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What Should I Consider When Hiring a Landscape Designer?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Once you’ve decided to have your property professionally landscaped, finding the right landscape designer is the next step. There are several important considerations that come into play when making a decision of this type. If you are not sure how to proceed, here are a few ideas on how to locate and contract with a landscaping expert that will produce the look and function you have in mind.

It is important to realize that the task of landscape planning is more involved than simply deciding where to plant a few trees or shrubs. Successful designers function in a manner that is similar to an interior decorator. They consider color, dimension, placement, and texture when creating a design that will enhance the look and appeal of your property. In order to accomplish this, the landscape designer must exhibit a great deal of creativity. Without this vision, the project will never get off the ground.

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Depending on the size of your property, it may be practical as well as visually appealing to add small structures here and there over the landscape. If that is the case, the design professional you choose should have the skill to design those structures. In a sense, you are looking for a landscape designer that is also a landscape architect. The ability to incorporate walkways, permanent seating areas, gazebos, and other elements into the layout of various types of flora and fauna is key to creating outdoor space that is both beautiful and functional.

In order to help the project go smoothly, it is important that the landscape designer be someone you can communicate with easily. It is usually possible to determine if the two of you can establish a working rapport when the designer makes the initial visit to the property. If the designer more or less tells you the way it will be and does not solicit any information about what you like and don’t like, there is a good chance that you will not be satisfied with the end result. Go for a designer who wants to know enough about you to develop landscape plans that reflect your personality as well as make the most of the terrain.

Always ask for references. It is not unusual for a landscape designer to offer references during the initial visit. However, if there is no offer, ask for them before the visit is completed. This will give you the chance to double-check your first impression, and also get an idea of how his or her clients feel about the design efforts after living with the results over time.

Finally, make sure your choice of landscape designer is properly licensed according to the regulations in your jurisdiction. Not all municipalities require that designers obtain certification or licensing in order to function in the profession, but many do. Check with local zoning boards and similar agencies to determine what type of credentials are required. This will make it easier to inquire about specific types of licenses that are relevant to your landscape design project.

Choosing the right landscape designer is a task that involves verifying professional credentials, determining if a particular designer has the creativity or vision you require for the job, and making sure the two of you can communicate with relative ease. Taking each of these attributes into consideration will help to ensure you are happy with the completed project and can enjoy the look of your property for many years to come.

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