Should You Hire A Landscape Designer?

by Ben Bowen

Hiring A Landscape Designer

You know you want a new landscape, and maybe you have a few ideas. But where to start? Should you work with a landscape designer? And what should you look for in a designer?

portland landscaping design

The benefits of choosing a landscape designer are many. A designer can work with you to find creative solutions to your property's challenges. They usually have a large reserve of ideas and creativity to draw on. If you want a truly unique and custom landscape- then a landscape designer is a great place to start.

When the design is completed you know have something that you can hand to any landscape contractor and be confident in the results. Having the completed design also allows you to do the project in phases, even over the course of several years, and end up with a harmonious landscape.

Most designers can also be your representative on the job site, ensuring the landscape reality matches your vision. If you don't have the time to manage the project yourself that can be a great benefit.

Is there a downside to choosing a landscape designer?

Sometimes. Creative solutions may be practical.... or they might not be. Some designers have very little experience actually building landscapes and are more prone to this. If you choose your designer wisely, this should not be an issue though.

Cost has to be considered. It will be at least $500 and up to $2500+ to have a design done for a 5000-7000 square foot lot. Is this a good investment? If your project involves many elements, a large area, difficult slopes, or needs to be completed in phases then the cost should not scare you.

In general, I have seen that landscapes involving designers cost more. Why? It goes back to those "creative solutions". Often the designer has something in mind that your contractor has little experience with. This adds uncertainty to the project for him- and the price rises.

There is a simple solution to the danger of a designer destroying your budget. Always make budget a core part of the design from the first meeting. If you have a landscape designer get started without giving them a budget get ready for sticker shock!

Creative solutions do not have to be expensive!

Creative solutions do not have to be expensive!

Finding the right designer for your garden.

What should you look for? 

  • Flexibility. A portfolio with landscapes in a variety of styles.
  • Simplicity. It takes a high degree of skill to design a garden with subtlety.
  • Approachability. Look for a smiling head shot and down to earth descriptions- a person you can see yourself working with!

Should you hire a landscape designer?

Maybe. Weigh the options, consider the cost. If you do work with a designer, choose well and you will never be disappointed. How did you pick your designer? Comments are open below!

Looking for landscape designer in Portland, Oregon? Contact Ross NW Watergardens for a free landscape consultation today!