Landscape Design - The Wheel & Barrow Process
Updated: Mar 18
Are you thinking of having your yard and gardens designed? If so, this blog is for you. In this blog I will discuss the design process used by Wheel & Barrow Landscape and some things for you to consider as you prepare to transform your yard.
Before I get in to my process lets talk a little bit about what you would like to accomplish by designing or redesigning your landscape and gardens.
Are your goals to make your property more inviting, aesthetically pleasing? Maybe you are not maximizing your space or utilizing the potential your yard possesses. Is it difficult to travel from one side of your property to another? Maybe outdoor rooms and patio space is what you would like? Do you have all sorts of big ideas, but can’t seem to organize them into one cohesive landscape? All of the latter are good reasons to work with a landscape designer.
My process with Wheel & Barrow Landscape Design & Maintenance begins with an initial meeting at your residence. There is no charge to this first meeting. It is usually brief, lasting less than 30 minutes. The intent of this meeting is for me to gain perspective on your potential project and for us to get acquainted.
After the initial meeting if we hit it off and it appears we are a good fit to work together I will email over a questionnaire. This document will help you consider your goals for your landscape, what you would like to address in your space and help you communicate many things that are essential to a successful project. One important question concerns your budget. This is not always a favorite question, but a realistic answer will insure that we design to maximize your resources. If you are new to this and unsure how to budget or what you can expect things to cost, I've written a blog about budgeting you can find here.
When you return this questionnaire to me it signals that you would like to move forward and work with me on your landscape design. There are two primary ways we can work together.
The first way is crafted so you can get a design for your space. But you can work with me or another contractor or of course install the design your self. In this instance I will provide you with a written estimate for the cost of the design and ask that you provide me with a deposit. This deposit is typically 50% of the estimated cost of the design fee.
The second way we can work together is to agree from the start that we want to do a design/build project together. Proceeding this way we'll agree on a budget for the project and the design fee will be incorporated into the budgeted cost. A deposit would also be required and dependent on the size of the project. Either way you would like to work is great, the process is much the same and in place to serve you.
Sometimes with the questionnaire clients will send me photos of landscapes and gardens that inspire them. One tip about photos, quality is better than quantity. If I receive 50 different photos of various gardens you like it can sometimes make it difficult to understand which you are most passionate about. If I see 6-12 photos with specific elements and understand what you like in the photos it makes it easier to understand your vision.
Once I have received the questionnaire I will arrange for our first official design meeting. We will take a more extended walk through the yard and gardens to discuss ideas and possibilities. I will also schedule a time to come by to take measurements to create the site map that we will fill in over the course of the process. For the site measurements you don't need to be home, but if you are that's great too!
The next meeting I will have a rudimentary design, typically drawn in pencil. It will dictate features, planting beds, green space and whatever else is necessary. Additionally I show a presentation with photos of potential plants and features. This meeting is a great opportunity for you to provide feedback, and share insight regarding the design direction. If we are working on just the design and not install as well I will invoice a second time for 25% of the estimated design cost. The remaining design balance will be due at hand off of the final design.
The second draft is much more detailed and has addressed discussion had during the first draft design review. Similar to the first draft there is a presentation that accompanies the 2-D design. Depending on the complexity of the project and the amount of progress made during the review of the first draft the second draft in many cases does become the final draft.
At the last meeting we again go over the design layout, and a presentation reviewing all the details. I will hand off a printed copy of the design and then I will email you a digital copy and the presentation we have been working from. If we are working together on only design and not installation final payment is due at this time as well.
What happens now? At this point you are ready to install your design. If we are working in a design build relationship we will work to determine a schedule for the installation and proceed from there.
If we are working only on the design you can now pick a contractor of your own choosing or install the design yourself. If your project is more hardscape centered I can recommend installers I have worked with in the past. I can be retained to consult on the execution of the design layout.
It’s also important to note that every project is unique. The outline detailed above is somewhat generic in nature in the sense that if need be I will curtail the process to the specific project demands.
A last component to the design process not mentioned is fun. It’s important. The gardens and landscape can be a very refreshing portion of your property. A place where you take a load off, relax and appreciate your environment. So let’s have some fun and make you a place for you to enjoy!
If you would like to hear what our past clients have said, click here.