Design Process: Residential Projects
Landscape projects typically follow an established design process, from the initial briefing and consultation phase to providing concepts and detailed designs through to the construction and maintenance phases.
However each type of project & client have their own diverse requirements. To best deal with your unique needs, we can propose numerous packaged outputs or specific services where the fees are in keeping with your projects' construction budget and its intended market, thereby guiding the proposed design process. Our services include:
Initial contact - please call us with your enquiry over the phone. We will listen to your needs, chat briefly about your project, and give you an idea whether we can help. If what we offer is right for you, we can agree on a suitable time to meet on site to discuss in more detail the project brief.
Site meeting & consultation (consultation fee $150/hr – can be deducted from fixed fee quotation if it proceeds) – we’ll meet with you on site for around 60-90 minutes and go through your brief and budget, any plans, images, ideas and other relevant information. This will enable us to understand your needs and offer you the most appropriate services for your specific requirements (should you be located interstate or internationally detailed correspondence may take place via phone, Skype or e-mail for this stage with site photos and architectural plans etc being shared before a meeting is confirmed).
From there we will outline a proposal tailored to your project - either full service (fixed fee quotation), partial service (optional quotation) or hourly rate work.
Landscape concepts are prepared to convey the intent of a proposed design early on in the process before progressing into the finer details of the design. This is an extremely useful tool for a client with a complex design so they can visualise the spatial layout early in the process and know their designer is on target to achieve their brief within their desired budget. On certain projects this phase of design is also required by Council for submission or triggered as part of a Town Planning application.
These kinds of conceptual sketch plans typically show existing site conditions and vegetation; proposed site form and hard works; location, function and character of areas subject to soft landscaping; indicative planting palettes; typical construction details and specifications for critical elements.
Tasks during the concept design phase include:
- Liaise with authorities to research & understand any site specific issues or local laws, codes or policies that may affect design decisions
- Review background data including plans from consultants containing architectural, survey, services, environmental or engineering information
- Modify and prepare plans (from electronic sources or paper copies) for use as a base drawing for the landscape concepts
- Prepare and present the concept design for approval by client
The detailed design phase translates the sketches and conceptual design into working drawings used for pricing, submitting for Council approvals and for use in constructing the project. This is an important process to ensure that the proposed design “fits appropriately on the ground” and can be built as originally envisaged. Documents produced during this phase of design convey information through detailed plans, sections and elevations, details, schedules, specifications and reports.
OBTAINING aPPROVALs & PRE-CONSTRUCTION PLANNING
Designs requiring approval from statutory authorities will always need town planning assessment forms prepared, lodged and followed through to ensure a fast approval. Projects with pools, structures and other elements may need Council approval or private certification depending on their configuration/location. We can assist with relevant council submissions and coordinate the certification of design elements. We can also provide referrals of suitable landscape contractors to tender on the work, recommending the best suppliers and sourcing selected materials at competitive rates.
Ensuring the plans are followed and translated on to the site is critical to achieving a wonderful result. We can work on your behalf to liaise with the head contractor or ensure that selected contractors performs their tasks on site to a level which meets your expectations and reduces complications. Our experience gained through viewing over a thousand project sites ensures we understand the construction process and can identify & resolve issues on your behalf well before they become problematic.
Post construction maintenance & 'fine-tuning'
Proper maintenance of a finished landscape allows the initial design intent to be realised over the long term. We can provide recommendations of simple tasks for you to undertake right through to a complete maintenance regime tailored specifically for your site to ensure this vision can be achieved. Our network of local horticulturalists and contractors can also be referred to assist you in performing routine maintenance of your landscape if you need this phase of work outsourced.
On some projects there will be a degree of “fine-tuning” required with landscape elements after the construction phase has concluded to enhance their longevity. When dealing with organic materials, spaces that are subject to seasonal variations and climatic events beyond anyone’s control, they may be opportunities for us to suggest post-construction adjustments that provide long-term benefits for the client. These proposals vary for each site due to the dynamic nature of landscapes and can discussed and implemented upon the clients approval.