Architect- Minimum of a Degree in Landscape architecture by a program approved by the Landscape Architectural Landscape accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects. 2-3 years apprenticeship under a Licenced Landscape Architect, usually conducted concurrently while in pursuit of basic degree. Obtain License from Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board.
Designer- Someone who calls themselves a Designer and does Designs.
Now there are some highly educated, highly experienced designers out there doing a good job. However no certification. license or education is required/ Other than a business license depending on Location.
Contractor- Licensed and bonded through a State Contractors governing Board. Varying degrees of education and experience. Certified by state by passing certification test for License and financial requirements. Fairly consistent in most states with California have the most requirements.
An Architect is a Educated Licenced Certified Professional like a Civil Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer and regulated by a State Agency.
Contractor - Licensed Professional thru a State Agency.
Getting the picture.
A Contractor may be a Licensed Architect as well. However far and few between. Both are very demanding Professions in their own right. Large Landscape companies which are licensed Contractor usually have one or more Landscape Architects working for them.
Most smaller Landscape Contractors do what is called design build. They can create depending on state certification level Landscape Designs and Plans and complete the work after obtaining a signed contract.
Designers can neither do contract work nor full scale Certified Landscape Plans. Each state has their own rules regarding what a "Designer" can deliver without a Contractors License. A Contractor can only deliver what a "Designer" can for landscape plans if they dont complete the actual work.
Ok I'm off my high horse now.
Go with a Landscape Contractor that has several years of experience. You can hire one that has Architects working for them or hire a separate Architect for the plans.
Landscape Architecture BlogStudio H Landscape Architecture, Inc. | Studio H Landscape Architecture, Inc.