When is the Best Time to Hire a Landscape Architect?

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“When is the best time to hire a landscape architect?” A question homeowners have asked for years with an elusive answer that depends on a multitude of factors. To answer the question, homeowners should first consider their home’s plot and design. The project’s scale will determine how many professionals you need to work on your landscaping project.

Small projects that require little to no planning, such as planting a few plants in your garden, might not require a landscaping architect. However, if you plan to remodel your backyard by installing a patio, walkway, or fountain, a landscape architect can provide a tremendous amount of value. 

Landscaping architects have more credentials and are authorized to work on more intricate projects than designers. They also coordinate with other professionals to manage your project from start to finish. 

A long-time staple of landscape architecture in Denver, CO, Lifescape has always innovated landscape architecture and construction for high-touch residential and commercial projects. Our timeless outdoor retreats conform to our clients’ lifestyles and preferences while implementing trends that last the test of time. 

What Is a Landscape Architect?

Landscape architects are designers of outdoor spaces that accentuate natural beauty and seamless outdoor design. They understand how to combine an ecosystem’s natural elements with the customer’s artistic vision for their space. To accomplish this, they devise blueprints, consult with general contractors, and manage the landscaping project from start to finish. 

A landscape architect’s scope of practice isn’t limited to residential or commercial spaces. They can also design scapes for national parks or forests, city parks, regional recreation areas, and educational projects. 

If you’ve ever wondered who was responsible for designing and developing a gorgeous golf course or botanical garden, look no further than a landscape architect. Much like structural architects, landscape architects combine beauty from the natural world with their artistic vision to create truly marvelous spectacles. 

What Is the Difference Between a Landscape Architect and Landscape Designer?

Landscape architects are different from landscape designers in few regards. Most notably, landscape architects have to obtain at least a Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. They also must be licensed in their state to practice landscape architecture. 

Landscape architects traditionally attend colleges accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects and pass standardized tests to receive their license. Seasoned landscape architects can work with a broader range of plots than landscape designers and demonstrate an erudite understanding of almost any site one can think of. They understand how to plan scapes around the following areas effectively: 

  • Steep slopes.
  • Irrigation and drainage systems. 
  • Designing outdoor structures. 
  • Solving equation problems. 
  • Designing or advising on service lines, entries, or driveway placement.

Landscape and Garden Designers 

While landscape architects can work on any landscape project regardless of size or design, landscape and garden designers typically only work on smaller residential projects. This trend doesn’t necessarily mean that landscape designers can’t have the same knowledge and experience level as a landscape architect; they simply lack state licensure, which more prominent companies and government agencies generally require. 

Landscape designers can either be self-taught or hold a degree in landscape architecture or design. However, most landscape and garden designers work primarily with soft scape. Soft scape includes elements such as plants, mulch, and sod, while hardscape includes features such as: 

  • Gravel or stone. 
  • Inanimate objects.
  • Retaining walls.
  • Pavement.

These important features will help increase the structural integrity and functionality of various outdoor spaces.

When Should I Use a Landscape Designer?

If you’re planning a complex project that incorporates various plants, and you’re unsure of how to implement local flora, a landscape designer can help you with your needs. They will understand which plants work best in your plant and whether the plants you desire can thrive in your environment. 

Because landscape designers often have backgrounds in horticulture, they can develop a blueprint for your yard and help you avoid costly mistakes that result from using the wrong plants in the wrong location, as well as using the wrong soil-types for different plants. 

When Should I Use a Landscape Architect?

If your plan is more extensive than your backyard and you plan on rearranging hard elements, a landscape architect might be your best bet. Because landscape architects work on larger projects that incorporate multiple general contractors, they are better equipped to handle large-scale projects. 

The Benefits of Working With a Landscape Architect

There are many benefits to working with a landscape architect. The following examples are just a few perks to consider. 

Improve Your Home Value 

Using a landscape architect not only improves your home’s appearance, but it also ensures proper construction, helping you avoid any issues that may arise in the future such as code violations or structural integrity issues. 

Landscape architects bring meticulous attention to the artistic design and function of your landscaping project. This attention to detail improves the value of your home by implementing a beautiful and durable design.

Design Sustainable Projects 

Landscape architects’ expertise incorporates design methods that reduce maintenance costs and limit your effect on the environment.

Because Denver landscape architects understand native plants, they reduce water costs and chemical applicants. In turn, important species such as bumblebees and butterflies can use your garden or backyard as a lush refuge. An example of sustainable practices landscape architects incorporate is xeriscaping, which reduces the need for additional watering or irrigation. 

Incorporate Permeable Paving

Practices such as implementing permeable paving improve the efficiency of your landscape project. Permeable paving also adds to the physical appearance of your sidewalk or driveway. It reduces runoff and increases groundwater recharge. Increasing groundwater recharge allows more water to flow down into the ground and increases the amount that reaches natural aquifers. 

Efficient Tree Placement 

Effective tree placement not only looks better; it also improves your privacy and reduces your energy costs. Landscape architects understand when different tree types bloom and implement efficient arrangements to either provide shade or let in sunlight. 

Efficient Irrigation Systems

Landscape architects understand how to design efficient irrigation systems for your landscaping project. Irrigation systems such as drip irrigation deliver water to plants at their roots.  Additionally, poorly installed sprinklers cost extra money while killing the plants it intends to help flourish. 

Many residential landscapes have irrigation systems that over-water gardens, a problem that a landscape architect rectifies. Finding ways to use water more efficiently is both good for the environment and for your monthly water bill.

Project Management

Landscape architects stay with your project from start to finish, devoting themselves to completing your project by sticking to deadlines and holding other contractors accountable. Larger projects have many moving parts that landscape or garden designers might not be equipped to handle. Using a landscape architect gives you the added assurance of having a licensed professional coordinate your project. 

Enjoying these credentials manifests in more accurate budgeting and more precise conceptions of your project. A good landscape architect will walk you through your project, imparting their knowledge to you along the way, so you better understand how your project will come to fruition.

Hire a Landscape Architect If You Have a Larger Project That Needs Extensive Planning 

Landscape architects provide a level of planning that landscape designers cannot. Because of their ability to work with hardscape materials, and their ability to design structures, they are an essential component of intricate landscape design. Lifescape Colorado combines proven landscape design trends with your personal preferences to bring the design of your dreams to life.

Our landscape architects also understand how much the interior of your home affects the exterior landscape design. This understanding comes into play, especially for those building a new home. Involving a landscape architect before construction begins is an efficient way to preserve your landscape preferences. 

If you have a high-cut landscape project planned, and you’re unsure of how to complete it,  contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Lifescape Builders.