As the real estate market continues to improve, property owners are considering improvements that not only suit their needs, but also increase their market values. There are many decisions to make regarding types, placement, cost, timing, and impact when it comes to overall property upgrades. It is commonplace to engage a professional Architect or Engineer for design and consultation on construction projects. But, what if you hired a Landscape Architect to lead your next construction or renovation project?
Landscape Architects are trained to understand multiple aspects of design and construction. Their skill set includes the ability to observe, analyze, and assess the constraints and opportunities of a site covering characterisitcs such as prevailing winds, sun vs. shade exposure, drainage routes, vehicular flow, pedestrian patterns, and spatial relationships. Because of this multi-facetted training, Landscape Architects are able to coordinate across a design team and successfully lead team collaborations.
^^ Residential yard renovation including hardscape and landscape improvements. ^^
“But, I thought Landscape Architects design flower beds and mow lawns.”
Landscape Architects do design planting beds, but they also provide many more skills than that! A Landscape Architect can work with a client to determine a vision for a property and from there establish a masterplan, a set of design criteria, and a development timeline. The benefit of having a masterplan is that the client then has a meticuously coordinated document encompassing all of their ideas, needs, and dreams with a clear path on how to achieve their vision. Knowing where each element is best located, and its utility and space requirements, avoids conflicts as the individual parts are built over time. Your Landscape Architect can also advise you on when to hire other trained professionals such as Architects and Engineers, guide you through any local jurisdictional permitting processes, and manage the design of your project alongside your General Contractor.
^^ Detail design of community amenity space including pool, splash pad, picnic area, and playgrounds. ^^
“What other skills do Landscape Architects hold?”
In addition to masterplanning and site planning abilities, Landscape Architects can also provide conceptual and detailed design of outdoor site elements. These include topographic grading design and design of on-site stormwater drainage; hardscape design including patios, decks, and outdoor kitchens; design of fence and wall enclosures; design of small unoccupied structures such as sheds, gazebos, trellises, and pergolas; design of monument and wayfinding signage; landscape planting design and species selection; and design of automatic irrigation systems.
^^ 3D aerial rendering of public park concept with pathways, plantings, event lawn, and feature fountain. ^^
“I wish I could see my project before it’s built and be able to make changes.”
Landscape Architects are skilled in “seeing” a design before it is physically constructed. They convey their vision to clients through presentation graphics including 3D digital models and views, physical scale models, and color plan view renderings. Clients are then able to review the concepts and make changes before any materials are purchased or installation started.
It is a significant decision to build or improve upon a property and should be approached with a good understanding of outcome. A Landscape Architect can assist you in masterplanning your property, collaborate with you through the conceptual design, manage the design process, coordinate additional design professionals, and guide you during the construction phases.