Design Process & Fees

Phase 1 - Research and Preparation

The Designer will meet with the Client to gather information about their project and gain a clear understanding their needs and preferences. If needed, the Designer will identify third-party consultants (e.g., landscape architect, arborist) to aid in the delivery of the design and creation of the Instruments of Service. The Client agrees to provide an updated property survey of the project area. 

The Designer will document existing conditions with measurements and photographs and perform a site inventory and analysis. With that information, a base plan or scaled drawing of the project area will be created using AutoCAD software. This bird’s-eye view plan will be the basis for all further drawings. The Designer will develop a design program based on the Client’s requirements and the site analysis. The design program will outline the elements needed in the design solution. 

Phase 2 - Concept Development

In the second phase, the Designer will create an illustrative conceptual plan. This phase starts with initial plan studies and an analysis of options; time will be spent on site and in the studio identifying opportunities, contemplating alternate design solutions, and imagining the new garden’s atmosphere. The Designer will compile imagery to communicate the proposed aesthetics to the Client.

The amount of detail included in the conceptual plan varies. It is informed by a Client’s needs as well as the size of the project area. In the case of a large-scale renovation, the conceptual plan may include buildings, driveways, parking, terraces, patios, walks, fencing, garden structures, pools, fountains, lawn, open space, gardens, planting beds, trees, and shrubs. Alternatively, if the Designer is commissioned to create a planting plan (e.g., perennial garden or annual seasonal display) the conceptual plan may include substantially less hardscape detail.

Phase 3 - Final Conceptual Design and Budget

Based on the Client’s feedback to the conceptual plan(s), the Designer will refine the preferred plan with greater detail. The Designer will assemble a binder of documents that support the final plan (e.g., material recommendations, plant lists, site furnishings, and/or garden ornaments). 

The Designer will prepare a non-binding project budget as a guideline for the Client in preparation for the work to follow. The actual cost of the Project will often vary, and the Client agrees to plan for a reasonable contingency.

Depending upon the scope of the project, the final conceptual plan may be adequate to move forward with bidding and construction. More elaborate projects may require additional design development and construction documents. The Designer will work the Client to understand the Project’s evolving scope as the project progresses. 

Design fees from $25,000.

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