Getting Down To Basics with Services

Finding the Right Landscape Expert – Architect, Designer or Contractor?

If you’re thinking of improving your yard, hiring a landscape architect, designer or contractor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. 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 avoid the confusion, a lot of design-build firms hire designers and architects on staff to facilitate the overall design, installation and maintenance; on the other hand, some designers and architects each work with their own contractors. Sometimes, you can just work with a landscape designer or architect to create a plan for your project, after which you will be referred to a trusted contractor. With most landscape contractors, the construction package covers all design work.

So the question is, how do you decide whether to hire a landscape architect, designer or contractor? This will depend on various factors, specifically your budget, your project’s size and timeline, and the job’s complexity. But believe it or not, there’s one factor involved that is actually considered the ultimate litmus test: personal chemistry.

You’ll want your landscape pro to value your inputs and listens to your goals for the project, and is willing to work with you when it comes to scheduling. 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 there’s something you want that isn’t possible or recommendable, they will express their thoughts to you based on their knowledge and experience.

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 around – relatives, friends, coworkers or neighbors may have hired a good one just recently. Another thing you can do is explore online directories that various industry associations maintain for public use. Ask them whether they have licenses, certifications and professional affiliations; if they say yes, have them show proof. All proposals you consider should be given to you in writing, and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, and fees.

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, you’re probably going to make a sizable expense, so you’d like to get it right the first time.

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