As designers, We can help you achieve your new landscape in several ways: in short consultations, preparing full designs for professional installation, locating and purchasing plants, and serving as your liaison for complex installations.
We provide a detailed description of our services and fees below. We believe our clients should be fully informed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
Initial Design Consultation
An initial design consultation is an opportunity for us to meet, for you to show us your site, discuss the scope of your project, and get clarification on questions you may have about either your project or working with a professional landscape designer. We charge a flat fee, plus travel one-way by car (for out of Orange County) (or round-trip by air). If you are personally referred, we waive the consultation fee. If you decide to work with Living Landscapes, your consultation fee is deducted from the cost of the design.
Full Landscape Design
A landscape design consists of both a process and set of documents to assist you in fully developing your vision and your site. A full design is especially useful for new homes and high-profile areas (such as an entryway or pool), or major renovations, such as changing from a traditional lawn-and-shrub design to a drought-resistant or native planting. Landscape designs vary greatly from project to project, depending on the site, the level of detail and custom design that you request, the size of the property, and the extent of renovation or installation.
The Landscape Design Process includes:
1. Preliminary meeting.
We come to the project site to meet with you, discuss the scope of the project, interview you about ideas and preferences, and walk the site. From this we prepare an estimate for the level of design that you request.
2. Site Analyses and Base Plan.
We return to the site to prepare a base plan for the property, inventory existing plants and hardscape, and make notes for a site analysis (wind, direction of sun, drainage, soil quality, areas that need screening, water sources, etc.). We also take soil samples for a chemical analysis if necessary. The base plan uses both measurements and detailed digital photographs. It is not a survey, but a to-scale drawing of the project area. It is the basis for all further design sketches and drawings. For larger projects that require professional surveys, costs will be determined upon the project and existing surveys are acceptable if recent or still accurate.
3. Design sketches and client review.
Once the base plan is complete, we use trace paper sketches to develop a variety of ideas for you to review. At this point, we may also consult with various specialists (concrete specialists, engineers, carpenters, etc.) to determine costs or construction details.
4. Conceptual plan.
Using your feedback to the sketches, we draft a conceptual plan. This plan shows locations of trees, shrubs, flowerbeds, water features, paths, patios, and other structural elements, both existing and those to be installed. It is the key document for project bids for installation by professional contractors. For projects involving permitted structures or specialized plans, it communicates the overall vision.
5. Planting plan.
Once you approve the conceptual plan then we prepare one or more detailed planting plans. These identify individual plants and help you or the installer to plant the site according to the design plan.
6. Follow-up consultation.
We meet with you and/or your contractors to discuss these plans in detail and ensure that your questions are answered prior to installation.
Customers always ask, so what happens after the design is finished? The answer depends on how much support you want. In some cases, with smaller projects, you may have all the information you need and will only call us back to celebrate the finished garden. For larger, more complex projects, we will assist you in whatever ways make sense. Living Landscapes is a licensed C-27 contractor #932132, and we provide complete installation services for all facets of your project. Here are a few services that we typically provide during installation:
• Research specialty contractors, suppliers, and specific materials
• Provide recommendations
• Review and negotiate bids
• Monitor on-site (daily, or at key points in the installation)
• Purchase plants and place them in the landscape and install all plant material if requested
• Locate fountains, sculpture, garden furniture, or other features
Our goal is to keep you fully informed so that you are always comfortable with the consequences of any decisions or changes made as the process unfolds. Once we move to installation, we prepare an estimate for the total cost of our role in the installation, and any changes to that plan are provided in writing.
On site consulting fees during the installation process are $50/hour, billed weekly or as benchmarks are achieved.
A consultation is an excellent choice for owners of established yards who want help with specific features or plant suggestions. It includes:
• A visit to your home or project site
• Assistance in identifying unknown plants
• Discussion of design choices for specific areas
• Recommendations of specialty contractors, if needed
One-time consultation fees are $50 per hour, plus travel time one way, (for out of area clients)
One benefit of working with a landscape designer, even if you do the installation yourself ensures that you get the plants listed in the design and not last-minute substitutions that may be inappropriate.
Plant purchasing fees are $50/hour for plant locating, selecting, and inspecting. Delivery of plant material is extra and depends on the specific project.
We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our services and fees. We have a portfolio of photos from client’s projects available for review. In addition, we are happy to provide you with the names and addresses of recent clients.
Thank you for your interest in Living Landscapes.
We look forward to working with you on your next garden project.
Living Landscapes CL-27 #932132
P.O. Box 3261
Newport Beach, CA 92659