How to choose a landscape designer for your next outdoor project

For a seamless result for your next outdoor project, you need an experienced landscape designer, writes Isabel Rundle of Outdoor Secrets

How to choose a landscape designer for your next outdoor project

What is the difference between a landscape designer and landscaper? It’s a commonly asked question. A landscape designer and landscaper are two different people. A landscape designer is a professional who designs landscapes by producing detailed plans and sketches for clients. Typically, a designer will have a high level of plant knowledge as well as creative design ideas. A designer will help create the best possible combination of hard and soft elements using the right materials.

A landscaper, on the other hand, is also a professional, but one who constructs the landscape and is usually skilled in multiple trades such as building decks and retaining walls, laying paving and erecting fences. Not all landscapes need a design, and usually, if you are just after, say, some new turf or a new fence, a landscaper would be the first point of contact.

When to engage a landscape designer

Whether you are embarking on a new home build, a new swimming pool build or a large-scale landscape renovation, one of the best things to do is to get a landscape designer or landscape architect in as early as possible. A landscape designer will interpret your brief and give you design solutions you may not have considered, as well as resolve any space issues.
If you are overwhelmed by material options and colour choices, and are receiving different advice or information from friends and family, it can become overwhelming and confusing. Approaching a designer early in the piece allows for a holistic and seamless approach to your landscape project and will ensure you get the most out of it and the result you want.

Why a design is important

Investing in a landscape designer can seem a costly excercise, yet the rewards are greatly beneficial to the overall project outcome. A landscape designer will generally present multiple design concepts and help you visualise how your landscape will look through multiple types of media: 3D perspectives, sketches, 2D plans and material samples.
A landscape designer also has the expertise to analyse the site to understand the existing structures, services, aspects, drainage and any items that may impact the finished product. Building a landscape without a plan can open you up to costly mistakes that could have been avoided in the design process.

Isabel Rundle is a landscape architect employed by Outdoor Secrets, a Brisbane landscape design and construction company.

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