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Is Hiring a Landscape Designer Worth It?

One of the most important yet most often overlooked steps of a landscaping project is the design process. Here’s what you should consider when deciding if a landscape design is right for you.

How much does a landscape design cost?

Many people assume that a landscape design may not only cost too much, but also be an unnecessary expense. Even though you should expect to spend some money on a design, it doesn’t have to be super expensive. Here at Picture Build our designs start at a flat rate of only $750 and normally don’t exceed $3,000 for very complex projects. Of course, the price of the design depends on the size of your project, so you can expect to be at the higher end of the price range if you have a big project. You will find that this design cost will be well worth it and could actually end up saving you more money and time in the end for reasons we will list in the following sections.


What is a landscape design and what does it consist of?

A landscape design is the bridge between the conceptual phase and installation phase. It distills your ideas into an overall concept and provides you with a visual aid so you can understand how your space will look. It consists of all necessary measurements, placements, and materials for your project. A design can articulate shapes of walkways, patios or other hardscaped areas; as well as placement/quantities/types of plants that can often be dictated by existing elements and site conditions. A design is imperative for planting placement and future planting to ensure that plants are placed where they are able to get the

necessary sunlight and water they need to thrive. It illustrates how certain plantings will appear when grouped together or placed in particular areas. It is also useful for illustrating lighting placement.


What are the benefits of a landscape design?

Even though a landscape design can be easy to overlook at the beginning, if you were to start a landscaping project without one you would most likely regret it shortly after. Placement of elements, measurements, and materials run the risk of being incorrect without a design in hand. A landscape design helps to avoid mistakes during the installation phase, but also during the estimate phase. It saves time in determining specifics on site, and is the one thing that keeps everybody who is involved in your project on the same page. This includes landscaping/masonry crews, subcontractors (if any), project managers, and most importantly, you! It is also useful if you are planning to do a phased landscape installation; the design is in place and ready to be implemented for the future phases. It also helps facilitate things like getting city permits, HOA permits, and getting bids from different landscaping companies if needed. On top of that, you can be at ease knowing exactly what outcome to expect from your landscape project and knowing that your money and time are not being wasted.


Why is a landscape design necessary when getting an installation estimate?

A landscape design is a scaled tool that provides the overall measurements of the space as well as the measurements and quantities for each individual element incorporated into the design. A design will indicate the square footage of a patio or the linear feet of a retaining wall. If we don’t have a design plan in place – there is greater room for error in determining cost and quantities of requested items. This can lead to unexpected expenses along the way. At Picture Build we require some kind of landscape design for most projects before giving a final estimate in order to avoid any kind of issues during or after installation.


What types of landscape projects don't need a design?

If you are looking to do a very simple landscaping project you may be wondering, do I really need a design for this? Truth is, there are projects that don’t necessarily need a design. For example, if you are just interested in installing a lawn with irrigation, or replacing your driveway with pavers then no design is necessary. Projects with a singular and straight forward focus do not necessarily require a design. If there is planting involved you will most likely need at least a basic plant design, unless you know exactly what kind of plants you want and how many; in which case you may be able to get at least an estimate without a design.


If you are ready to get started on your landscape design, give us a call at 818-751-2690 or fill out this form for a free consultation!