The following will walk you
step by step through my design process. If you have any questions,
I'm happy to answer them for you and demonstrate my fitness to serve your
landscape design needs.
Architect vs design/build landscape designer?
I have been both. Design/build landscape
designers are contractors. Job 1 is to sell you products and services. I
retired from the contracting business 12 years ago, and recently landscape
architecture, so I can concentrate on what I love: Concept
development, design, and construction management. My only interest is
satisfying all of your needs including your budget. See resume)
See also fees.
Design isn't an event.
It is a process of refinement. Every detail is decided by
someone. The basic steps are: Concept, preliminary, revisions, final, and
documentation. It can be substantially completed before construction or
during construction. I have worked with a few clients when the final
design was very different than the original concept.
A sketch is the based on a semi
scale plat. It is the first step in the design process, but isn't
accurate or detailed enough for construction.
plan is a conversion of the fat fuzzy lines of a sketch into
something that can be dimensioned. The
effect of the 3rd dimension (height) can be calculated, but not adequately
demonstrated nor verified with a
plan. The plan can be no more accurate that the survey of existing
conditions. To that end, I recommend you hire a surveyor.
design model is an effective tool for working out construction
details and making sure that everyone is imagining the same thing. It
serves to avoid misunderstandings and significant change orders during
construction. It's not just a picture of the design. It is the design.
Design changes and alternative scenarios are very easy and extremely cost
effective compared to changes during construction.
Choices are easier and less stressful when you can see the
difference between alternatives, compare the relative costs, and confirm
or adjust your priorities.
following is a step by step outline of my
procedures, deliverables, fees, and payment
Receive, prepare, and
print your survey (plat) if you have one.
First meeting and
Scan and trace our design
into a 2D Plan using AutoCAD
Build a basic
walkthrough, and markup
Revisions (markup and
revisions repeated until you are satisfied)
Update AutoCAD plan to
match final 3d model
Optional Project administration
– 15% of all costs + travel expense (if any) Minimum 20k project budget,
Types of formal documentation for design services
– Optional supplemental plans and specs include:
Supplemental plant data
Construction details and specifications
Estimate of charges
– I charge a very reasonable fee of $70 per hour including one way travel
+ overnight accommodation if necessary. See
- 1st Onsite meeting and sketch typically costs a
few hundred dollars. The variables are: If I have a survey before our
meeting, our time together is much more efficient. If your project is
simple, you probably don’t need me, but complex issues might require
several minutes to an hour or so to resolve to your perfect
satisfaction. I use colored flags and paint to help us visualize and
agree on a design as quickly as humanly possible. I draw sketches
faster than anyone (1-3 hrs) if I have an accurate survey, daylight, and
decent weather. Given time, I use my erasable colored pencils to help
us visualize and agree on the sketch design as quickly and efficiently
as possible. I try to produce this sketch during our 1st
appointment, but occasionally we need more time to resolve conflicting
issues. If you are much further than 2 hours drive, I have found it to
be more cost efficient to stay over in a local hotel than spending
another 5+ hours driving. I don’t charge for time spent in overnight
accommodation unless I am working on your project.
Scan and trace your 2D
planting plan typically takes only a few hours because our sketch
design is already to scale, and I have specific tools and techniques to
make the process the most efficient possible.
- I use
special software to allow me to create a basic model in a few hours to
several hours depending on many variables that we will discuss when we
meet. The psychological aspect of this process varies between
individuals. You will realize insights not possible by any other
method, which refines your ideals, which provides insight, which
generates new ideas, which reveals alternatives. I don’t require that
you know where we will end before we start. You will find this journey
to be exciting, and gratifying, while easing the tension of making
decisions in a vacuum. My skills and efficiency improve with each
model, but I haven’t increased my rate so you are getting a better value
than all clients before you.
our design evolves, I add details, textures, entourage, and background
to increase realism and visualization. This process advances along with
design refinements and is impossible to guess because of the dynamic
aspect of the process. We use this model to walk through our design,
take screen captures, and mark them up to represent revisions. Design
is making choices between conflicting objectives and restraints. Design
is refinement of your ideals based on the constraints of reality.
Presentation is how we communicate intent between us, and with
– I prefer to be paid upon delivery of the sketch, 3d model, planting
plan, and/or other supplemental deliverables. You may stop at any point
in the design process with notification of cessation of services and full
payment of services to date.
I keep a few to several projects underway most of the year. I can normally
visit your on your site within a week, or online within a couple days.
We can normally produce a model sufficient for us to review online within
2 weeks of our 1st meeting.