Patio remodeling is a major project that deserves serious preparation. Of course, this is best done with the right expert.
If you don’t even have an idea whom to approach, here are five types of patio builders and their differences:
An architect is an expert at designing houses, offices and other types of structures, as well as landscapes. The focus of their practice often depends on their professional degree and experience, and state license. Though you can hire an architect to remodel your patio, they often work with entire buildings or structures inside out.
Landscape architects have at least a four-year degree plus no less than two years of apprenticeship with a licensed architect. These professionals are focused on irrigation, grading and drainage. Of course, they are also experts in horticulture, which means they know what plantings are most suitable for your area.
A designer may be any person who has obtained a professional degree in design, or has hands-on experience as an interior or exterior space designer. It is not necessary for them to have additional study to be able to design exterior spaces like a patio.
A landscape designer usually has a four-year college degree in landscape design. The best ones are those who have years of hands-on experience and of course, a state license. Landscape designers are generally hired by design/build firms to execute plans for exterior living areas, including patios.
Anybody who knows plant material can be a garden designer. Of course, someone who has studied horticulture and completed courses in landscape and hardscape design, is preferable. Several design/build firms have teams that include garden designers.
If you intend to hire a patio professional, choose one as though you were screening a prospective employee. You should meet every one of the candidates prior to deciding who’s right for the job. Most of the time, it’s a common sense affair. Or listen to your instincts. If someone seems inexperienced or vague, bring in the next contender. Don’t choose the cheapest offer just because its the cheapest. As always, you get what you pay for.
As well, ask for no less than three client references before you decide on a certain patio builder or designer. You want to hire someone who is experienced with jobs that are similar to what you have in mind. Very importantly, find someone who truly understands what you want as this is the key to a successful project. Lastly, don’t limit yourself to one prospect. Have at least two or three so you can compare them before choosing.