When to hire a Landscape Architect?

Landscape architects have many different styles and approaches and different areas of expertise. Here are some tips offered by Fallon Mihalic, principal with Fallon Land Studio, a contributing editor with Houzz.com. The complete article  can be found by clicking the link below.

Landscape Architect or Landscape Designer?

What is the differences between landscape architects and landscape designers? The skills and expertise of designers and landscape architects vary widely, yet the difference between the two, by law, is that a landscape architect is regulated and licensed. There are times when you must hire a landscape architect to comply with local regulations.

Some examples of things that require using a landscape architect:

  • Grading plans and site drainage design: Landscape architects are licensed to draw grading plans and can submit sealed grading plans as part of a permit application package.
  • Retaining wall design: This also varies by location. A new retaining wall might require prior approval, and the drawings need to be sealed by a landscape architect, an architect or a professional engineer, depending on the height of the wall, footing type and soil conditions.
  • Landscape plans and drawings that require a seal by a licensed landscape architect for permit approval: Again, this varies widely, depending on local regulations.
  • Sensitive sites and special conditions: Another example of when a landscape architect should be involved is if your property is located within a floodplain or contains protected wetlands, or if the proposed work requires altering a public right of way. These special conditions usually have stricter regulations and are more likely to require landscape drawings that are sealed by a landscape architect.

Fallon cautions, this is not an exhaustive list of circumstances for hiring a landscape architect. Consult your local department of building regulations and your homeowner’s association rules to determine whether your project requires a landscape architect.

Ask to see a portfolio. The projects featured on a firm’s website are usually just a small selection of a larger portfolio of work. Ask the landscape architect to bring along a portfolio of project images. Review the portfolio together and ask questions.

For more details on this helpful subject, read the full article on: Houzz.com