November 14, 2023

Do I need a Design Build Landscape Company? And..

Landscape workers installing new front yard for design build firm

What is the difference Between a Landscape Design Build Firm and a Landscape Maintenance Company? 

In this article, we are discussing the different types of landscape companies and when to choose a “design build” firm instead of a maintenance company and vice versa. 

Initial Landscape Design, Project Management, Installation, and Construction 

This is the “design-build” landscape approach to project delivery that handles all aspects of a landscaping project from the initial design through to the construction completion managed by one company or entity.

Landscape Architectural Rendering For Design Build Landscape Project
Man Doing Lawn Work, Edging Grass Landscape Design By Outside Landscape

Some companies may handle only one phase of the project, and then hand it over to another company.  In these cases, the homeowner has to be much more involved, ensuring communication and that the vision of the designer is brought to life by the installer.   In a design-build landscape model, a single entity, often the landscape firm itself or a collaboration between a design and construction team, manages both aspects of the project starting with architectural renderings and finishing after the total installation is completed.

Choosing a design-build landscape firm has many key benefits, among those: 

Single Point of Responsibility:

Design-build consolidates responsibility into one entity, streamlining communication and decision-making. The landscape firm is accountable for both the landscape architecture and design was well as the construction aspects of the project.

Collaborative Process:

Design-build fosters collaboration between designers, architects, engineers, and construction professionals from the early stages of the project. This can lead to more efficient problem-solving and creative solutions as the team works together throughout the entire process.

Adaptability and Responsiveness:

Design-build landscape allows for greater adaptability to changes during the construction process. Design adjustments can be made more efficiently since the design and construction teams are working closely together.

As you can see by the photograph here, this project required installing a concrete patio, which for many homeowners would require them to find and contract with a separate hardscape company.

Landscape Crew Installing Concrete For Patio In Atlanta
Landscape Crew Installing Patio As Part Of Larger Design Build Project

Streamlined Communication:

Communication is more streamlined because the design and construction teams are part of the same company or have a long-standing relationship. This can help avoid misunderstandings or conflicts that may arise when dealing with separate design and construction firms.

Cost and Time Efficiency:

With design-build, there is potential for better cost control and time management. The integrated approach allows for quicker decision-making, reducing the likelihood of delays and change orders. Early collaboration can also identify cost-saving opportunities during the design phase.

Adaptability and Responsiveness:

Design-build allows for greater adaptability to changes during the construction process. Design adjustments can be made more efficiently since the design and construction teams are working closely together.

Quality Control:

The landscape firm can maintain a higher level of control over the quality of the project, as they are involved in both the design and construction phases.

In summary, the design-build approach in landscape architecture combines the design and construction processes under one umbrella, promoting collaboration, efficiency, and a more cohesive project delivery. This method is gaining popularity for its ability to streamline the construction process and provide a more integrated and responsive solution for clients

Landscape Maintenance Company:

A landscape maintenance company primarily concentrates on the ongoing care and upkeep of existing landscapes. Their main goal is to ensure that the landscape remains healthy, attractive, and functional over time.

In other words, after working with a design-build landscape company, you will most likely want to engage with a landscape maintenance company, if you don’t plan to maintain your landscape yourself. 

Man Doing Lawn Work, Edging Grass

Landscape Maintenance Company Services:

Services provided by a landscape maintenance company include lawn mowing, pruning, weeding, fertilizing, pest control, irrigation system maintenance, seasonal cleanups, and other routine tasks necessary to preserve the health and appearance of the landscape.

Skill Set:

The expertise of a maintenance company lies in horticulture, plant health, and general landscape management. They are skilled in the day-to-day tasks required to keep a landscape in optimal condition.

Client Interaction:

Maintenance companies often have ongoing relationships with clients, providing regular services on a scheduled basis. As mentioned earlier, clients typically hire them for recurring maintenance contracts.

Final Comparison between Design Build Landscape Firm and Landscape Maintenance

While both landscape maintenance companies and design-build landscape firms contribute to the overall health and beauty of outdoor spaces, they differ in their primary focus and the scope of services they provide. A maintenance company is more concerned with ongoing care, while a design-build firm is involved in the creation and construction of new landscapes.

Written by Outside Landscape Group, a design-build landscape firm located in Alpharetta and Atlanta, GA and Lake Martin, Alabama.


  1. Can you come give us a consultation/ quote for our back yard?

    • Hi Julie

      Sure, we would love to meet and look at your yard. You can email me directly at, include your email or phone number and I’ll have one of our landscape project managers contact your, or if you prefer, you can call Kerri at 770-754-1188.

      We look forward to meeting.


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