The services of the landscape architecture profession vary widely and our services center on the residential and ‘soft’ commercial customers that want to maximize the functional as well as the aesthetic parts of their gardens. Our clients generally fall into two categories, new construction or renovations. With new construction projects we typically site the home and all site amenities and produce a drawing set that can be used to obtain building permits. Renovation projects often include a similar process but often involve a garden renovation or the addition of a swimming pool or other site feature. With all projects we consider grading, drainage, site conditions, favorable and un-favorable views and transitioning elevation changes. Planting plans provide an organized and effective strategy that will mature into a manageable landscape.
A master plan provides a plan that can be implemented in phases or tackled all at once and should provide the vision and details for development of the site as a whole. A good master addresses all functional needs of the client and property and enables an accurate budget to be developed. A good master plan helps avoid surprises and keeps the site organized.
The design process begins with a meeting on site to discuss the desires of our client and review the conditions of the site. I always tell prospective clients ‘the better the information provided to me, the better the information we can provide to you’. The best information for us to work with is an official site survey with topography, tree locations and all site features located. Normally this level of information isn’t available so we obtain whatever survey or site information we can and perform a site analysis to collect important information effecting our design. We add this information to the survey to create our base plan and then develop conceptual designs to satisfy the wish list of our clients. With comments from our clients the design is revised to reflect the final plan. Depending on the scope of the project detailed drawings are then prepared accordingly. If a building, swimming pool, fence or other structure that might impact a site boundary or building setback is part of the plan then an official survey may be required.
Most clients want to know how much is it going to cost and how long is it going to take?
We work to design effective spaces so the spatial quality is good regardless of finish but it is finishes that quickly elevate construction cost. A concrete terrace will cost less than a limestone terrace.
Weather has a huge impact in construction schedules, especially when land disturbance is required. We closely manage our projects to withstand the weather and remain open for work.