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tara_n

11:17AM | 06/08/03
Member Since: 02/07/03
4 lifetime posts
Bvlawn
Hi,

We will be moving to our new house in a couple of months. Before we start any lanscaping, I want to get an architect and get a master plan for the front and back yard and landscape in stages. My husband thinks it not necessary to spend money on an architect - use a software tool.

Can someone give me some opinions on this - if you have used an professional architect or not.
Thanks much..

k2

02:05PM | 06/08/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Greetings Tara_n,

My wife hired a landscape architect a few years ago for her rock garden. We thought it was well worth it. There were a few things he thought of that we never would have, including:

1. Knowledge of SCALE. For example, how large a boulder to place in a particular location given its surroundings.

2. His connections. He knew the best places to buy boulders and plants, and knew people to come in and do them. One of the best things was that the folks work together a lot--so if things don't "look right" they could just say, "Hey, that rock needs to be rotated a bit" to give it the best appearance. My wife NEVER could have done that with ME! They also knew things like, say, what is the largest boulder they can put in without having to bring in a crane (VERY expensive).

3. The landscape architect also has a great knowledge of plants that work in our area--drought resistant, etc.

The end-result was something that is definitely not 'cookie cutter'. My experience is that home computer drafting tools aren't really as easy as they'd like you to think!

For us, it was well worth it, and gave my wife a very suitable garden area that she can enjoy for many years.

Whether or not you choose to use a landscape architect, best of luck on your project! Enjoy!

treebeard

04:16PM | 06/08/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
265 lifetime posts
I'll assume for the moment that you have absolutely no landscape design, material, or planting experience.

You might be able to do just as well with a landscape designer as a landscape architect. The LA will have all the credentials from schooling and testing for state registration (for states that recognize LA as a profession deserving such status...and not all do). But many times, and my experience shows me this, the LA with all the credentials may not have the best "hands-on" experience. The landscape designer may have more of that, maybe not. But the question is very much worth asking if you take the path to hiring someone. Ask the questions, and ascertain just how much "field experience" your designer has. It can make all the difference in the world. And ask how much experience the designer or LA has with local nurseries and availability of plant material. The last thing you need is someone designing for material that can't be located in your area. And it does happen. So make sure you know how much local, hands-on, field experience, and knowledge of local nurseries and availability your designer has.

[This message has been edited by treebeard (edited June 08, 2003).]

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