Who Should You Hire for Your Landscape Works?

If you are building a new patio or renovating an existing one, you may be in a dilemma as to who to seek for professional services.

If you are not really sure of your own expertise, and doubt you'll get a perfect job done, then you should consider calling in any of these three specialists.
  • Landscape designers
  • Landscape architects
  • Landscape contractors
Landscape architects and landscape designers generally provide the same kind of services. They conceptualise a task and develop their design ideas that is expected to be unique, breath-taking one-of-a-kind designs, no matter the size of the landscaping project. At least that's what most of their paying clients expect. They handle both residential and commercial projects.

Landscape contractors on the other hand, though some of them are capable of designing anything that has to do with gardens and landscapes, they are more into the building and construction aspects of outdoor rooms and other structural features. It is they that bring to reality the landscape designers creative designs, and give their clients physical real life structures for them to see, feel and use.

These landscaping experts, who fall under a blanket name, landscape designers, can provide their professional services from the design stage, and in most cases, through to completion.

What to Expect From a Landscape Designer

Professional landscape designers and landscape architects will design the patio, draw up its plans and supervise the patio construction works from beginning to end. If and when they are retained for services, they should:
  • Examine the plot and determine the best location for the patio.
  • Prepare a design concept and produce preliminary and working drawings.
  • Draw up the cost estimates and bid specifications.
  • Arrange for the contractor and subcontractors.
  • Ensure quality materials are used for the project.
  • Ensure construction works goes on properly and that high standards and good quality of works is attained.
  • Make sure that all works are executed on schedule.
  • Make a final inspection of the completed work before 'handing over’

Finding a Landscape Architect

One of the best ways to choose a professional landscape designer to handle your patio design and construction works is to have one that's referred by a satisfied customer. Or one that you've seen his or her work and what you've seen makes you confident of his unique creations. After all your reasons for hiring an expert’s advice and service is because you expect the best.

Other ways to find accredited landscape designers is through associations such as the American Society for Landscape Architects (ASLA) or the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Other sources are any of the landscape contractors associations that can be found in many localities. You can check from these sources on-line.

Hiring Landscape Contractor to Build Your Patio

Landscape contractors are generally experts in outdoor rooms and garden construction, and the role they play is to supervise subcontractors and coordinate construction works associated with patio building. If the patio building project is large, the landscape contractor is responsible for the hiring of the subcontractors such as the carpenters, plumbers, electricians and tile setters.

The landscape contractor is also responsible for the materials purchase, and if the project is large enough, can save his client some money by purchasing at low wholesale prices.

However, if the patio building task is a less complex one, a landscape contractor may come in with a jack-of-all-trades experience and do the job single-highhandedly, without the help of subcontractors.

After all minor and major decisions have been concluded, the landscape architect and/or landscape contractor will present a firm quote for the patio project. Clients are responsible for getting the complete legal written contract agreements that will be signed by both client and landscaper. The contract should include the following:
  • Scaled drawings and 3D presentations
  • Detailed Specifications
  • Type of materials to be used
  • Quantity of materials
  • Project schedule and duration
  • Clean-up agreement (and clearing debris from site)
  • Payment agreement and schedule 

Avoid Unnecessary Expenses

You will be able to avoid unnecessary costs if you can stick to the working plans presented by your landscape designer once your patio building project commences. Any change to the confirmed (by you) patio designs after this stage has proven to be expensive and is therefore good to note.

And whatever you do, ensure that the contracts signed are airtight, and if you don’t clearly understand the contract terms used, it's good to ask a lawyer to review such. You may save money in the long term.

Whatever the size of your outdoors, and whatever the final designs of your patio will be, employing the services of the landscaping professionals is a safe bet. This way, your garden and patio design will turn out a masterpiece.

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