Le Mesa, CA
Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED A DESIGN FOR MY YARD?
If you have a simple project and know what you want to do, you do not necessarily need a designer.
I would recommend working with a designer and creating a plan if you have a lot of elements that you want to include (pool, spa, fire feature, outdoor kitchen) or if you just can’t decide what you want to do. The value of having a designer for your project is being able to bring the knowledge of plants and hardscape materials together in a cohesive way that fits your needs. You will often be introduced to ideas or materials that you hadn’t considered.
WHAT IF I WANT MORE OF A DIY PROJECT?
Once you have a plan, you can then choose to install it yourself or hire someone to do the installation. We can tailor the plan if you know will be installing it yourself and make sure you have the resources to find all the materials that are specified on your plan.
DO YOU DO THE CONSTRUCTION INSTALLATION?
We do not install the project. With your permission your plans can be sent to 2 or 3 contractors to get bids from them for your project. We will then review these bids to make sure that everything is covered. This is included in the large scale landscape package.
Managing the project through construction and working with the contractors is also a service that we offer.
WHAT IF I NEED PLANS FOR MY HOA OR FOR A PERMIT?
If you need plans for an HOA, we will ensure that the plans we create meet the requirements to be submitted to your HOA.
If a permit is necessary, it can be included in your landscape plan package or it can be a separate item offered when you are ready to install the project. We can also obtain the permits for you. This should be done when you are installing the project because permits do have an expiration, typically a few months.
DO I NEED A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER OR A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT OF A LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR?
Landscape designers tend to specialize in smaller scale, often residential projects that involve hardscape and plant materials. They can provide plans that specify hardscape and plants material for the project. They can also provide elevations to show what the design elements will look like – an outdoor kitchen, pergola or fireplace for example. Landscape designers often do not provide irrigation or drainage plans.
There are some certification processes for landscape design. APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) is one that is a good resource for finding a designer. This is not necessary for practicing landscape design. I would recommend making sure that someone you hire has experience and/or an educational background in the field if they are not certified.
Landscape architects often work on larger scale projects that commercial or municipal though there are some that focus on residential projects or will work on residential projects in addition to the larger scale projects mentioned above. A license is required to be a landscape architect. Under that license they are able to provide plans that include planting, hardscape, drainage, irrigation, drainage and construction details. This is a good option for a large residential project or one that requires this level of plans to submit to a city or and HOA.
Landscape contractors can often install a project for you without a design if you have a clear idea of what you would like to do. If it is not complex, I think this is a good option. Some even offer design services where you can work with a landscape designer as part of the process if you have a larger project. They would work with you through the design and install the project if you worked with them – a design / build company. This will often limit being able to get competitive bids from other contractors.
There is a required certification process for contractors. To make sure that a contractor you are working with is certified you can check the CLCA (California Landscape Contractors Association) website. Checking that they are bonded and insured is also highly recommended.