We all have our after-work hobbies and passions that keep us inspired and grounded. And while most of us aren’t fighting crime at night like Mr. Incredible, there’s something inside each one of us that’s hungry to give, serve, build and accomplish things. For Ben and Steph Haywood of Pella, Iowa, that something is house flipping.
Spring will soon be upon us, and with warmer weather comes new opportunities to transform your home’s landscape design – with the help from professionals, of course. While we all know to check references and collect bids before signing a contract, what else should be considered when hiring a landscape architect?
As the founder and storyteller-in-chief of Daigh Rick Landscape Architects, Anne Daigh has a knack for making homes come to life with dreamy designs. Here, she dishes out the details to help you choose a landscape architect that fits your needs and style.
All photos by Leslee Mitchell
Pella: What should people consider before meeting with a landscape architect?
Daigh: A lot of times landscape architects are confused with landscapers. Most landscape architects are working in an office drawing plans similar to how an architect works. Architects draw the buildings, and landscape architects draw anything on the outside of a building, including driveways, walkways, walls, steps, pools, etc.
The planting aspect of the job is what I call the “icing on the cake.” So, I would say if you are looking to revamp your landscape only, you might reach out to a landscape company. If you are looking to add hardscape and softscape elements, then you might reach out to a landscape architect. Also, a lot of municipalities require a licensed landscape architect to stamp drawings for approval such as a stormwater plan or a planting plan. This would be another reason to engage with a landscape architect.
What aspects of working with clients are important to you – things that homeowners should look for in a potential landscaping design partner?
It’s important for me to meet on site with the client as the first step in the process. Seeing the site, listening to the client’s wish list, and understanding their personality and style are all baked into the design!
Also, acquiring a topographic survey is imperative to have for a good design. The design is a direct reflection of the lay of the land. You can’t design on a flat piece of paper; it’s money spent up front that’s invaluable for the success of the project. Without the initial survey information, a lot of mistakes can crop up throughout construction, and ultimately the design would not be integrated into the site.
The bottom line, according to Daigh? Do your homework, know what your priorities are, set up a consultation and pick the fit that’s right for you.
When it comes to boosting curb appeal, you can put all of the landscaping you want on a home, but if its windows and doors leave a lot to be desired, it still won’t look as beautiful as it could. So, after you pick your landscape architect, schedule a free in-home consultation with us to learn more about how window and door replacement can improve your home’s value.