Landscape Architect versus Design/Build Firms

As columnist Phil Wood put it in a Seattle Times article on September 14, 2003:

Most landscape architecture firms and some landscape design firms do design only. Other firms do what is called “design/build,” meaning that the firm does both design and garden construction. You might prefer to hire someone to do just the design, get bids from several different contractors and have the landscape architect …give oversight to the construction process.

When the project is relatively simple and straightforward, the design/build approach can sometimes work effectively. However, most design/build firms do not allow time for a highly personal conversation or dialogue between the client and the designer. The more you want to be personally involved in the design process, exploring several design options, variables or construction phases, the more helpful it is to have a Landscape Architect at the helm.

Phil Wood concludes, “Good chemistry between you and your professional is important. Is the person a good listener? Do you like the examples of work in his portfolio? Does he [or she] fit your personal style?” At Brooks Kolb, we listen as you describe what your garden will be used for, and what you want it to look like. Beauty, harmony, balance, and environmental sustainability: faith in your landscape architect’s training and expertise will result in a final project that surpasses your expectations.

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