Design Process

Joe has many years of experience managing a construction company, so project management is an area where the practice is able to offer a particular set of skills. Following the conclusion of the landscape or garden design process outlined below, or sometimes alongside the design development, we will provide budget costs followed by Quantity Schedules and a Scope of Work. We can assist with the tender process and appointment of a contractor and oversee the project to completion.
Joe works closely with chosen contractors to ensure the design is faithfully carried out. Making a garden or landscape is all about teamwork and having the right people with the required skills to achieve the best possible result.

How we work, a step by step process

Joe approaches each garden or landscape design as a unique response to the site and to the client brief. A strong narrative is key to delivering a scheme which has real context and a sense of place.

1. The first step would usually be an initial phone conversation just to understand timescales, expectations and so we can explain and answer any questions you might have. We can also discuss budget and fees if you’re comfortable to do so, we find it’s usually best to do so as early in the process as possible so we can advise to the best of our ability. Joe managed a construction firm for 10 years alongside the design business so we understand costs pretty well.

2. Following the phone conversation we would arrange a visit to see the garden/site and to take a client brief from you in terms of requirements and how you’d like the garden to look. From a design perspective, our ethos is very much to plan according to the client brief and style of the property/environment. You can see from our website that we design in a variety of styles. This visit is also so that we can see if there will be any potential constraints or planning requirements that may need addressing. After the initial visit we would then confirm the design fee proposal back to you together with the brief in writing. There would be a small charge to cover time and expenses for this visit, which is why the phone conversation beforehand is important.

3. Once you have instructed us on the basis of the Brief and Fee Proposal, the design stages are:

1. Survey information – often engaging a local surveyor to do a topographic survey to include house footprint, boundaries, levels, trees etc.

2. Concept Design – Sketches for discussion and amendment followed by a sketch design presentation, often hand-drawn, with mood boards of ideas for materials, plants and styles.

3. Outline Design – An agreed CAD-drawn Outline design plan, or ‘General Arrangement’ plan with brief description of materials to show the agreed layout, including hard surfaces, walls, features, areas of lawn, planting and levels.

There will be a fixed fee for stages 2 and 3 with stages 4 and 5 to follow once the Outline Design has been agreed.

4. Detailed Design

4.1 Plans for construction – Setting out plan, Hardlandscape/levels/drainage, Construction details – this depends on the complexity of the scheme as to how much detail is required

4.2 Planting plans showing names, sizes, location and quantities of all plants

4.3 Bill of quantities and Scope of Works/Specifications – Written specifications for the hard and soft landscape elements, general standards of workmanship. Schedules of plants and Bill of Quantities for tender. The BoQ is important in that it allows us to gather like for like quotes for the construction and easily analyse the submitted returns.

5. Tendering –  We help you to put the package together to send out to 2 or 3  landscape contractors for pricing and evaluate the returned quotations.

Once the contractor has been chosen, Joe is able to use his construction experience to effectively manage and oversee the implementation of the design. This can include regular visits and assessment, administration of contracts and signing off of completed work.