When you decorate you really only have one purpose, and that is to create temporary beauty. There is no consideration for sustainability, functionality, budget, maintenance, habitat, environmental stewardship, quality control, bid procurement or property value improvement. As landscape architects, we design, and in doing so put value in aesthetics – but our goals and purpose go far beyond that.
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. The training does not stop there; every 2 years LA’s must complete a rigorous continuing education program and 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. So, to answer the original question; who needs a landscape architect…..you do!
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.
After we receive the client questionnaire and have the opportunity to visit the site, we will provide you with a very simple but clear proposal to provide design services. Our billing method is fair and understandable, you will not be surprised with overages or hidden costs. In reality, hiring a LA is a very cost effective and a financially prudent part of your successful project.
Is landscape architecture limited to planting design?
Definitely 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?
The best way to get started is to fill out the online client questionnaire. This gives us a comprehensive understanding of you and your project from the very beginning. We are then happy to meet with you on site, fine tune the goals and present you with a proposal. Depending on our production load and the size of your project, the process typically takes 2-4 weeks to deliver preliminary drawings, another 2 weeks to finalize and then the bidding process takes an additional 2 weeks. So, if you if you are excited to get started, we should get together soon!