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Guide to Hiring a Landscape Design Service | State College, PA

A landscape design expert taking care of plants during a visit

When it comes to enhancing your lawn or yard, nothing compares to professional landscaping. It raises the aesthetic effect of your property while adding functional value, turning your yard into a fantastic extension of your living area.

A well-designed landscape not only boosts curb appeal but also creates a welcoming environment for family and friends. It's an investment that pays off in both the short and long term, enhancing your quality of life while increasing property value.

Key Takeaways

  • Professional landscape designers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, ensuring that your project is both beautiful and sustainable.

  • The landscape design industry offers a range of services to cater to different needs, from design-only packages to all-in design, build, and maintenance packages.

  • To truly bring your dream yard to life and ensure its long-term success, consider hiring a professional design firm like Landscape II for a comprehensive and hassle-free experience.

Why Choose Professional Landscape Design Services for Your Outdoor Space

A granite cobblestone walkway being constructed

Opting for a professional service in landscaping is a strategic decision that brings multiple benefits to your property and lifestyle. Here are some of them:

Expertise in design and planning

Landscape experts have the training and experience to transform your ideas into a cohesive plan. They understand the nuances of soil quality, plant life, and local climate, ensuring that your garden is not just beautiful but also sustainable.

Comprehensive design packages

Many landscape companies offer a comprehensive design package that includes everything from initial consultation to final installation. This all-in-one approach simplifies the process for homeowners and makes it easier for you to achieve your dream yard without having to talk to different contractors.

Quality and sustainability

When you work with a professional team, you're investing in quality. These experts have extensive training and experience to back them up.

Customization and creativity

A landscape design company provides the opportunity for customization that DIY solutions can't match. Whether you're looking for a tranquil garden, a functional outdoor living area, or a combination of both, a professional designer can bring your vision to life.

Time and cost efficiency

While it may seem like hiring professionals is expensive, the long-term benefits often outweigh the initial costs. Professionals can complete the project in a timely manner and avoid costly mistakes, which ultimately saves you time and money.

Types of Design Services in Landscaping

Landscape designer working on a plan for a garden

When it comes to landscape design, one size doesn't fit all. Different projects require different approaches, and that's why the industry offers a range of services:

Design only

Opting for a "Design Only" service means you'll receive a comprehensive blueprint crafted by expert landscapers. This plan will include everything from plant selection to layout, providing you with a roadmap to either tackle the project yourself or hand it off to a contractor of your choice.

This service is ideal for those who have a knack for DIY but need professional guidance to visualize the project.


The "Design/build" approach is a turnkey solution where the company not only creates the design but also executes it. This is perfect for those who prefer a streamlined process and want to work with a single team from start to finish.

The design team collaborates closely with the construction crew to ensure that the original vision is faithfully translated into reality.


"Installation" work is centered on the actual construction and planting phase. If you already have a design in hand, either from a previous consultation or your own planning, this service will bring it to life. From soil preparation to plant installation and hardscape construction, every detail is managed to ensure quality and longevity.


A beautiful design is just the beginning. Ongoing "Maintenance" ensures that your landscape remains as stunning as the day it was completed. This can include everything from regular pruning and fertilization to seasonal clean-ups and pest control.

All-in-one packages

Many clients prefer the convenience of a complete package, which includes the design, build, and maintenance phases. This all-in-one solution is often more cost-effective and ensures that your project is cohesive from start to finish.

Choose the one that best suits your needs, whether you're revamping a small garden or undertaking a complete outdoor overhaul.

The Landscape Design Process

A one-on-one meeting between a client and a local designer where the design inspiration and ideas are discussed.

Now that you know about the different types of services in design, let's move on to the process itself. This process is a multi-step journey that transforms your vision into a tangible, beautiful outdoor space. Each phase is crucial, from the initial consultation to the final design.

Initial meeting and consultation

The process kicks off with an initial meeting and consultation. This is where we sit down with you—either in person or via a video call—to discuss your vision, preferences, and needs. We'll talk about your style inspiration (whether you want traditional landscape design services or modern), the elements you want to incorporate, and any specific features you desire to install, such as a patio, water feature, or garden.

Site analysis and consulting

Next, our team conducts a thorough site analysis. This involves assessing the soil quality, sunlight, drainage, and other environmental factors that could affect the design. We also consider any existing structures and plants, as these can either be incorporated into the new design or removed, depending on your preference.

Assessment of needs

Once we have a good understanding of the site, we focus on your specific needs and wants. Do you need a child-friendly space, or perhaps an area dedicated to outdoor dining? This phase ensures that the design will serve you well, both now and in the future.

Functional design

A well-thought-out design is not only beautiful but also functional. Whether it's ensuring easy access to different parts of the yard or planning the right spots for plants to thrive, we make sure that every element serves a purpose and enhances your overall experience.

Conceptual design

After gathering all the necessary information, we move on to the conceptual design phase. Here, we develop initial sketches and 3D models to give you a glimpse of what the final outcome could look like. This is a collaborative stage where we welcome your feedback to fine-tune the design.

