Many people think landscape architects and people who maintain your landscaping (mowing, pruning, etc.) are the same, but that’s not the case. A landscape architect is a licensed and trained professional who specializes in designing and planning outdoor living spaces. When you see a property that has landscaping to envy, chances are it’s the finished project of a talented landscape architect.
What Value Does a Landscape Architect Bring?
First, let’s focus on that V-word: value. Great landscaping is proven to add to a home’s value and curb appeal. Properties with outstanding landscape design typically sell for up to 15% more than comparable properties with plain or poor landscaping do. With a true landscape architect, you’re far more likely to end up with one of those highly attractive properties than you are without one.
Landscape architects also bring competence and knowledge to the job. It’s easy to formulate a vision, but not so easy to bring it to life. When you hire a landscape architect, that pro will develop a detailed plan for every step, taking into account the materials needed and a whole-property approach that evaluates not just individual aspects but how all the pieces fit together. By contrast, DIY landscape design often results in a finished product that looks great on its own but doesn’t really fit the rest of the property. This can create an awkward look that might actually decrease a property’s value and curb appeal.
The best landscape architects are also experts in their area’s climate and native plants. As a result, they can select plants and trees that not only look great but also complement the local ecology. They even have the expertise to know exactly where to place plants and trees so as to save on heating and cooling bills, provide summer shade and winter sun, and so on.
What Kinds of Projects Can a Landscape Architect Design?
As long as we’re talking about outdoor projects, a landscape architect can design just about anything you have in mind, or even what you don’t have in mind; a landscape architect can work with you to develop a vague idea into something concrete.
However, here are some projects that our clients like the most:
- Permeable Paving: Runoff can be a problem, causing ugly erosion, structural damage, or both. Permeable paving is an elegant way to help manage runoff while adding function as well.
- Rain Gardens: Rainy days are a given, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put them to work for you. Rain gardens are an attractive way to filter runoff and ameliorate flooding, and they provide habitats for birds and other wildlife.
- Natural-looking Swimming Pools: A lot of contractors can build a pool for you, but a skilled landscape architect can design a pool that blends with the natural surroundings more. In form and color, it can even resemble a real pond.
- Drip Irrigation Systems: An alternative to a traditional sprinkler system, a drip irrigation system waters plants right at their roots. With timers and correct installation, these systems can also save money on water bills and prevent damage from overwatering.
- Terraces and Retaining Walls: These features add form, function, and order, but they can also be structurally complex and sometimes require compliance with local building codes. For those reasons, it makes sense to hire a landscape architect for these kinds of projects.
- Sustainable Landscaping: As we become more aware of the importance of conserving natural resources, there is a growing interest in landscaping that uses water wisely, protects natural features, and doesn’t introduce invasive species that can spread and cause harm.
- Working Around Challenging Features: Sometimes a property has a steep slope, a rocky area, or some other challenging feature to work around. A talented landscape architect will know how to mitigate the hassles these features create and might even be able to turn them into assets.
- Outdoor Kitchens and Living Rooms: Turn a patio or deck into a fully equipped kitchen or entertainment center. With an outdoor fireplace or fire pit added, you can enjoy these spaces all year long.
- Night Lighting: Strategically placed lights highlight attractive features and use shadows to great effect. Landscaping takes on a second life at night, so to speak.
If you’re looking to hire a landscape architect for your outdoor living spaces, look no further than to LandArt Solutions. For our clients in the Fayetteville, NC region, we bring more than 20 years of expertise in the field to the job. We’ll help you design outdoor spaces that you’ll enjoy for years to come.