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What Do I Get With My Design?

May 14, 2009

It’s been a great spring, and one market that has really started shaping up is homeowners looking to create a document that they can use to get true, apples-to-apples comparisons from different contractors. I’m also working with more homeowners who want to get that “road map” to the finished landscape, so they can decide what to bring in a pro for, and what they can do themselves. Naturally, one of the questions I’m asked is “what all do I get with my design?” Obviously, that varies depending upon individual contract requirements, but here’s kind of a “standard” package:

  • Two-dimensional landscape plan: I prepare a 2d, overhead, plan view of your finished landscape. I prefer to show the design at a scale of 1/8″ = 1′-0″ or larger, so paper size and number of sheets depends on the job. Some smaller projects- like a side yard, or a water feature- will fit on a single letter-size sheet of paper. I’m currently working on a larger project, for a fifteen-acre horse property, that will be shown on at least four sheets when I’m done.
  • Elevation drawings: If it’s a simple planting plan, I don’t typically do elevation drawings. However, as soon as we start creating structural elements, I often include these with your design package. I don’t like to just call out “trellis” and leave it open-ended; if I specify something on your drawing, I usually have a definite idea of what I want it to look like.
  • Photos of proposed plants: I’m sure that part of the reason people hire me is to specify cool-looking plants that they’re not familiar with. Since most folks don’t speak fluent “plant,” I like to show and tell.
  • Photos of specific hard goods: If I have found the perfect fountain or bench, I’ll naturally want to provide a photo.

That’s a basic design package. Everything is drafted in AutoCAD, so it’s easy enough to provide PDFs so you can print additional copies for submission to your HOA, if need be. I can also create more detailed permit packets for decks and retaining walls, as well as construction detail drawings for your installer. The important thing is that all drawings are scaled, dimensionally accurate, and thought through, to provide you and your family years of enjoyment.

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