fee by completing the "client Questionaire" section of this website. From the information you provide I can give you an accurate design estimate.