What types of customers have you worked with?
I provide 3D concepts though construction documents for my clients. As a landscape architect there is no conflict of interest with my service. I am providing my clients a design that works for them and their budget. I design pools, spas, planting, grading, entry walks, driveways, I also provide concepts for how the home which might be the problem area be modified or enhanced to solve a big issue with a quick solution. I start with 3D exterior images, and once the client likes what they see I move on to construction documents.
Staying in touch with the owner and making sure they are getting bids that work with their budget, once they are happy with the bids. I provide project observation if requested and make sure the end product is what was bid, and that everyone is happy.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Verify that they are a licensed landscape architect not a licensed contractor or someone calling themselves a landscape designer. A licensed landscape architect must protect their clients safety and carries insurance. The difference between a licensed landscape architect and a landscape contractor is a licensed contractor is out to sell you an installed product and the more of his product he puts into the design he is happy but you may not be. The contractor typically puts the design fees into their installation price and they own the design. Too much hardscape, too much planting, too large a pool, these are the three largest complaints that come back to me when I am brought in to redesign the previous contractor's work.
A landscape designer may be good or they may have been cleaning drains out before they took on this new title. They are only allowed to design planting plans, so if you want details for any hardscape elements for another contractor to bid you can't get them legally from a landscape designer. If they say they can, give me a call!