I'm interested in an entire backyard overhaul (pool, patio, modernize, hardscaping, pergolas, etc). The problem is my backyard is somewhat sloped, and there's already existing fences, a patio, deck, bushes, and the like. As money is always a concern, I'd like an overall "blueprint" for what my backyard will look like in 5-7 years. Something to work towards. I'm flummoxed as to if I should hire an expensive architect, or if a garden center designer would be adequate, considering the pool and slope issues.

Whaddya think, as I'd love to start my plan!