Final detailed design

The last step is the final detailed design, where every element is meticulously planned and agreed upon, from the types of plants and materials to be used to the layout of pathways and seating areas. This comprehensive plan serves as the blueprint for the installation phase so that nothing is left to chance.

Cost of Landscape Design

A calculator with the word "Cost" displayed on the screen. Pie charts and numbers in the background

Now that we've explored the various types of landscape design services and their processes, let's move on to another crucial aspect: the cost of landscape design. To set a realistic budget and bring your dream outdoor space to life without financial strain, it's crucial to grasp the various cost factors involved.

Here are key considerations that affect cost:

Complexity of design

The intricacy of your chosen design significantly influences the overall cost. A simple, straightforward layout will naturally be more budget-friendly than a complex design featuring multiple zones, water features, or specialized gardens.

Simply put, the more elaborate your vision, the higher the cost, due to the increased time and expertise required.

Size of property

The size of your property is a major cost determinant. Larger spaces require more materials and labor, thus increasing the overall cost. However, economies of scale may offer some cost savings, especially when purchasing in bulk.

Materials used

The choice of materials also has a substantial impact on the cost. Durable products like natural stone or exotic hardwoods come with a higher price tag compared to more economical options like mulch or basic plants.

Labor costs

The skill level and experience of the design team are other factors that affect the cost. A highly skilled team may charge more for their expertise, but the investment is often worth it for a well-executed, durable design.

Choosing the Best Landscape Design Service Provider

A beautiful landscape design for a backyard. Small bench foregound

After discussing the cost, it's time to concentrate on another crucial aspect: selecting the right contractor to do your landscape. This decision will significantly impact the success of your landscaping project.


Before making any commitments, take the time to review the provider's portfolio. This will give you a good sense of their design style, the complexity of projects they've handled, and the quality of their work. A diverse portfolio can also indicate a well-rounded and experienced design team.


Word of mouth still holds considerable weight. Customer reviews can offer you a glimpse into the provider's reliability, customer service, and expertise. Look for reviews that specifically talk about the aspects that are most important to you, such as timeliness, attention to detail, or the ability to stay within budget.


Last but not least, make sure the team you're considering has the necessary qualifications. This includes not only educational background but also relevant experience in the field.

A qualified team will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise during the project and make certain that the process is as smooth and hassle-free as possible for you.

Additional Things to Think of When Hiring for a Landscape Design Service

Paper printed with the words "Warranty" and "Guarantee"

Now that we've covered the basics, let's look at some other important factors you should consider when choosing a landscape service provider These additional considerations can make all the difference in the long-term success and enjoyment of your outdoor space.

Long-term maintenance of build

Your relationship with your service provider doesn't have to end once the project is finished. Think about the long-term upkeep of your new outdoor space. Will the plants require specialized care? What about seasonal maintenance for features like fountains or patios? Some providers offer maintenance packages that can help keep your space looking fresh year-round.

Warranty on installations

A warranty can provide peace of mind, knowing that if something goes wrong shortly after the purchase or the project's completion, you're covered. Always ask about the warranty terms. This can save you from unexpected costs and headaches down the line.

Flexibility in making changes

Plans change, and your service provider should be able to accommodate those changes. Whether it's a small tweak to the design or a significant alteration, find out how flexible they are in adapting to new requirements. This can be especially important if you're undertaking a large, phased project.

Availability for future maintenance

Even if you're a DIY enthusiast, there might be elements of your new landscape that require professional upkeep. Check if the service provider is available for future maintenance work, whether it's regular check-ups or seasonal overhauls. This can be a convenient way to keep your exterior space in top condition.

Ready to Create Your Dream Outdoor Space?

Don't leave your outdoor paradise to chance. Choose a company that aligns with your vision and needs.

At Landscape II, we offer a comprehensive range of services that covers everything from initial consultation to long-term maintenance. Plus, we're the best landscape designers in State College, PA. Our award-winning craftsmen are a testament to that.

Contact us today to get started on making your dream yard a reality!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is landscape design a product or service?

Landscape design is primarily a service that may include products like design blueprints, 3D models, and even physical installations like plants, furniture, and hardscapes.

What do landscape designers do?

Landscape design people work to transform your space outdoors based on your vision and needs. They handle everything from initial consultation and site analysis to creating a functional and aesthetic design.

What is the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

While both work on exterior spaces, landscape architects usually have a more formal education and are licensed to handle larger public projects. A landscape designer will often work on residential or smaller commercial projects.

What does landscaping design mean?

Landscaping design is the art and science of planning and creating outdoor spaces for aesthetic and functional purposes. It involves selecting the right plants, materials, and layouts to achieve a cohesive and sustainable environment.

Is there an app online that you can design landscapes on?

Yes, there are various apps and platforms that offer online landscape design services. These tools can be convenient for getting a rough idea of what you might want your outdoor space to look like.

However, it's worth noting that an online landscape design process comes with several cons, such as limited customization and the lack of professional expertise in areas like soil quality, local climate, and sustainable practices. For a more comprehensive and personalized approach, consulting with a professional landscape design service is often the better choice.


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