Overview of the Design Process
The plans created through this process take your ideas and add our creativity and experience to produce a functional and aesthetic plan with precise drawings and specifications. The plan will document exactly what will be built and allows us to accurately estimate the cost of your project. The following is a step by step description of our design process to give you a clear picture of the exciting journey towards your ideal outdoor living space.
There is no charge for our first meeting, an approximately one-hour consultation to discuss the details of your project. This is also your chance to interview us to make sure we are the right fit. This time can be thought of as a brainstorming session as we walk the property and share ideas. Our designer will share insights and describe options regarding design costs, process, and implementation. The resulting landscape plan will allow you to receive approval from any authorities or governmental entities, but more importantly will give you a clear road map to implementation of a functional and inviting outdoor living space. If your project is smaller in scale, or not very complex, we may recommend a simpler design process to help contain costs.
After meeting with one of our designers, they will take the information collected and create a preliminary conceptual design. This step in the design process allows you and the designer to establish the basic footprint of your new landscape prior to adding all the details. This preliminary plan serves as a verification of concept, documents the spatial uses, and is the framework for the details that will be added in the final design. It is essential that this framework be determined prior to going further. Aspects of a preliminary concept plan include:
- Property lines and the footprint of the house
- Boundary lines (edging, concrete, turf, planting beds) and general layout of spaces
- Hardscape and other elements that are foundational to the design
- Definition of basic spatial uses and other fundamental considerations
The Concept Plan does not include details about irrigation systems, plant material selection, accent features, material selections, etc.
Based on your feedback, we will adjust any aspect of the Concept Plan that needs to be addressed and begin to add in more details. Once these adjustments to the proposed framework are made, the revised design will be presented to you for your approval and any needed revisions before moving on to the final plan.
This step finalizes all the details and aspects of your landscape and brings everything together in one place. The final plan will include the following where applicable:
- Hardscape Plan – Provides all the details, material selection, and final layout of pathways, patios, walls, fire pits, pergolas, accent boulders, wood mulch, rock, grass, cobblestone, etc.
- Planting Plan – Provides you with each proposed plant location, size of plant at installation, size of plant when it is mature, etc.
- Plant Pictures – Colored pictures of each plant with a description of its benefits to your landscape, mature size, growth habit, bloom time, and other important characteristics
- Construction Details - Any pertinent construction details or specifications.
Once the design process is completed, we will provide you with a detailed proposal to transform the concept into reality.
A lot depends on the size of the design and the level of detail needed but a general rule of thumb would be 3-6 weeks.
Absolutely! We have constructed many projects over the years that had an existing design. We also frequently team up with external Landscape Architects and Designers who specialize in providing landscape plans and specifications but do not provide construction services. Because we respect intellectual property rights, we require that the design has been authorized for construction by the copyright holder.
In general, the most successful landscape projects begin by establishing a realistic budget. We strongly encourage you to share your budget with the landscape designer so that the designer can deliver a design that is neither too elaborate nor too simple for your needs. We will work with you to create a Master Plan for your project that can be phased to match your budget.
A budgeting rule of thumb for a complete landscape installation or renovation is 5-10% of the total value of your home, including the land. Therefore, if you own a $550,000 home, plan to spend between $27,500-$55,500 for a basic, functional landscape that will return up to 200 percent in value. Unusual materials, mature specimen plantings, or elaborate hardscapes will add to this figure.
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