How to Hire a Design Professional ~ J. Montgomery Designs, a landscape architecture firm

This backyard contains a swimming pool with a fire pit, decorative stone rocks and cob wood seating.

Colorful front yard planting and driveway with lush vegetation.

Colorful front yard planting and driveway with lush vegetation.

Backyard with pergola, fireplace, outdoor kitchen and custom pool.

Backyard with pergola, fireplace, outdoor kitchen and custom pool.

Here are some basic guidelines to consider when starting the exciting process of hiring a landscape architecture professional.

At J. Montgomery Designs, we create carefully tailored spaces that capture the spirit of our clients and the soul of their country.

— J. Montgomery Designs

ALAMO, CA, USA, September 22, 2022 / — Although some landscape architects and landscape architects have overlapping capabilities, there are major differences in the legality of their designs.

What is the difference? It boils down to what the design professional can legally design for your landscape. A Landscape architect has gone through a licensing process governed by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), which requires knowledge of local building codes, laws, and permits, as well as construction science leveling and drainage, among others. Why is this important? If your home is built on a hill and you want a terraced patio or need large retaining walls, a landscape architect is almost certainly needed. To build a covered patio addition or a veranda off the house, call a landscape architect. Want an inground pool? Most of the time, it is best to hire a landscape architect.

But what if the landscape does not require major earthworks, retaining walls or architectural structures? Many stunning landscapes are built without any of this, hiring a landscaper is also an option. Landscapers are not licensed, so they may or may not have had the formal training of landscape architects, and they may or may not have equal degrees of experience. A landscape designer can legally design landscapes with low-lying patios, low unsupported walls and seat walls, fire features and fountains, irrigation, lighting, rock, and planting design. Landscape architects can also do this kind of work (and many appreciate it!) so don’t take them off the list of possibilities!

Don’t forget to consider other factors when deciding who to hire. Reputation is of course essential, and not just professional reputation! Recommendations from friends or family members are just as helpful when it comes to knowing who to work with. Wallets and online galleries are also a great way to get an idea of ​​the pros’ range of styles. Of course, it’s also important to consider the reality of costs – make sure you’re clear about what works for you and understand what’s included in the design estimate (sometimes a higher estimate is more inclusive and can be worth it! )

When you meet a design professional for the first time, many questions will arise. Some companies (including ours) may actually ask you to complete a questionnaire to get to know you and the landscape of the house. If you’re wondering what to expect, questions like these are likely to arise.

Sample questions:

How do you see yourself using your future landscape? (Outdoor dining, swimming, growing vegetables, etc.) Are there existing areas on your site where you know you want some of these activities to take place?

Who else do you think will use the landscape (children, dogs, large groups of guests, etc.) How would you like your landscape to accommodate them?

Would you like to see a master plan of the entire landscape or focus on specific areas to design? What are the areas of immediate importance, if any?

On your side, do not hesitate to ask anything. It’s important to understand as much as possible so you can find the best match for you! Here has J. Montgomery Designs, we believe that listening and communication are the most important elements of our work, along with a sense of humor of course! We do it a lot, after all!

Debbie Bumbhardt
J. Montgomery Designs
+1 925-820-8884
[email protected]
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