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Landscape Architect Vs Landscape Designer: What’s the Difference?


Are you looking to turn your outdoor space into a private oasis? You may be wondering whether you should hire a landscape architect or a landscape designer. It’s easy to get the two professions confused. In fact, many people use the terms interchangeably. This is understandable as the two professionals share many similarities. They are, however, two distinct professions. It is important to understand the difference between the two professions in order to hire the right kind of professional for the job. We at GMC Landscapes have been providing landscape design services for years. We hope this article will shed some light on what these professionals can help you achieve.


What is a landscape architect?


Landscape architects plan and design outdoor spaces. While they can design and plan small residential projects, their main focus is on public outdoor spaces such as resorts, commercial centers, campuses, public parks, transportation facilities, gardens and other developments. They may also work on projects involving the restoration of natural spaces such as wetlands, closed mines and quarries, forested land and stream corridors.


These professionals are licensed professionals. In order to obtain a license, the architect must have completed a landscape architecture bachelor’s degree and/or a master’s degree. The collection they attend must be accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects. They then must seek to be licensed by the state in which they intend to work.


These professionals are trained to work with especially challenging issues that may feature in both residential and commercial projects. These include steep slopes, drainage systems, retaining walls, elevation problems, outdoor structures and large spaces.


What are Landscape Designers?


​Landscape designers work on smaller-scale projects such as residential projects. Some of these professionals have training similar to landscape architects. However, licensing is not a requirement to work as a designer on small scale projects. Many therefore do not seek to license.


Landscape designers differ in their level of training, experience and expertise. Some landscape designers have undergraduate degrees and others have even higher degrees in landscape architecture, while others still are self-taught. Some professionals are experienced with working only with soft turf including plants while others are experienced in working with hardscapes.


Landscape designers work to make a space usable and aesthetically pleasing. They will use various design elements to achieve a space that meets your needs and requirements. When you hire GMC Landscapes, you’ll gain access to trained professionals with years of experience. You can rely on us for the best results with your outdoor space.


What to expect from a landscape designer?


When it comes to hiring a designer vs architect for your project, the answer really depends on what you hope to achieve as well as the scale of the project. Even for large scale commercial projects, designers are a great compliment for the structural services that architects provide. When you consult professional landscapers, they will visit your home to take a look at the outdoor space and interview you about what you want to achieve in the space. They will take photos and may even visit local nurseries with you to make suggestions for the best plants for your space. They will also help you with selection of materials and furnishings.


We at GMC Landscapes are experienced with working with both soft and hard landscapes. We will not only guide you through the design process but also carry out the actual installation of the plants and other outdoor features to bring your vision to life.


The primary responsibilities for a landscape designer


Landscape designers work to create an outdoor space that is aesthetically pleasing and practical. Your designer will be responsible for:


  • Take photos of the current property. These will be used as references in coming up with the new design.

  • Recommending the best plant species for your project based on your goals and preferences

  • Providing a design concept based on your goals and preferences. The designer will apply their experience and creativity to ensure the space meets your needs.

  • Selecting the best materials and furnishings for your outdoor space

  • Installing plants and other outdoor features to achieve the design.

Do you want to change up your outdoor space? Are you still wondering what do landscape architects do? Are you confused about which professional to hire? We hope the information we’ve provided will help you choose the right professional for the job. Get in touch with us, GMC Landscapes for landscape design services.

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