31 Aug Why You Should Consider Hiring a Landscape Architect
Your principal approaches you with an idea for a new project. Maybe it?s a pool, tennis court or an expanded outdoor entertainment space. Or what if you?re confronted with a drainage problem? Do you call a contractor?
Installing new structures, or dealing with a drainage issue, regardless of the property involved, will require a deep understanding of local building codes, drainage requirements, topography and of course design. Landscape structures added to a property affect the rest of it in a variety of ways. It is highly important to understand how the totality of a property is affected by adding surface structures. ?Bringing a truly comprehensive view to the many components involved in a project is crucial. Nothing on a property is isolated. It?s important to address every single factor involved to achieve a client?s goals?, says Brian Cossari, a landscape architect with Hoffman Landscapes, Inc. in Wilton, CT. Cossari recommends having the designer prepare a property master plan that can serve as a road map to develop the property over time. This ?phased in? approach ensures a cohesive estate and helps orchestrate your principal?s goals for site enhancements.
Hiring a landscape architect removes the headache of renovations
Hiring a landscape architect can make a significant difference in a project?s successful outcome. A homeowner might be surprised to find that a pool they wanted in a particular location won?t work because a septic system intersects the space. Brian Cossari adds, ?A great deal of what we work with is ?unseen?. We review town and property records so we know where a well or septic is located. By the time plans are ready to be developed, we have a full understanding of the entire property and are prepared to work within constraints to deliver on the client?s goals. Anticipating problems at the beginning of a project can alleviate significant cost and time overruns.?
A landscape architect helps navigate town regs and building codes
Working with local building codes can be a significant obstacle on some projects. Many towns have regulations pertaining to pervious (allowing water to flow through) and impervious (stopping water from flowing through) structures. For example, a town might only allow one quarter of a lot to remain impervious. If the installation of a pool increases beyond this allowable percentage, something else on the property must be removed. This might be an asphalt driveway or other impervious structure.
Codes governing structures on a property can be tricky to navigate. To meet codes and their client?s vision, landscape architects must create a kind of symbiosis in the total project. To that end, knowledge of codes and workarounds must result in balanced interconnectivity. This again is where a landscape architect can be of tremendous value. Matthew Biron, a landscape architect with Hoffman Landscapes, Inc., puts it this way: ?All our work begins with what we call a building envelope. This encompasses everything related to the project as a whole. Projects should start with a feasibility study to determine what will be required to achieve the expected result without surprises. The study also reveals something critical ? what the land itself is telling us.?
A landscape architect ensures your principal?s goals are achieved.
Even if there is a flat space to accommodate a pool, a fire pit, or an outdoor kitchen, there may be slopes in the property that affect run-off water, which might require an engineer?s review. Retaining walls or code compliant fencing may be required. With the study complete, the next steps are conceptual drawings, client feedback, revisions, and approvals. Brian Cossari advises, ?The design process is crucial to the success of any landscaping project. Design drawings are a valued necessity because they are drawn from different sides of the property, then compared to ensure everything is going to fit properly and in the correct proportion.?
While the planning phase of a landscape project may seem lengthy, an amazing amount of creativity, engineering and vision go into a major landscape project.? Achieving the client?s goals while also meeting codes and keeping the aesthetics of the design intact can be a tricky balancing act, but an attainable one with the guidance of a licensed landscape architect.
When creating this pool and spa, the landscape architect had to meet town codes which required fencing around the pool. The owners, however, wanted a more open space. To accommodate these opposing needs, the designer used a tight mesh fence (seen at right and in lower left foreground) and covered it with privet hedging, rendering the fence nearly invisible. This strategy created the sense of an open area that now complies with town regulations.
In this residence, the homeowner wanted the pool placed where the septic system was located. To accommodate the homeowner?s wishes, the septic was moved closer to the home to make room for the pool. The pool and resulting hardscapes provided an attractive outdoor entertainment space at a comfortable distance from the main residence.
About Hoffman Landscapes, Inc.
Hoffman Landscapes, Inc. of Wilton, CT is a full-service landscape firm providing property maintenance, design/build capabilities and innovative landscape design. They have won numerous awards from such prestigious organizations as the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Association of Landscape Contractors of America and the Professional Landscape Network. Website: www.HoffmanLandscapes.com Telephone: 203 834 9656