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You probably spent a lot of time and money on your home. You wanted the right kind of house, the right kind of neighborhood, the right kind of commute. But when it comes time to improve the yard, many homeowners balk at what they assume they would have to pay for a professional designer. The truth is, the benefits of landscaping through a professional company have a tremendous impact on your home, its value and your piece of mind.

That’s why if you live in New Jersey, landscape design is almost always best left to the professionals. Professional landscape designers “know their stuff” – and that “stuff” is often a combination of things that a most homeowners would never imagine. There are a number of reasons to consider the benefits of landscaping your yard with a professional.

They’re Realists: Who wouldn’t love a rolling green lawn with a beautiful waterfall that cascades over boulders and into the pool? But if you’re sitting on less than a quarter of an acre of property, this isn’t a feasible design – and landscaping designers know it. They’re experts at sizing up your available space and determining which types of foliage and hardscapes will make your yard look finished and complete, not overwhelmed or too sparse.

They’re Trained: Most professional landscape designers have to prove their worth before they can get a full-time position at a reputable company. One of the benefits of using landscaping companies is that their designers are often tried-and-true. Many designers have degrees in their field or comparable experience working with other forms of design.

They Understand Budgets: How many times have you planned a project and had the costs exceed what you originally set aside for it? With professionals, that almost never happens. When you hire landscaping designers, you give them your budget up front. Their plans are executed with your budget in mind, which means there won’t be any surprise costs at a later stage – costs that could leave your new lawn looking unfinished if you ran out of money on your own.

They Know Soil: Another one of the terrific benefits of landscaping ideas created by a professional company is that the designers know a lot about dirt. They know which areas are built on marshy terrain; which are built on sand; how far below the groundwater is. In New Jersey, landscape designs can be completely undone by planting the wrong foliage in the wrong soil. Knowing what the ground is like in your area ensures that the plants, shrubs and trees they plant will not only survive, but flourish. And because professional landscape designers know about the soil in your yard, they also know the best way to enable proper drainage, which keeps roots (and a home’s foundations) from rotting away.

They’re Stress Relievers: Do-it-yourself projects can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if you’re not a natural “green thumb” or environmental engineer. By hiring landscaping designers, you’re saving yourself time and money, which frees you up to take care of other projects you’ve set aside for yourself. Plus, most New Jersey landscape design companies are willing to provide a detailed timeline for their work, so you can plan your outdoor events more effectively. Landscaping designers are also well-equipped to deal with a crisis, which means that they’ll have a contingency plan if something should happen to go wrong.

They’re Local: Local labor is cost effective. It’s one of the hidden benefits of landscaping – no additional fuel surcharges, no plants or flowers that can’t survive the terrain or the weather, and no out-of-state taxes. So unless you’re having a particular plant or stone shipped to your home in New Jersey, the landscape designs will feature foliage and rocks that are found within a close distance, which could save you a tremendous amount of money. Plus, you’ll be giving back to a business that helps your community thrive.

Is There Ever a Time NOT to Hire Landscaping Designers?

The truth is, professional landscape designers are far better at their jobs than most homeowners. Still, there are certain things you can do on your own if it’s really too cost-prohibitive to hire a service. If you’re interested in a small flower garden, or if you want to create steps to your front door with pavers, you may not need to hire a landscaping company to do that. (Unless you’re working with concrete: then you really do want to hire a professional.) But if you’re considering a brand-new design or a larger-scale hardscape, or if you’re trying to improve the value of your home, it’s time to call a designer.