Step 1: First Contact
Either by phone or email, I will discuss your requirements, describe the process I would recommend for your project and answer any general queries.
Step 2: On-site Consultation
On agreement I will arrange an on-site consultation to discuss your project in more detail. This consultation lasts approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours and is a chance for me to walk around the site with you, assess your requirements and ideas and suggest design ideas and options. I will write up a detailed brief of exactly what you are after, including your personal style preferences, likes and dislikes, lifestyle, and your practical requirements. I will be able to give some general guidelines regarding costs and budget considerations for the construction phase and make a realistic appraisal of what is possible to achieve within your budget. At the end of this consultation I will be able to work out a design package which best suits your project and you will be given a written quotation for this.
Step 3: Site Survey
If you decide to proceed with the project I will either conduct a site survey myself or, for more complex sites (ie:extremely steep/large sites), request a surveyor to price and complete this stage on your behalf.
Stage 4: Concept Design
Based on your brief and site survey information, I will then get to work developing a conceptual layout for your property. This plan will be drawn in sufficient detail to clearly show the design ideas and I will endeavour to include all elements included in the brief – and sometimes more besides! The plan will include notes with options for materials, general ideas for structural elements, general planting themes,etc.
Stage 4: Working Drawings
In many cases it is completely realistic to build from my concept designs due to the amount of detail I try to include. However some projects, due to their complexity, require further drawings to confirm structural and construction details and to fully resolve level issues relating to steeper sites. Working drawings may include a Masterplan, cross-sections, elevation drawings, construction details, etc. These drawings will not only confirm design details for the client but also provide accurate and detailed drawings on which the contractors can accurately price the project.
Stage 5: Planting Plan
I usually prefer to wait until the project is nearing completion before I discuss the planting, so this stage is the last – but I believe the most gratifying – part of any garden design project. Firstly I will ask you to give some consideration to what plants, colours, textures and general planting associations you would prefer and, based on this, I compile a palette of plants which I feel will best suit your garden – and your available maintenance time and gardening skills! Then I draw up a conceptual layout and go over this with you to ensure you are happy with the planting layout. Changes are made and the final plan drawn up with an attached Plant List which gives the total number of all plants you will require with their Botanic and Common names.
Stage 6: Construction Tendering
The final plans are either distributed to recommended contractors by the client or I can organise this. For larger, more complex projects a Schedule of Works is also done which details each item to be included in the project. Generally 2-3 weeks is given to price the work, and I am available to answer any queries from the contractors, meet on site if necessary, and generally help you through this process as required. I am also able to help with the selection process if you require.
Stage 6: Construction
During the construction phase I am available to answer queries, clarify design details and assist in resolving any issues which occur on site. The contractors I recommend and frequently use have a thorough understanding of my plans and the level of care and attention to detail which I require. For this reason I manage to avoid most of the common problems which arise during this stage of the process and as a result the construction phase is typically a rewarding and exciting time for the client. Finally I am available to conduct a Final Inspection of the project, ensure any final issues are rectified and get the contract signed off for the contractor.