The designer’s role in landscape installation

September 16, 2015

Do you have to have your Landscape Architect / Designer involved in the installation of your landscape? No…

Is it a good idea? Absolutely!

Having the person who designed the project involved in the installation will be better for you, the contractor and the overall outcome of the project.

The biggest advantage of having the landscape architect / designer involved in the installation of your project is simply that no one knows the project better than they do. There are intricacies within the design that only the designer knows. These can be simple, easy to miss details, like where elements line up or if they are centered on views or paths. Often times there are assumptions made when installing or laying out a project. For example, the installer might not realize that the landing needs to be 58” not 57” to ensure that the outdoor grill base will fit properly.

As a designer I often will sketch a space multiple times prior to inputting it into CAD and then even within CAD make multiple modifications to get things to balance and flow just right. Finding the sweet spot where everything lines up the way I want it sometimes takes multiple renditions and even modifications to the overall layout and materials. There is only so much that can be conveyed through a plan and being involved in the installation process allows us to continue to express the thoughts behind the design to make sure they are interpreted as intended.

Meeting with the client and contractor on site before construction begins

Benefits of having your designer involved in your landscape installation

  • Your designer knows the right questions to ask. Every project is a learning experience as every project is different and brings new challenges. If you have had a landscape professionally installed before it might not be your first experience but it is likely only your second or third construction process you have been involved in. The designer has likely been involved in hundreds and has each of those experiences to draw knowledge from. We are always still learning from each project.
  • Your designer makes educated on-the-fly design decisions and modifications. It is inevitable that something will need to tweak or change. Even small changes can create a domino effect and it is important to foresee the effect the decisions will have on the remainder of the project. Sometimes the design solution is simple and easy to see other times it may be complicated and need more expertise to keep the design intent intact.
  • Its all about relationships. We have developed a relationship with you through the design process and have a good idea of your style and aesthetic. The contractor is just coming into the project and does not have the history or platform to get to know you that well. We also have a relationship with the contractor allowing us to almost act as a mediator at times. Some clients need a lot of updates and hand holding that contractors are often unable to provide and we help to bridge that gap. Knowing you as well as we do also helps us to make better informed decisions through the installation process to give the contractor the information they need quickly.

We consider rock setting an art form

What your designer does for you

  • Help keep track of changes and modifications through the process to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Checks in with the contractor through the process on progress and material selections.
  • Makes educated material substitutions when suppliers are out of stock.
  • Keeps the client informed of progress and notifying them of changes.
  • Talks with your neighbors if they are having issues with parking or construction traffic. (No one wants an upset neighbor).
  • Assists the contractor with layout and aesthetic vision.
Checking progress and verifying layout

Checking progress and verifying layout

Having the designer involved in the installation process is an additional cost that does add to the overall bottom line of the project but many of our past clients would agree that it is an invaluable service that pays for itself through avoiding confusion, overruns, lost time, and piece of mind. Read what our clients have had to say about the experience.


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