How to hire a landscape designer
Learn how to hire a landscape designer by doing your homeworkThose who do not trust their own gardening instincts or who simply want to let a pro do the job, often consider hiring landscapers. These professionals can take your yard or outdoor space from something that is quite average to a scene that is absolutely amazing.
The problem with knowing how to hire a landscape designer, however, is that you don't always know what you need. How will you know if you like the person's style or if she does the type of designs you desire? Before you hire a landscaper, it's important to follow a few guidelines so you know if you'll be pleased with the results.
Create a Budget
Perhaps the most important aspect of hiring a landscape professional is first deciding how much you can spend. Setting a budget before you bring a designer onto your team not only prevents you from spending too much, but also lets you know which designer you can afford.
Keep in mind that you'll need to pay the designer, and you'll also need to have money to spend on plants, mulch and dirt. You may also need to purchase landscaping material such as stones, bricks, pavers and similar items. Knowing exactly how much you can afford to spend on your outdoor space can prevent disappointment later on in the project and miscommunication between you and the designer.
Ask a Friend
You've likely heard the saying that the best compliment is a referral, and this is definitely the case when it comes to lawn and garden professionals. Asking a friend, co-worker, relative or anyone you trust who has already worked with a landscaper is an ideal way in which to hire one. This person can give you an honest opinion and account of how the designer was, including the quality of work and the level of professionalism.
You can probably even see the work of the designer for yourself by visiting the person who gave you the recommendation and seeing what the landscape designer created. If you like what you see and hear, and if the budget is suitable, then you can likely feel confident that this professional could be right for you.
If you don't have the luxury of obtaining a recommendation from someone you trust, it can be tricky to know if the designer is actually talented or trustworthy. Before you hire your landscaper, make sure you thoroughly investigate his credentials. First, ask to see a portfolio of his work. If you don't like what you see, there's no need to continue with the hiring process. If you do like the designer's work, ask him if he is insured or licensed.
Depending upon where you live, horticultural specialists and landscape architects may or may not have to be licensed in order to practice. Check with your state's Department of Agriculture for the requirements. Also ask the designer if he belongs to any trade associations or is affiliated with any organizations. These credentials don't necessarily vouch for his performance; however, they can let you know that he is serious about his career, which is a good indication that he will be professional and do a good job.
Hiring a landscape designer that is hard to talk to or doesn't seem to get your vision isn't a good idea. When you conduct interviews, pay attention to the way you two interact. If talking seems to come natural, then that could be an indication that you'll work together well. However, if you can't seem to get a word in or the designer doesn't really seem to be even paying attention, you should probably look elsewhere.
You have to trust your instincts when it comes to hiring someone to work on your garden, lawn and plantings. Since you're putting the fate of your outdoor space into someone else's hands, you'll need to do your homework before you sign a contract.
Ohio Landscape Association: How to Hire a Pro
Landscaping Network: Landscape Companies