Why use a Landscape Architect?
Many people buying or building a new house are unaware of the extra value a landscape architect can bring to a project. Landscape architects can be the bridesmaids but never the bride when a new rural property is being planned. They are tacked on at the last minute or only bought in when there is a problem.
But when a real estate agent promotes a property, the main picture is usually the setting and garden surrounding the house. It can be the garden and aspect that ensure the final success on a new build or renovation. With an existing house, there is only so much that can be done but it is still worth talking to a professional for that added extra touch.
With building costs already overblown and expensive, it is understandable to only want to allocate funds to essential items. The point of this article is to help persuade people that this can be a false economy and emphasising good landscape design can be crucial to a successful result. It is best to include this service in the budget at the start of a project – not at the end or when it’s too late.
The problem for the industry is that many regular architects try to work around employing a qualified landscape architect as they think they can do it themselves and save their client some money. It is however a specialised and highly demanding skill. They are not just dealing with aesthetics but many technical matters like water drainage, site management and weather and climate issues.
How to estimate an accurate budget is already fraught. It has been my experience that clients are not aware or given accurate figures on how much things are going to cost. On a rural block with a new build, owners without the experience are shocked with the extra infrastructure required like on-sight sewerage, power and water, etc. These things are delivered to a suburban block as part of the cost but are an extra when building in the country.
Also, architects can often design a terrific looking house on what they think is within the client’s budget. But then when a builder is given the plans and have it quantity surveyed, the client can be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Unfortunately, you may be hearing the essence of this story is to be saying just bring more money. Yes, that is true to a certain extent but mainly it is to be fully informed from the outset. In some situations you may be best served, for example, to spend more money on a landscape architect and less somewhere else. Many things are site specific.
BPS has helped many clients through this process, or at least known where they can go to get the right advice or service provider. In the Byron area we are well serviced with landscape architects in Paul Blay and Lisa Hochhausser who have been responsible for some excellent well-planned sites I have known. They can be contacted through www.vis.com.au. They are about to join forces in a new enterprise called LANDstudio.com.au – so watch this space