Landscape Architects: Really Necessary?

Many people feel that when they are ready to design a landscape, that a landscape architect is necessary. They do not feel that their natural tastes or inclinations are “correct”, and they feel that they may irrevocably ruin their yard if they try something on their own.

While it is true that some people may cause irreversible damage to their homes when they try their hand at design without a landscape architect, what they do not realize is that their problems have very little to do with design.

A landscape architect will not actually install your features or plant your flowers, trees, and shrubs. That is up to you. You either have to do it yourself or hire someone to follow the plan drawn out by the architect. So, the question becomes whether or not you really need the help of a landscape architect to design your home environs.

Optimizing Use of Space

Landscape architects can be very useful when it comes to using space. A square deck may save you money, but it may look out of place, and it may not be as usable as you would like. This is where a landscape architect can help. She or he can look at your available space, and suggest possible uses for it.

These architects are experienced in combining utility with attractiveness, and it may be worth your while to spend $50-$200 for a consultation or two. It really depends on your budget, and whether you can afford such expensive advice. The architect may also be able to give you ideas for walkways, fences, and patios. However, it is important to note that most landscape architects are not gardeners, and many of them are not experts in plant care.

When working in a certain area, many landscape architects make use of commonly used plants that are widely known to grow well in a particular region. This means that you may end up with a design that, rather than being personal, looks very similar to other designs. Also, your architect is not going to be able to instruct you on what you need to do to amend your soil if the plants recommended will not flourish with the make up of your soil.

Plus, many architects specify mature plants in their designs. This is because they are visualizing the attractive completed project. Mature plants cost much more than smaller plants, and such specifications may price you out of your landscape project.

The fact of the matter is that most people can determine their own preferences for landscapes by drawing out their own plans. With the help of local urban planning Web sites or a local university’s plant specialist, it is possible to discover which plants thrive in your climate. Additionally, you can browse online to find plans for a variety of projects and flower gardens. If something looks comfortable and attractive to you, then there is no reason why cannot incorporate it into your landscape design. The key is trusting in your own taste.

Something that can be a lot less expensive than hiring a landscape architect to consult with and then to design your yard (the whole process can cost upward of $800-$1,000), it is possible to use landscape software.

Many stores sell this software, and it is available online. It is fun to use the software to figure out various possibilities for your home, and some of them even come with information like what you need for a specific design, and approximate cost estimates. This software not only provides great amusement, but it can also be helpful as you try to figure out what you would like to do about your landscape.

Landscape architects can be very helpful. They can help you determine feasibility and show you how to best utilize a space for beauty and function. However, these services do not come with a hefty price tag. An argument can be made for saving money in the long run, but unless you have a massive project undertaking, the services of a landscape architect are rarely completely necessary.

You can sketch out your own ideas, or you can make use of software. And, as the average do-it-yourselfer does not often participate in a complete landscape overhaul, he or she is more than qualified to design for his or her own small landscape improvement projects.