As humans we are driven by design in all aspects of our lives. The complexities that arise in designing a garden or a landscape come from the necessary intersection of multiple disciplines in order to address all the layers that abound in nature. To succeed you need to have some proficiency with numerous fields of study: horticulture, soil biology, engineering, and art to name a few.
Most humans have an innate draw, and some a natural ability, to work on the land - to build things, to plant things and to imagine beauty. This has given rise to the booming Do It Yourself (DIY) market and is a wonderful aspect of our culture that professionals should embrace and nurture especially in this difficult economy. Often the mistake is for the professional and the amateur to stay separated when their cooperation would improve outcomes all around.
For the designer there is a whole new way to offer their talents in the market by working as a resource for design ideas, construction techniques and industry connections. For the DIY enthusiast, working with a professional designer will improve the project outcome in three distinct ways:
Ability to take advantage of ideas
Ability to avoid pitfalls and failures
Ability to tap into better resources.
Whether you are going to develop a project with your own two hands, or are going to leave it entirely in the hands of hired professional, check out these 7 ways that your project can get a leg up on success by working with a professional landscape designer.
Before running down the list of ways a designer can help you, there is one important tip on choosing your designer… Go LOCAL…
Why local? For the simple reason that this reduces travel time and response time in project planning and management. A way to ensure that you get the best ideas and service is to promote numerous meetings to discuss and review possibilities and concepts. Log onto www.APLD.org to find a Professional Landscape Designer in your area.
Landscape designers have loads of ideas. This is due in part to their training, but it is also an innate quality of the kind of person that chooses this career. While the formulation of ideas is a human quality, the ability to be abundant with ideas and to spin one idea into a new and improved idea using past experience and industry expertise is a unique talent of design professions.
Every parcel of land is unique as well as being part of a larger ecosystem. A professional landscape designer will have the skill to understand the macrocosm that will dictate the broad-brush strokes of design. They will also have the refined talent to read the microcosm details, which define the unique elements of a single area of focus.
Once there is a clear analysis of the project site, it is possible to come up with conceptual design ideas to contemplate. Every site has multiple solutions, but when the background research has been done thoroughly, a professional landscape designer will be able to narrow down the options to a concept that answers the needs, wants and wishes of the land owner while addressing the ecosystem characteristics presented in the existing landscape.
Just because a human being has an idea about a design, doesn’t mean that idea is actually buildable or sustainable. We can dream up some pretty wild stuff! By working with a seasoned professional, you can be assured that what you develop together will have the ability to not only be built, but also to be sustained.
Understanding what things cost is very important. We are all quite familiar with how much any development project cost. The design processes requires unhampered imagination and creativity in the beginning, but once the direction and aesthetic is defined it is necessary to bring the project into the reality of money. A professional landscape designer will be able to reasonably provide a project budget range or ball park budget through experience or be able to guide you through the pricing/bidding process, so that you can determine whether to build the project all at once or to phase it in over a few years.
It is monumentally important to draw the design process into the construction phase. Some designers work with in house contracting operations – known as Design/Build. Others work solo and have developed strong relationships with professional landscape contractors that they are confident in working with or recommending. These relationships are very useful to anyone planning to hire installers for the construction phase.
One of the real benefits of working with a professional landscape designer in the design development process is in having this person stick with you through the construction phase. Every project will have the potential to be improved upon as it is being built. Additionally, almost every project will have some “unknown” pop up during construction. Having your designer close at hand or as your project manager will ensure that you capitalize on opportunity and minimize any unforeseen pitfalls.
If you have a landscape project bubbling up in your imagination, think about contacting a professional landscape designer to help you develop and refine your ideas into an actionable plan for you or a landscape contractor to build.