Working as a landscape designer in San Diego, I often work directly with the contractor installing my designs. This allows me not only to plan the landscape on paper but help direct its installation. Landscape designers often offer design services, then refer clients to one or more landscape contractors for installation, never to be heard from again. Yet continuing to work with the designer during installation offers a number of advantages, including:
Anyone working as an independent landscape designer must understandably charge extra for their hours during the construction phase - clients can view this as one part of the overall cost of the project. Overall I prefer working with the contractor because it makes the end product better. I truly enjoy seeing the project as it unfolds and believe the end results are superior in both look and craftsmanship with this hands-on approach. Besides, it is fun to get dirty once in a while.