Lush green grass, thick rich mulch, lovely planting beds of flowers and plants that take turns showing off their colorful blooms from spring until fall are components of a perfectly manicured yard. Organizing and synchronizing all that natural beauty doesn’t come easy to most homeowners - a landscape architect is their secret weapon.
According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, there are only about 15,000 licensed landscape architects in the United States. But there are nearly double, or 30,000, landscape architects nationwide. Licensure doesn’t apply to a job the size of an average homeowner and is only required for a job larger than that, or any job involving commercial properties.
Whether you are a new homeowner in need of planting grass for the first time, looking to rehab a tired lawn or have recently added on to your home and are in need of joining an old lawn to new, a landscape architect is a good place to start.
How To Get Started
Working with a landscape architect requires just a few steps. Each step and subsequent process will vary depending on the scale of the project, stage of development, client needs and wants, products, planning, design and region of the country you reside. Landscape architects provide a crucial engineering element to each project they face as well as bring their own design characteristics and style to the client.
Determine A Budget
The client and the landscape architect need to decide early on in the process a budget that both parties feel comfortable about. This is determined largely by the scope of the work to be performed. Some architects provide plans for a set price that can range from $2,000 to $5,000. Others work on an hourly basis and a client can expect to pay $70 to $120 per hour. Still other firms will charge a percentage of the cost of the entire project. This fee is generally 5 to 15% of the total project cost. Another factor that should be determined is how involved the landscape architect will be in the scope of the project. Some will simply make the plans, hand them over to the client and the professional relationship ends there. Others will help in choosing a landscape contractor to implement the plans and still others will oversee the entire project working with the contractor until the project is complete. In other words, for a $75,000 job, a homeowner can expect to pay $3,750 to $11,250 to the landscape architect should they take on the project from site work to plan to planting.