Congratulations on taking your first step toward designing your new outdoor living space!
At this point, you’ve likely already set up a date and time for us to meet with you. The information below will help us get the most out of our initial meeting.
We will talk much more about this when we meet but below is a list of items that people often consider when imagining their new outdoor space. We wanted to be sure you had time to think through some of these items prior to our meeting. Looking forward to meeting with you!
Entrance Piers & Walls
Pondless Water Feature
Outdoor Kitchen / Bar
Areas To Be Planted
Deco Water Feature /Fountain
(Fire Pit/ Fireplace)
Entry Walk/ Landing
Seasonal Color Areas
Wildflower / Meadow
(Pergola / Shed)
(New / Retrofit / Improve)
Solve Drainage Issues
This is also a good time to begin thinking about, your style (natural, contemporary, traditional), any other initial ideas you might have, and the investment you would like to make in this project.
Our first meeting is to understand what elements you would like to see in your new outdoor space so that we can provide you with a price for the design and get the design process started.
Once your design agreement is in place, our next meeting will be with your lead designer. This is where we will discuss your vision in more detail. We will explore different options and ideas and what you would love in your new space so that we have your wish list in the design.
Our process starts with the dream, then we can decide on what is most important once it is all together. We will discuss how to revise the design or do things in phases once we know exactly what you want. We will work together to balance your budget with your dream, with input from our team of experts, then revise and plan so we meet your goals.
At the end of this process we will have a solution that gets the most out of the investment you choose to make.
We Will Need A Property Survey
A property survey from a licensed land surveyor is important because it shows the legal boundaries of your property and any existing easements. The designer uses this information to ensure the design adheres to township zoning requirements.
A large scale project with complex elevation changes may require a topographic survey. This will show contour lines and elevations which help the designer create an accurate grading plan.
Conceptual Plan View Drawings
Your landscape design will include a color rendered conceptual plan view drawing.
Conceptual Walkthrough Videos
Your landscape design will include a walkthrough video so you can experience your new outdoor space before it is created.
Design is a critical first step in any successful landscaping project. Our team has spent over 45 years perfecting the design process. We have found that focusing on 3 critical areas will result in the outdoor living space you will love!
know what you want – work with someone who listens – know what you are getting
Know what you want
Not the exact details at first. Just think about how you use your space and the image you would like to express. Do you have large parties, small parties, no parties? Do you want a nice secluded spot to relax with your morning coffee or after work cocktail? How about having regular lunch and dinners outside? Think about what would make you happy, the sky’s the limit at this point. Our team will work to home in on a functional and lasting solution based on your initial ideas. Pictures are a great way to express your vision! Keep a rough budget in mind from the beginning, but for the initial conceptual design get your wish list, your dream space in the design. Our process starts with the dream then we can decide on what is most important once it is all together. We will discuss how to revise the design or do things in phases once we know exactly what you want. We will work together to balance your budget with your dream, with input from our team of experts, then revise and plan to meet your goals.
Work with someone who listens
We have heard countless stories from our clients about projects that went wrong, most include “they just did not listen to me”. Many home designers and contractors, kitchen, bath, architect, interior design, have a set way of thinking and as long as that fits with your vision that is fine. We want to really listen and understand your style, ideas, goals, and lifestyle, then create a solution exactly for you. The best thing we can hear after a design or project is “you really listened to me, thank you!”.
Know what you are getting
Landscaping is different from many things you buy because you can’t get in it, try it, see all the details like you would before you buy a car for example, or see how it fits you like clothing. When we first started designing and installing landscaping over 45 years ago, we would begin with a simple black pen sketch. This was helpful but many people did not fully understand the end result. We wanted to offer our clients a better experience, to understand what they are buying. We began by creating better, colorful renderings that better express our ideas, that evolved to conceptual images showing some features, then to full walkthrough videos. All of that got us much closer, our clients really began to understand the look and scale, and how the elements relate so they could ask more questions and have good discussions before the project began. We were close but we really wanted to incorporate a “real” experience during the design process. People need to see real life examples of what they are getting, something they can touch, hear, see, and smell! We created our Outdoor Living Studio as the final element in our design process. The Outdoor Living Studio is where we will present your design, and it will give you that final see, touch and feel experience that will help us get the details of your project right before the project begins, this means less headaches in the future. As part of your design presentation we will look at, water features, lighting (we can make it night at any time!), stone paving, cap stones, wall stone, structures, furniture, planters, the details that will make your new space extraordinary.
We ask for a review after every project, our mission is to get everything right so that it will be an enthusiastic 5 star!