The Absolute Importance of a Landscape Architect

You wouldn’t dream of leaving the custom details of your dream mountain home to anyone except for your architect, so why should it be any different with your home’s exterior? It shouldn’t. Employing a landscape architect to design a property’s landscape and outdoor living spaces is an instrumental part of the building process. Still, some clients question the necessity of hiring a landscape architect, mistakenly assuming that the job only means deciding where to plant trees and shrubs. In fact, we’ve gotten so many questions over the years about landscape architects, that we decided to write this post to explain how critical landscape design is to the overall building process.


From water features to fire pits, this stunning outdoor space has it all.

Site Selection

Landscape architects can work with homeowners to analyze the site of their new mountain home, looking at sun angles, existing vegetation, wind patterns and any environmental concerns that may arise. From there, they can help best position the home on the lot to optimize views of the surrounding landscape. 

“During our proprietary envisioning process, we learn which views matter most to our clients and optimize the home’s location to ensure they are happy with the end result,” said Mitch Rewold, Vertical Arts’ landscape architect and planner.

For more information about the ins and outs of site selection, see our blog post on finding the perfect location.


This home’s gorgeous landscape features are carefully planned to show the overall look of the home from a bird’s eye view.

Landscape Design Processes

Landscape architects work closely with the construction team on grading plans and the placement of construction equipment to ensure the natural landscape withstands the building process. The experts keep tabs throughout the process, making adjustments as needed. 

“In our grading plan we know how the construction equipment will be placed,” said Mitch. “Our landscape design goes through its limits of disturbance and we’re able to work around excavation that will happen throughout construction.”

More, the design and building phase often allows homeowners to evolve their vision for the property’s exterior. Visiting the site with a landscape architect can help them see possibilities that might otherwise elude them. Some changes clients have made by working with our landscape architect include expanding a patio seating area, enlarging the yard and altering design to take advantage of outdoor spaces. Landscape architects will also work with outside subcontractors to deliver on big projects, such as a swimming pool or unique outdoor facility.

See more tips on envisioning your landscape design in our blog post on three key components to consider before digging in.


The homeowners decided to expand their outdoor spaces, adding a bocce ball court and connecting patios to take advantage of the views.

Letting the Outdoors In

As the home is being finished, the landscape architect will present homeowners with a full 3D rendering of the finished outdoor design. This phase of the project is important to give homeowners the final say on how they want the exterior to relate to the interior of their new or remodeled home. Clients can be as involved as they want—picking patio stone or visiting the nursery to choose plants—or can leave the work to the experts.

“I’ve gone to the store with homeowners to pick out an outside patio stone or visit the nursery to select plants together,” said Mitch.

Landscape architects also design outdoor living spaces, and their vision for bigger installations and understanding of spatial relationships yield beautiful results. Again, their expertise manifests through decisions about where to place a pergola, fire pitch, outdoor grill or hot tub. Design experts on the Vertical Arts team work together with the landscape architect to ensure the placement and sizing is correct. While Mitch works on the furniture layout, the interior design team carefully selects outdoor furniture that matches the color and style of the home. Throughout the process the team works hand-in-hand on lighting and outdoor kitchen elements as well.


This design incorporates the natural elements of the site.

Year-Round Satisfaction

The final steps ensure the landscape stays fresh and well cared for throughout the year. From automated watering systems to more natural landscapes, a landscape architect can design your yard to fit your needs.

“We learn what the clients are used to doing in terms of outdoor yard care and make sure their new home matches their expectations,” said Mitch. 

The result is a design that is functional and looks great all year round. From plant warranties to maintenance programs, the landscape design team can deliver and will even set you up with instructions to ensure your landscape looks great for years to come.

This is the third article in our educational series designed to guide readers through the process of designing a mountain home. Stay tuned for more on this topic and be sure to follow the latest Vertical Arts updates on our website, Houzz, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. To learn more about how we can help you design your dream mountain home, contact us.