Landscape Design Online Anywhere, Anytime, or Local in metro Atlanta, GA and 316 E. to Athens, GA, or up to 4hr drive to GA, SC, NC, AL, TN, or anywhere Non-stop Flight from ATL  Sitemap  Design_Process  Design_Online   Presentations  Waterfalls  Swimming_Pools  Waterfalls  Decks  Landscape Lights  Tennis  Equestrian Estate  Horse_Farm Mansion  Retaining_Walls  Project1  Project2  Project3  3D_Estate1  3D_Estate2  GIS to landscape plan  Resume Fees Email  FREE ONLINE CONSULTATION!  I will answer your questions and demonstrate my unique skills and tools. We will virtually fly over your property and drive along your street , while we discuss your needs, and my fitness to serve you.


My unique design development techniques are the most efficient ever devised. My terms are very simple, with no fine print, or confusing language.  We will formulate a landscape design program that suits your needs, compliments your home, and respects your budget.  Please see Design Process for step by step details of my procedures, which are very cost effective, and among the least expensive = the best value available.  If we work online exclusively, you will save the travel time and expense.

1. Receive your plat via email, or US Post.  I will scan, scale, print, and bring.


2. minimum charge that includes up to 3 hours including travel to you.

Minimum design fee +any hours over 3 due at conclusion of 1st meeting $300
Consultation, concept development, and preliminary design per hour $70
2D Computer drafting per hour  Typically several hrs for plan + several hrs to label plant names, quatity, and size. $50
3D Modeling  A typical study model takes a minimum 3 to 10 hrs $50

DRIVE TIME  I will drive up to 6 hrs one way from Athens, GA using mapquest for drive time. No charge for return.

OVERNIGHT- If I fly or drive 3+ hours to you, I will stay overnight to assure we complete our design and measure your site in 1 visit
AIR TRAVEL 1st visit If you would like to estimate air fare to you, please use Atlanta International Airport (ATL) as my origin. I prefer to depart ATL no earlier than 10:30 AM, and fly non-stop to your airport. My return should be the evening of the second day.  Our second day begins at 9:00 AM until we finish creating your ideal design. My design time and travel time to you are billable time.  No charge for my return trip or time spent in the hotel, unless I am working on your project.
Design Online  Is essentially the same except I may have to do more work in advance of our 1st meeting, which will save your time in our design meeting, but it will be more than offset by no travel time and expense.  International clients have the option to call me, or reimburse me for the call.   You don't have to pay anything in advance, but payment is expected at the conclusion of our first meeting, and prior to transfer of plans, etc.

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CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT  After we have completed the design process; If your project is within 2hr drive from my office, and complex enough to justify my involvement, I'm happy to manage your project. 
My fee is 20% of all related costs up to $20k, and 15% of all direct and indirect costs above $20k.
Crew labor  I'm willing to work with any contractor, but I prefer to work with my BFF and protege who is honest, efficient, licensed, insured, and understands me.  He makes it fun for me. That's good for you to!
LABOR  Foreman + 1helper =$65/hr     Foreman +2 helpers $80/hr 
MATERIALS reimbursed 20% for petty cash purchases under $100 and 15% for larger purchases.  You can save money by paying direct by cc on very large items such as truck loads of stone or sod.  That will save you Hugo's reimbursement markup, but my management fee still applies.

Landscape Architect vs design/build landscaper?  I have been both.  Design/build landscape designers are contractors, Job 1 is to sell you inventory and services.  I retired from the contracting business 12 years ago, so I have no inventory to push, nor labor crews to keep busy.  My plans and details allow you (or me) to negotiate with subcontractors, bypassing the 35%-50% markups typical of general contractors.  I can act as your general contractor.

Design isn't an event.  It's a series of refinements.   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.  If given the time to contemplate and refine the design, it's often much better than the original concept.

The following is a step by step outline of my procedures, deliverables, and fees. These estimates are approximate, due to the variability of decision making. Actual hours will be billed at $70/hr(temporarily $50/hr) +travel. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them for you and demonstrate my fitness to serve your needs.

Item or service



Receive, scale, and print your boundary survey (aka plat) if you have one.



First meeting, travel, consultation, rough layout, measure and draw basemap and sketch.



Scan and insert sketch into AutoCAD, trace and refine 2d hardscape plan.



Dimension 2D Hardscape plan



Sketch 2D planting plan



Label 2D planting plan with names, recommended size, and quantities



Irrigation plan    
Lighting plan    

Estimate 2D plans



Optional 3D study model (not highly detailed) of hardscape design.

Online presentation, walkthrough, and markup

Revisions (markup and revisions repeated until you are satisfied)

Update AutoCAD plan to match final 3d model

Optional construction details, and specifications.

Estimated Optional Design Services



First design meeting and sketch typically costs a few hundred dollars + 1-way drive time based on mapquest estimate.  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 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. A scaled 2D 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 2D plan.  The plan can be no more accurate that the survey of existing conditions.  To that end, I recommend you hire a surveyor, if the project justifies the expense.

3D model - 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.

3D study 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.

Presentation- As 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 competing 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 contractors.

Working drawings include dimensioned plans, elevations, and construction details as well as material specifications.  My revolutionary techniques of using the design model to produce working drawings saves significant time in the conversion.

Estimate of charges – I charge a very reasonable fee of $70 per hour, but I have been dissapointed to discover that male contractors, developers, and executives, can't resist taking advantage of my trusting nature, so I will require them to provide a retainer to finance my work.

Payment schedule – I assume everyone else is trustworthy, so I risk my work, expecting to be paid upon delivery of the sketch, and any deliverable such as 2d plan, 3d model, planting plan, etc. You may stop at any point in the design process with notification of cessation of services and full payment of services to date.

Lead time  I can usually meet you on your site within a week, or online at your convenience.  I normally present a 2d hardscape plan within a few days. We can normally produce a model sufficient for us to review online within a few weeks of our 1st meeting.

Construction is the realization of expectations by creating functional art.  It can be fun, frustrating, or both, but it's always expensive.   Good design, documentation, and management are the best investments you will make in your project.

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 david[at]signaturelandscapes(dot)com  or voicemail at:  706-543-3395

Landscape Design Online Worldwide, local in metro Atlanta, GA and 316 E. to Athens, GA, up to 4hr drive to GA, SC, NC, AL, TN, or Anywhere non-stop Flight from ATL   Let me prove it to you!   Email

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