"Fees are based on the homeowner's budgets and the scale of a project. A rule of thumb is 10% of a budget should be set aside for professional fees while the remaining budget is dedicated to construction," says Ed Dermody of Woolpert.

"It is important that all roles are defined in the design process and delineated in phases so that the homeowner can be assured their needs and expectations are met," says Dermody. "Homeowners should always remember that this is their backyard, their project and never be intimidated. The landscape architect, contractor and even the supply company are there to help you."

R. Patrick Worzer of Land Design Services, Inc. notes: "The level of professional help will vary according to your scope of work and level of experience you desire to hire. Generally you can expect design fees to range 10% of the expected construction cost. Most professionals will give you a free proposal with a defined scope and fee along with their hourly rate structure. Make sure you check references and use a licensed professional who is associated with a national professional organization. Credentials are important!"