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Do I need a landscape designer?

Why using a landscape designer is essential

If you’re in the process of building a new custom home or considering significant renovations to your existing home, it’s very likely that you have asked yourself the question “do I need a landscape designer?”  This is a common question that we get asked and we would love to help shed some light on why using a landscape designer can be essential.  Your landscaping project could be one of the most significant investments of your life.  Knowing you are investing wisely is crucial for a successful outcome.

There are many considerations that will guide you down your chosen path in relation to your landscaping project.  For example, you may ask yourself “is this our forever home?”, “will the kids move out soon now they are getting older?”, “should we get a pool now so our kids can enjoy it before they get too old?”, “How much should I invest on this project?”.  Every situation and every space is unique.  Not only due to the size, shape and orientation of the space, but alsowhat suits you and your lifestyle and what is unique to your personality.  There are many factors to consider beyond just what materials to use, how to install it, what looks great and what is good value.

Landscape designer versus landscaper

Transforming your landscape into a dream outdoor space is an exciting project.  But, who do you need to help you?  A landscape architect/designer or a landscaper?  What’s the difference? Essentially, a landscape architect/designer is a professional who designs outdoor spaces and gardens by preparing detailed plans, sketches or concepts for clients.  They can also assist in overseeing the buildprocess and landscape contractors to make sure the design intent comes to fruition.  A landscaper, on the other hand  is a professional capable of installing the works such as decks, pergolas and bbq’s, as well as paving, retaining walls, pools and much more.

Many people nowadays are seeking advice from organisations that provide both landscape design and landscaping (construction) services.  This alleviates the need to tender out your landscape design to installation companies and reduces the risk of your design costing too much to build.  It is quite common that garden designs created by design-only professionals cannot ever be built because the investment is too high – this can be soul destroying, especially after you fall in love with the design put before you.  Decisions early in the peace need to be the right ones, even if you need to pay a little extra to avoid disappointment.

But do I really need a landscape designer?

Unless you work in this small, somewhat niche market, of landscape design and construction in Perth, you may not know what is going to be the best outcome for your landscaping project. This is where many people speak with professional landscape designers to assist them with visualising their project. You may have considered what you want in your outdoor space and seen concepts that you love. This may be physical materials (like exposed aggregate concrete or Travertine tiling) or it may be emotional elements (like a play space for the kids or a nice shaded spot to read a book).

Professional landscape designers can take these elements of your ideas and produce beautiful cohesive proposals based on their experience of what works & what doesn’t. The skill of a landscape designer lies in their balance of creative flair, sound knowledge of plants, materials andconstruction concepts and also their listening skills.  They will listen to your vision and show you how to turn that into a reality.  Another important skill is restraint. Sometimes you simply can’t have everything,and a good designer will lead you carefully.

What is important when choosing a landscape designer?

The relationship between you (as the client) and the landscape designer should be a good one.  It is vital that there is good understanding of each other. This early phase on conceptual design sets the path for the following weeks or months of the design direction and potential construction. It’s not just a matter of what finish you will have on the brick planter, it’s a matter of whether there is a brick planter there at all.  Ensuring your landscape designer is on the same wavelength as you is crucial to ensuring you will be happy at the end of the process.

What kind of design should I expect?

Investing into your landscaping project can be expensive (generally more than you initially thought).  The design will determine the bottom-line installation cost and this will usually be calculated on material, labour and complexity. Carefully considered design will factor in all of these elements. You will need to draw on the expertise of a quality landscape designer to ensure the path laid before you is the right one. These experts will charge you for their expertise and time.  The service they provide can vary based on how complex your project is, what level of design presentation you are looking for (2D or 3D) how many revisions you require, what level of specifications will be provided, just to name a few. You can expect to pay more for the level of experience the designer offers too.

The level of design differs between designers and companies. There are many ways to provide a visual proposal. However, with the advancements of technology, 3D design is paving the way. Moving fly-through videos of your landscape project, photo realistic perspective designs, even virtual reality! It’s exciting to see your project in 3D and allows you to visualise yourself in that outdoor space. Expect to pay extra for those high-end design presentations, but they certainly do have a place in today’s market.

The benefits of paying for a landscape design

Though the cost for landscape design can vary depending on the individual landscape designer and their experience and reputation, one thing for certain is that there is value in having a professional landscape design produced for your project.

We understand it’s often hard for some people to justify paying for a landscape design plan on top of financing the construction.  It can certainly add to the overall costs, but it can also save you in the long run and provide better results.

Working with a landscape designer will allow you to explore different options for your garden and outdoor space.  A good designer will also be able to understand your lifestyle, your needs and your vision andcreate an outdoor spacethat is the perfect fit for you.”

Be assured that you are paying for much more than a few pieces of paper in a landscape design.  Landscape designers are highly qualified professionals and their time and expertise is valuable.   There is much more to a landscape design than creating just a conceptual design.   Professional landscape designers have the expertise and knowledge to consider all aspects of the design and build from how to make best use of the available space, irrigation, softscaping, construction planning, drainage, lighting, building legislation and so much more.

Creating a landscape without a plan opens the doors for costly mistakes.  Having a properly considered landscape design is like having a roadmap to help you get to your desired destination.   It can also help your construction job run smoother with your contractors to ensure everything is in accordance with a schedule and Council regulations.   It can help you avoid costly disputes with contractors if you don’t get what you had envisioned.  A designer may also present to you innovative options you hadn’t previously considered.

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How can Luke’s Landscaping work with you?

If you are in this crucial decision point and want to make the right decision, phone us to speak to one of our experienced designers here at Luke’s Landscaping Co. where all the different phases can be handled in the most professional and efficient manner. We live and breathe outdoor landscaping and external renovation works and we are more than happy to discuss the best path forward for you and your project.

Let’s chat about your unique project..


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