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Landscape Design

How to Find the Best Designer for You

Five tips for choosing the right landscape designer for your project

  • The finished results of a designer's work will speak volumes as to their personal style and design experience.

Landscape designers vary widely in their approach, aesthetics, and expertise. That's why it's so important to take time during the interview process to find a professional who is not only a good fit with your personality and tastes, but also has the knowledge and experience you need to get the job done. Howard Roberts of Liquidscapes, Inc in Pittstown, NJ shares his tips for choosing the best designer for your project.

  • Get referrals from architects, builders, and other trade professionals.Building professionals have experience working with a variety of companies, so they often have a strong sense for which professionals get the best results and have the most harmonious process. Along with a very strong understanding of what is involved, that you as a homeowner would not be aware of.
  • Meet multiple designers. "By interviewing several people, you can make comparisons," says Roberts. You'll be surprised by how easy it is to narrow the field simply by talking with multiple pros. You want someone who can see the “Big Picture” and has a comprehensive understanding of all the disciplines that are involved with your project’s scope and goals. Often homeowners hire companies of specific trades and services, but don’t have anyone orchestrating and coordinating the entire project. “You will minimize many missed opportunities and maximize your budget by working with a professional and company that understands the full extent of your project needs,” says Roberts.
  • Look at portfolios online. The finished results of each designer's work will speak volumes as to their personal style and experience as a designer. Nowadays, if a designer doesn't have a portfolio online for you to look at, it's a big red flag. Make sure the range of services and expertise match the requirements of your project. “In other words,” Roberts says, “have they successfully handled a task or project before that is equal in size, scope and complexity to yours?”
  • Ask a lot of questions during your meeting. Roberts advises, "When looking at their portfolio, ask how the contractor achieved the result." You'll learn a lot by finding out the details of design and construction that went into each part of the project. "You'll want to find a person who truly knows their craft," he says.
  • See each designer's work in person. "The best testament is the work," says Roberts. "Time will show the successes and the failures. The design process is the single most important tool and investment of your project.” This is a long term investment and something you want to enjoy for years to come with family and friends, so invest the time necessary to assure you achieve the results and value you desire by working with the correct professionals.

To see more of Howard's work view the Liquidscapes portfolio.

Contributing Author:

Genevieve Schmidt, contributing writer for Landscaping Network and owner of North Coast Gardening

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