DESIGN & INSTALLATION FAQ
What are the steps involved with a typical landscape improvement project?
Every project follows three major stages when creating a beautiful, long term successful landscape; design, installation and maintenance. Each stage is important and we have proven methods and experienced team members to make each part of your project an enjoyable experience and a beautiful result.
How do you begin the process of creating a beautiful landscape?
Either call our office to set a convenient time to meet or use the contact us feature of our website to request a meeting. This meeting establishes your expectations and allows one of our landscape professionals to visit your property and recommend the best way to address your needs. This usually takes one of the following three approaches:
- A simple proposal without a landscape plan when the needs are straight forward and the work can be identified during the initial meeting; if there is information that needs to be either researched or surveyed and when a permit may be required.
- We will prepare an accurate landscape plan detailing the landscape improvements that you wish to create; finally, when the scope of your desired improvements merit the exploration of well thought out alternative solutions.
- Lastly, we prepare preliminary plans to identify appropriate solutions for your consideration, leading to a final landscape plan that can be installed as one project or in phases over time.
Are there fees involved for a typical Landscape Improvement project?
There is no fee for the initial meeting. However, if a landscape plan is required to communicate the scope of the proposed work or to establish required information for permits, then we require a design retainer to complete this stage of the project. This retainer is based on the size and scope of the project and becomes part of the fees included with the project.
What is your design process?
After our initial site meeting and agreement to work together, we begin our efforts by asking for your detailed preferences and by investigating your site. Site research includes: locating and identifying existing plant material, locating existing elements of the house (windows, doors, A/C condensers, etc.), photographing the site, and surveying the existing grades of your home and property, if needed. We research the village building codes that apply to the types of improvements we will explore for your property. Once the research is done we reference this information as we explore ideas and illustrate conceptual landscape designs that address your goals in different ways. The concepts and budgets are reviewed with you to gain your input and to have your full involvement in developing the final landscape plan and proposal for the landscape of your dreams.
How long does a project take from design to completion?
This depends on the scope of the project. A typical front foundation planting could be completed within 2- 3 weeks of the acceptance of a proposal. A simple patio could be done within 3-4 weeks of issuance of the necessary permits. A full site development or redevelopment could take 3–6 weeks to plan, another 3-4 weeks to obtain permits and 4-12 weeks to install depending on the complexity of the project.
When is the best time to start your landscape design?
We would like to be involved in the planning process as soon as the thought crosses your mind. Late fall and winter are always a good time to start planning for the upcoming year. If you are planning on renovating your existing home or building a new home, we recommend our early involvement in the project. By being involved early, we help save existing plant materials, improve and minimize site drainage costs, coordinate interior issues that overlap with landscape issues and enhance the integration of architecture and landscape architecture for your property.
What landscape elements do you design and build?
We can help you design something as simple as an elegant front walk to a new patio to a complete comprehensive site development including driveway, site grading and drainage, detailed gardens, entry and site walks, outdoor living areas including pools, outdoor kitchens and patios, and beautiful plantings.
How easy is it to phase a project?
Unlike major home remodeling, the landscape of your dreams can be installed one small phase at a time. Understanding the desired phasing helps make sure the installation is done in the most cost effective manner. Your project team will work with you to make sure you create the most appropriate phased landscape installation.
What locations do you service?
We design and build award winning landscapes throughout the entire Chicago area, southwest Michigan, northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin.