Who Should I hire for my project?


The answer to this question is always…It Depends!


Is this new construction where you are not living at the house? Does your city permitting department require you to obtain WELO or water/irrigation calculations?


Or is your project complicated by extreme sloped areas that might need the assistance of an engineer and soils report in order to do retaining walls over 36″ tall?


If you answered no to the above questions then a landscape designer might be the best fit for you.


Landscape Architects:


  • Landscape architects are licensed professionals who typically have a Bachelors degree from an ASLA accredited program.
  • Because they are licensed they have an increased liability and often work on more complicated residential projects that involve things like: Designs for steep slopes (retaining walls over 36″), irrigation and drainage systems, and grading plans
  • There license also allows them to work on commercial projects or in the public sector on large sites such as parks, campuses, resorts, waterfront developments and restoration projects
  • Landscape architects are often involved in interdisciplinary work such as new construction home remodels where drawings are submitted to the local planning and building departments


Landscape Designers:


  • Landscape designers are not licensed but many have received accreditation through APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) through testing and continued education. Their education can vary from Bachelors degree to graduate degrees since many find this profession as a second career.
  • Because they are not licensed, Designers tend to collaborate with preferred Landscape Contractors (who are licensed) so that they can focus on conceptual design plans.
  • While some landscape designers work on sloped sites, they cannot design retaining walls over 36″ in height, which means that more terracing might be involved. This is typically not a deal breaker to clients who enjoy the fact that retaining walls under 36″ of height do not require permits. Designers do not design drainage or grading plans.
  • Landscape designers do not work on commercial or public spaces.
  • Some Landscape designers may work with other interdisciplinary sectors- but just inquire first about their services for submitting plans to local planning and building departments.