How to vet a landscape designer

How to vet a landscape designer
Feb 24, 2020

Landscaping a property is among the most important elements of home ownership here in Iowa and indeed all over the country. If you are especially design-savvy and very DIY-handy, you may be able to take on an entire landscape design project yourself; however, many people find it easier to rely on expert assistance.

But choosing an ideal landscape designer can seem like an overwhelming task, especially with so many complex variables involved. Similar to finding the best plumber or heating expert or electrician; it is important to conduct diligent research to select the best professional for your Rock Valley, Iowa project.

When digging into the landscape design world, follow these handy tips for peace of mind and a successful end result:

How to find the best landscape designer

If you are new to partnering with a landscape professional, it is wise to learn just what it is a landscape designer can offer:

  • Typically work with or for landscape contractors to provide a seamless installation process
  • Most professional designers are listed on the Association for Professional Landscape Design website:
  • Some designers also hold contractor’s licenses and can offer the build portion of the project as well
  • Generally create detailed plans for planting along with drawings for hardscape, lighting, and irrigation

The search begins

Zeroing in on the best professional for a landscape job involves several steps, the first of which is determining your budget. This a straightforward observation—how much money do you have available for the project? (Keep in mind that a smart design and expert installation can dramatically increase your property value.)

Step two is actually a combination of three important lists:

First, look at your Sioux Center, Iowa landscape and create a list of everything you want to remove from your existing garden or yard. That old hot tub or vertical-post retaining wall, for example, might be on your ‘get rid of” list.

Next up, make a list of everything you want to keep in your landscape.

Finally, list three includes things you want add to the landscape. Perhaps you dream of a pergola draped in grapevine and climbing flowers, or an outdoor fire pit. Put it on your wish list.

With lists in hand and a semblance what you’d like to see, contact and interview several local designers. Ask them about their design process and voice any concerns you might have. And always gauge the personal aspect to determine a good fit.

  • Are they willing to work with you and create an ideal space fitting your local region and design wishes?
  • Discuss budget and make sure final numbers are accurate and up to date.
  • Listen to their feedback on budget and its relation to a proposed design.
  • Always ensure you have a written contract that details all design and installation costs, timeline, and procedures for any potential changes or cost overruns.

Remember, choosing the right landscape designer is critical for the success of the project. The design stage impacts every stage thereafter. Take your time when partnering with a professional.