How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with Your Landscape Designer/Architect

Filed under Design, Misc by Lauren Cook on .

     So you've decided to turn your home improvement dreams into dream home reality and move forward with that landscaping project that's been on your mind for a while now and call your local landscape contractor. If you've never worked with a Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect before, then you probably aren't sure what to expect. A designer or architect's job is to create a custom space that is tailored to the wants and needs of you, the homeowner, and the site. Any information you can provide them with will help them understand you and your family and speed the design process along. What information is helpful when designing an outdoor living area? Here are some things to think about prior to your initial meeting with you designer or architect. Chances are, they will be you asking some, if not all, of these questions.



  1. What will be the main use(s) for the space? How do you see yourself enjoying the space? Are you entertaining, dining, relaxing, etc.

  2. How many people will the space have to accommodate? Are you going to need a lot of seating for a large family that visits often? Or do you wish to create an intimate setting for two?

  3. Who will be using the outdoor space? Do you need a lawn area for the dog? A play area for the children? A utility area for storage?

  4. What are your likes and dislikes? Even if you don't know much about landscaping, you'd probably know what you liked if you saw it. Gardening and home improvement magazines and the internet are great places to start when looking for inspirational photos. Collect photos that show elements of design that you prefer. Pay attention to neighbors' landscaping as you drive around town. Take mental note of what works or what doesn't work for you. Your designer or architect should have a portfolio of completed work available for your viewing. Use their portfolio to explain looks you like and looks you don't.

  5. What problems do you currently have with the area? A good design will address existing site problems as well as be aesthetically pleasing. Do you have an area that is holding water? An area that won't grow grass? Erosion problems? An ugly view that you wish to hide? An air conditioner unit to camouflage?

  6. A few days prior to your meeting, take note of light patterns in your yard. This will help your designer/architect choose appropriate plant material for the space. Does this area receive morning sun? Afternoon sun? Filtered sunlight? 6 or more hours of direct sunlight is considered full sun. 4 to 6 hours is considered part-sun or part-shade.

  7. What is your budget? Do your research so you know what to expect and decide on an amount that you feel comfortable with. Your Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect will create a space with your budget in mind, choosing materials and designing spaces that address your needs, but don't break the bank.

  8. The final thing to remember when meeting with a designer or architect is to have fun! This is a creative process. Your designer/architect is your companion through out the installation, not just during the design phase. In the end, you will have a beautiful new space to look forward to and enjoy. Make sure to put your stamp on it!