Landscaping will enhance any property and choosing the right landscaping to give it just the right look takes a bit of creativity and landscaping savvy. Choosing the right landscape architect is essential for any building project, whether it is a new project or an update or revival to an existing project.
Let’s discuss six things to consider when choosing a landscape architect.
1. When to Hire a Landscape Architect: A landscape architect is necessary when the project must comply with municipal or state rules, regulations and ordinances. Typically, a landscape architect will be necessary when a drawing endorsed by a licensed landscape architect is a requirement. If retaining walls are part of the landscape design, the walls will need to be designed and approved by a landscape architect or civil or structural engineer, depending on the type and height of the wall.
Sensitive Design Issues: A site that has sensitive issues such as working in a floodplain or protected wetlands or perhaps altering a public right of way may require a plan with a landscape architects endorsement. Regulations that go along with such design intricacies will often be more stringent.
2. Experience: It is important to choose a landscape architect that has local experience, especially if municipal zoning, planning and construction regulations are involved. Quite often, the landscape architect will have to work with municipal officials in the permitting process and the process will be more efficient if the landscape architect has a working knowledge of the regulations. It is important their experience includes working on projects similar to yours. A landscape architect will always have a portfolio of their work to show perspective clients and they will be willing to provide references upon request. Review the portfolio with the landscape architect and ask about design features that may be eye-catching or similar in-goal to yours.
3. Professional Licensing: Always choose a landscape architect that holds a valid and professional license in landscape architecture. That assures clients they have the necessary education and experience to do the job. They have demonstrated their knowhow and expertise about landscape architecture including selection, installation and management of landscape materials.
4. Good Communication: A sign of a good landscape architect is they listen to your desires for the project. Their input will prove invaluable when it comes to the final design, as they will be able to translate your ideas into a project that is manageable, within budget and construction worthy. The nicest landscape design in the world is useless if construction proves to be difficult.
5. Initial Meeting: Meeting the landscape architect in person is essential in the choice process. Ask the landscape to describe their work and philosophy behind their design methods, as well as their background. That will give you an idea of their approach to landscape design. This type of conversation will help establish trust between the client and landscape architect.
Site Meeting: It is important the landscape architect visit the site for an initial site inspection and discussion about the goals for the project. It is at this meeting where the landscape architect will be interviewing you as much as you are interviewing the landscape architect. It is important both sides be flexible to some degree to help establish a positive working relationship.
6. Budget: Be realistic about the landscaping budget and put that number on the table during the initial discussion. Most reliable landscape architects will be candid about your budget and the design features they can include for the cost. A reliable landscape architect will never try to up sell the project for a bigger slice of the pie.
For more information about landscape construction and working with a landscape architect, please contact us and speak with one of our landscape professionals.