Well yes.. and of course no.
Hiring a designer isn't only about achieving a look that you may be after, or a signature piece from a well known designer. Its also about accessing the knowledge the designer has about the wider landscaping industry and similar projects to your own and by doing so, avoid costly mistakes.
For example, a recent client had been quoted for sandstone paving. A beautiful material in the right place, however that was the issue. The patio area in question was north facing and after being asked to come over for a chat, we pointed out that the particular sandstone, being highly porous, would quickly loose its smooth tan appearance under a blanket of algae in such a position. Simply changing to limestone, would achieve a similar look, while avoiding much of these problems. And so a quick chat meant that a very costly mistake was avoided.
Or what about planting? A planting plan is not only about appearance. It's also about what works in the space. We all know after a visit to the local nursery that planting is not cheap, particularly when specimen examples are used, but did you know that many designers, including ourselves will guarantee all plants that we install? So not only can you be assured that the designer has selected species that will not only live, but thrive in your conditions, you can also know that should this not be the case, they will be replaced in any trouble areas.
And council planning? Well that can of course be a minefield in its own right, however a designer can work with you in steering through an ambitious project by dealing directly on your behalf and pre-empting issues, such as replacing trees that are ear marked for removal on the master plan.
So hopefully, these small examples will highlight how commissioning a designer is so much more than just achieving a look. Its about executing that design that you love, in a way that ensures not just immediate, but also long term success.