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Would you ever buy a house without seeing a floor plan first? Probably not.
So why would you have someone take a shovel to your yard without seeing a landscape design first?
I’ve often been told that landscape designs don’t really matter because if the construction contractor knows what he’s doing – “it’s all good”
Another reason I often hear is the construction contractor will design and build for me.
And the most popular reason goes to: “sorry, It’s too expensive” – I.e. Not a valuable investment.

While these are all respectable points, my gut response is always: “Good luck”.
Here’s 3 Reasons you need to hire a professional landscape designer:

1. Only a landscape designer, is a landscape designer
It’s easy to just put a bunch of lines on paper and call it a design drawing – what most self-proclaimed designers think. But without any formal training in the details of landscape design, we, in the trades industry, call it: ‘chicken-scratches’.
Has this self-proclaimed designer taken a proper site analysis? Ie. Shoot grades? No, not just looked and guessed “oh, you’ll need a two feet wall” – I mean actually taken elevation shots to see how the existing land is shaped? Have they really listened to your personal needs and come up with a solution that not only is aesthetically pleasing but fully functional? Have they dissected the details of how different elements work within a yard – ie. Dominant element in conjunction with sub-dominant and subordinate elements? What about properly defining transition spaces and destination spaces? How about a conceptual framework for the overall project?
I can go on and on but I think you get the point. You can’t have someone who learned a cadd design software just draw something random on paper and call it a ‘landscape design’ because in the end, only a landscape designer can be the landscape designer.

2. Education and Experience
In the last 10 years in being in the landscape design and landscape construction field – from a university master’s degree in landscape architecture to working as a landscape labourer, to working in an architectural firm, to working for landscape contractors – I’ve seen it all.
How design educators think. How landscape architects think. How contractors think. How designers think. I’ve also learned very quickly, when specifically working with landscaping trades for about 6 years now, what quality workmanship is and what a ‘corner-cut’ project is.
I’ve seen my design vision for a space come to reality and it’s the most gratifying feeling ever. I’ve also seen my design vision for a space turn into a nightmare, and that is not as pleasing to see.
You want to partner yourself with a professional landscape designer who has the education, and the experience to back that education, so to help you avoid making mistakes they’ve encountered in the past. You also want the landscape construction contractor to have a reliable track record – not Joe Blow (poor Joe – he’s always being singled out) contractor who started his company with a truck and a lawn mower because he needs his weekend beer money.

3. The Price tag
I get it. When you think that a designer just draws a pretty picture (if they actually do) and to have to pay them $800, $1000, or even up to $3000 for it – On the surface seems a bit ridiculous when you don’t understand the details that (should) go into it - Everything from site analysis to form and function – a typical home-owner (not all) often question it.
The thing to understand here is nothing in this world is free. Remember that. And if you’re planning to spend money this summer on landscaping your yard, you have to ask yourself: whether I’m going to spend $5000 or $150,000 on my yard, Should I have on paper what I’m going to be paying for?
Because the last thing you want is miscommunication with the contractor regarding your agreement – so not only will it tell you what you’ll be getting but also acts as a contract between you and your landscaping contractor. Note: Often times landscapers will even waive the cost of the drawing if you decide to use their services.

I hope this shines a bit of light into why you need a professional landscape designer before diving into your next landscaping project.
As always, you can email me directly at or visit my website: for cool and innovative landscaping ideas.

Mumtaz Mirza (Aka Taz) | B.Env.D M.LArch
Tazscapes Inc.
P: 587.578.0747 | E: | W:
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Blog ID : 192984 | Date Added : 15-1-2017

Category : Design

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