For those homeowners who want to tackle a big project, you might consider hiring a professional for the job. You have probably heard the terms “landscape architect” or a “landscape designer,” but is there a difference between them? These professionals handle separate areas of your project. Before you hire someone, here are some facts that you should know about landscape designing and architecture.
What Is a Landscape Architect?
A landscape architect will develop the land for your use with a practical placement of structures, walkways, and plantings. These professionals must know how to work with steep slopes, outdoor construction, irrigation systems, and varied elevations. A landscape architect will analyze, plan, design, and manage the entire project. You can see the handy work of a landscape architect in the design of a campus, commercial center, or waterfront if you walk through your local community. If you are looking to add a permanent outdoor feature to your outdoor space, you should consider hiring a landscape architect.
If you want to hire a landscape architect, they must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in landscape architecture. Many of the college programs are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). A landscape architect also must pass an exam that is licensed by the state. This profession is one of a few that must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.
An experienced and reputable landscape architect will have the experience to work in the most challenging environments for both residential and commercial sites. Steep slopes and elevation problems are common issues for landscape architects, and your professional will know how to incorporate them into your design. In addition to that, a landscape architect will understand the right spots to place essential elements, such as driveways, entries, and parking areas.
Licensed landscape architects are used primarily for the planning and design of outdoor spaces. However, they play a vital role in the design and restoration of natural areas that have been disturbed by humans, including mined areas, stream corridors, wetlands, and forested lands. For many landscape architects, they have a respect for cultural resources and historic landscapes, and you will see them working on preservation projects for local, state, and national outdoor sites and spaces. You can find a landscape architect employed with public, academic, and private organizations.
What Is a Landscape Designer?
As you can tell, a landscape architect requires a lot of education to become licensed to work in your state. Landscape designers do not require the same level of education, and they primarily work on small residential projects. Some landscape designers will have an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, but they lack the state license required to be called a landscape architect.
These designers will focus on outdoor spaces for your home or business by taking into account hardscape and softscape elements, maintenance, and seasonal changes. Since a higher education degree is not a requirement for the job, many landscape designers learn the profession on the job or enroll in local courses for landscape design or horticulture. While you might not think they have the experience of a landscape architect, these professionals still must work hard to be called a landscape designer.
Landscape designers are not licensed through the state, but there are professional groups for these designers. The most well-known is called the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). All the members must adhere to a code of professional standards as they actively continue their education and stay current with the latest landscape design trends. For many members, there is a certification program that is based on their completed projects. These jobs must pass a peer review program for the designer to be certified. You can search for a designer through their website if you are looking for a member of the APLD.
When you work with a landscape designer, there will be a consultation about the project. Your designer should take photos of the yard, and you will be asked about your preferences for garden maintenance and plants. Once the designer has your information, they will create a design with a drawing and plant list. Your designer might even accompany you to the local nurseries to make suggestions for your yard or help shop for furnishings and materials. The main component of a landscape designer’s job is plant placement. Your designer will often work with a contractor to excavate an existing garden or hardscape element, build decks or patios, or install plants.
Who Should You Choose?
Many landscape designers will work with smaller projects at your home, such as the placement of plants. These designers have the experience to help with hardscape elements, especially if they are located in areas with drought-prone regions. If you are looking for a more intense project that involves wall building, electrical work, or earth-moving construction, you should consider hiring a landscape architect for the job.
In general, there are a few differences between landscape architects and landscape designers. Architects have to adhere to strict licensing requirements, but designers also must meet the standards in their professional organization. You will find landscape architects working on larger, public projects throughout your town. Landscape designers will handle those smaller, residential projects. If you are looking to hire a professional for your job, you should choose one based on whether you have a simple or more complex project.
Charlestown Landscaping Can Design Your Outdoor Space
If you want an updated look to your outdoor space, you should choose the professional team at Charlestown Landscaping. We will handle all aspects of your project, including master planning and planting. Our team can take care of the design and installation phase as you focus on choosing the right features and materials to customize your space. Charlestown Landscaping wants to give you an outdoor space that you can enjoy for many years. In addition to design, we will care for your entire yard with our lawn care and landscape maintenance services. If you are ready to create a personalized space for you, make sure to fill out the contact form