Landscape Architect vs Landscape Designer

If you’re planning a landscape project, the first question you might have is whether or not it requires a landscape designer or a landscape architect. You may think that these terms are interchangeable but there are slight differences between them. Here are some of the things to consider before deciding to go with a landscape architect or landscape designer. 


Landscape designers and architects have different credentials 

Landscape Designer Or A Landscape ArchitectOne of the first things to acknowledge is that these two professionals have slightly different credentials. A landscape designer is not a licensed professional. Landscape designers may have degrees in landscape design, but many are not professionally trained in horticulture or architecture. A landscape architect, on the other hand, is a licensed professional who has studied both design and construction techniques to create an effective design that functions as an architectural work of art while also meeting code requirements set forth by local government agencies (i.e., the building department).

Landscape designers may be horticulturists or nurserymen; they might even have their own nursery business. Landscape designers use their knowledge of plants, soils, and irrigation systems to create beautiful landscapes that bring out the best in homes’ surroundings without sacrificing function or utility needs such as drainage or privacy protection from neighbors’ views. Many landscape designers hold degrees in landscape design; others earn certification after completing extensive training programs offered through colleges or universities.

Whether you hire a landscape designer or a landscape architect will depend on the type of project you want to do, but both of these professionals are able to help make your yard look beautiful. While both types can create blueprints and design concepts, only licensed landscape architects are legally qualified to sign off on plans that involve city permits like decks or swimming pools. If you want someone who can also provide legal advice about your landscaping project as well as design ideas then it might be worth considering hiring an architect instead.


Making changes to landscape design

A landscape designer will help you with the overall look of your yard and can often provide concept plans for landscaping. A landscape designer may be a good choice if you want to make some changes to your yard but aren’t sure where to start. If you already have a general idea of what you want to be done or are looking for something more elaborate, then hiring a landscape architect might be the better option.

A lot of people confuse these two professions because they both deal with land planning and design. The difference is that while a landscape designer focuses on how best to use available space (often incorporating hardscapes such as patios, decks, or walkways), a landscape architect has more freedom in creating an aesthetically pleasing design that works within its environment (using softscapes like trees).


Landscape Designer Or A Landscape Architect


Landscape changes that require permits

Although landscape architects do design, they also have to deal with the legal aspects of projects and make sure zoning regulations are met. Because they must be licensed, landscape architects are legally qualified to sign and seal drawings needed for projects that involve city permits such as decks, swimming pools, hardscapes, and the like. They must understand building codes, environmental regulations, and how all those things affect your project. In short, they need to be able to work with contractors who will turn their plans into realities.


Landscape Designer Or A Landscape Architect


Two men work on front door stepsScope of the work or landscape

Typically speaking, landscape designers are called in for small-medium residential projects, whereas landscape architects are commonly used for larger or more commercial scale projects. This is for many reasons, some of which have already been listed above like getting legal consents or making large structural changes to landscapes or buildings. 



Get Started With Landcrafters

Whether you need a landscape designer or a landscape architect Landcrafters has you covered! Every property has limitations to consider as well as opportunities to develop and each project has a different level of complexity. Because each design process has different requirements, your design and planning will be done with a registered Landscape Architect, designer, or horticulturist according to your needs. Get started today with Landcrafters to see your unique design come to life.