Will I need a landscape designer?

The role of a landscape designer is to work with the clients and the architect to design the outdoor spaces for your home.  Their aim is to integrate these outdoor spaces with the design of the home so that they complement the look and function of the internal spaces.


The main areas of the garden that need to be designed and integrated with the house are:

  • The alfresco living area = outdoor dining / living & BBQ
  • The swimming pool and sun deck
  • The lawn or play area
  • The front yard or entry area
  • The driveway
  • The service yard or utility area.

Each of these areas will require specific design considerations and functional solutions that will determine how each area contributes to the client’s lifestyle and the overall functionality of the home.


A comprehensive landscape design should include the following:

  • The design, selection and specification of all outdoor materials and finishes
  • The design of all garden structural elements including the swimming pool if required, retaining walls, decking areas, pergola / shade structure, BBQ etc
  • The design of all fences, gates and privacy screens
  • A planting schedule including the size, number and species of all plants
  • A plan showing all the services including power, water, sewer and storm water requirements to be provided by the builder
  • Design of the garden lighting to be integrated with the house electrical plan
  • An irrigation system plan including all drainage requirements that need to be integrated with the house storm water system
  • Coordination of quotations from recommended landscape contractors.


The landscaping of a property requires a lot of coordination and cooperation from the builder, so we recommend that the landscape design is organized as early as possible during the design process, (i.e. as soon as the “concept design plans” are finalized with the architect).


The hourly rate cost of a good landscape designer will be like that of a good interior designer or architect (i.e. $150.00 to $250.00 per hour).  Most landscape designers will work for a fixed fee of around 0.3% to 0.5% of the building budget.  Note: construction drawings and structural details if required are often excluded from a landscape designer’s fixed fee.


The design and integration of the garden with the overall house design is extremely important and if executed well can add significantly to the end value of a property and to the lifestyle and enjoyment of the owner’s family.  Therefore, we strongly recommend that all our clients engage an established and well recognized landscape designer and that they allocate the necessary allowance in the project budget at the start of the house design process.


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