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What Landscape Architects Do

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A landscape architects basic job is to sculpt outdoor scenery to the preference of their customers and to create visually appealing and efficient landscaping. Landscape architects choose the best spots to plant trees or flowers, to build a new patio or deck, or to upgrade walkways, etc. They are often self-employed and work with numerous architectural firms. Landscape architects oftentimes work with a variety of clients, from private homeowners to the government. Commonly they work together cohesively with engineers, contractors and builders on large projects, such as streets and building placement. A part of their job is to observe the natural surroundings around the place where they're asked to work. They look at the surrounding landscape, soil types, and weather patterns. Landscape architects take not only the natural aspects, but the man made side as well, considering drainage and the nearest water cleansing facilities.

What Do Landscape Architects Do?

After an initial meeting with a customer to go over the requirements, landscape architects will go in person to the job site. Most of the time the landscape architect draws or maps out what they want the landscape to look like. This can be done by hand, or using computer design systems.

Often, many different designs are made up and given to the client to give them multiple visions of what their landscape is capable of looking like. Not only is the finished project conveyed to the customer, but many landscape architects also provide a virtual look to the future as to what the project will look like over time. This can be important because some plants and trees take awhile to fully develop.

After you approve a preliminary design, landscape architects write a report, create models and take photos to convey their ideas to you and to help you visualize the finished product. Once you agree, a cost estimate is built up, the project groundwork is planned, and the landscape contractors are hired to perform the work.

Even though the contractor does the actual work, the landscape architect is in charge of inspection, confirming the changes are correct, and dealing with anything else until the customer has given the okay on the finished product.

Some landscape architects work in a wide array of places, while others focus solely on one specific type of place. The cost can vary greatly, depending on how intricate the work is or how large of a project it is. How involved the landscape architect is also comes into play. Hiring landscape architects can usually range from $2,500-$5,000 to complete a job; some landscape architects also work on an hourly basis and customers can expect to pay $60-$120 per hour.

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