Frequently Asked Questions
Landscape Architects are professionals trained in the fields of biology, horticulture, botany, architecture, planning and art. We are licensed in the State of Florida through the Department of Professional Regulation to perform consulting, research, planning, design, preparation of drawings, specifications, contract documents and management in connection with the planning and development of land and incidental water uses. Our services include the:
- design of planting plans and Master Plans;
- the shaping and contouring of the land the design of irrigation and lighting systems; and
- the design of tangible objects such as steps, ramps, fountains, swimming pools, water features, fences, walls, decks and retaining walls.
We can also act as the owners' agent to write contracts, tag trees, make field decisions, coordinate contractors and to ensure you get what you are paying for. Our fees are based either on an hourly fee, a percentage of the installation, or a combination of both --so you know exactly what you are paying for.
If you have a budget, we can meet, it you have a vision, we can create it, if you want to enhance the value and enjoyment of your special piece of the Florida Keys, ask any of our past clients and they will tell you Brown & Crebbin can do it.
The term "landscape designer" is used to refer to those who are not officially qualified or licensed as landscape architects.
First and foremost, it is about creativity. If you wanted an artistic painting, would you put your money into the paint or the painter?
As silly as that sounds, many people say they would rather put their money into the plants rather than a design or a designer. Generally, however, it is not the plants themselves that make a garden or a landscape beautiful, it is how they are arranged, just like it is not the paint that makes the painting it is how the painter applies it. All designers have different levels of creativity and ideas and those ideas are expressed though the use of plants, hardscape and the land itself. These are the pallet that landscape architects use as opposed to the paints, pencils or pastels an artist might use.
You will also find that different designers have different approaches to the design process itself: some are willing to listen to you and your thoughts, and some feel you should listen to them and their thoughts. We listen to you — as well as to the site — and develop the most creative plans for the landscape in the area... ones that exceed the expectations of the owners' everyday.
Hiring a trained professional to design your landscape will be the best money you will spend on your landscape project.
Landscape Architects are professionals supremely equipped to plan and design creative, artistic, outdoor environments and landscapes that are installed using the most current knowledge and techniques available.
A Landscape Architect will analyze your site, they will listen to your needs and they will develop a plan that puts the best plants in the best possible situations to survive. The wrong plant in the wrong location, can die, struggle to survive or can even cause you unforeseen problems due to its growth, and the wasted the money you spent on it. And here in the Florida Keys (where we have intense sun, salty winds, poor soil and very little rain), the money you save by just planting the plants you like or hiring someone without proper training or expertise to design or install your landscape will ultimately cost you money in dead plants or replacements in the future.
For roughly the same amount of money you would spend on plants that will be dead in 2 years, we will develop a plan that is easy for you to visualize and understand, as well as one that is specific so that contractors can competitively bid it. This will ensure that you get the best possible price for a landscape that will provide you with joy well into the future. Hiring a trained professional to design your landscape will be the best money you will spend on your landscape project.
We will provide you with the best possible landscape at the best possible price.
How is this possible when a nursery or landscape offered you a free plan? Even if the designer tells you the plan is free, the time and expense spent to prepare the design is most certainly built into the total project cost--nothing worthwhile is free. And since the plan that designer develops is not competitively bid by other contractors, you have no way of knowing what a truly competitive market price would be for the cost of that installation. As a result, you can and will substantially overpay for the installation itself, in exchange for a poorly designed free plan.
We feel it is far less expensive to hire a landscape architect in the first place, regardless of their design skills, to install any landscape simply because: Competitively bidding a landscape plan will often result in savings in excess of the design and supervision fees. And since we know who the best landscape contractors are and who offers the best prices, the contractors we use often start out 10-20% and sometimes 50-100% cheaper than other landscape contractors. And when they know we are involved with the supervision and coordination of a project, their pricing is generally even more competitive, since they know the project will run smoothly. This "discount" we feel pays for our services alone.
So, what we mean by value-added service is the fact that we offer more than just the most creative design services in the area--we can and will design your landscape and have it installed at a lower overall cost than anyone else including a landscaper or a nurseryman.
Rich, your Landscape Architectural services were the best and most valuable services we received on our entire building and landscaping project. There is no doubt that your diligence and professionalism are second to none. Thank you for everything you have done for us.
Paul G. Carr, Ph.D., P.E
Still have questions or need more information? Download one of our brochures to find out more how Brown & Crebbin can help in your next project. Project Brochures >