Is a design necessary?

This is a question that many people struggle with especially if their project is not large or only has a few elements to it. We promise that we will give you an honest assessment of whether your particular project requires a more in depth landscape design or not. If you just need a new patio and a few steps, as builders we can come out for a free consultation and we can do a small scaled drawing for no charge. If your project is larger or involving several different aspects and layout options than a full design may be in order. There are obviously extra advantages of getting a full design as that will give you a concrete idea of what to expect when you purchase landscape services.

Initial Consultation

Once you contact us we can schedule a time to come out for an initial consultation. This consultation is absolutely free and it will give you an opportunity to get more info about our design services. We will give you some initial input and help prioritize your project. We will determine what the essential items are versus the wish-list type projects. We will show you more examples of designs and give you some basic suggestions.

Design Process

If you decided to use our design services we will determine the type of design you need and how detailed the plans will have to be. Some designs require conceptual plans only where some will need in depth construction details. You may want elevation details or a 3-D rendering. Each of these we can provide.
Once we know what designing needs to be done we start the process first with property measurements. Depending upon the scope of the project the measurements can be taken by the designer or we may need a professional survey company. Once the measurements are completed these will be used to create the base plan or the starting plan for your project. From there we design out all the different aspects of the project. Before we finalize the plans we will give you initial feedback to see if we are on the right track with what you may be envisioning or if you like the concepts we have created.


This is probably one of the more crucial parts to designing any outdoor project. You can take a space with an exact measurement and design two completely different projects with two completely different cost levels. What we design for you is obviously going to have to be something you want to install and are willing to pay for. Therefor we always go over budget concerns with every project. An advantage with using a company like ours is that we are designers and builders rolled into one. We know construction costs and can help design something that fits within your budget.

Conceptual Plans

What is a conceptual plan?

A conceptual plan is a plan that gives you a concept or picture of what the landscape is going to look like.
It contains the layouts of where things are going to go and the feel and look of the yard. This can vary depending upon housing architecture, the theme of the yard, personal taste etc.
This plan shows things like where lawns are, the shape of garden beds and where larger structures and pools are going to be. Here you can see the angles, curves and lines. Maybe you prefer a more formal yard with straighter lines, or something more natural with more curves and uneven lines. This is all determined in the conceptual plan.
The conceptual plan is done in a “plot” format. A “plot” plan is shown from an aerial view. In other words you are looking straight down on the plot or area of the home or business. This vary from other types of plans like perspective and elevation.

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Elevation Plans

What is an Elevation Plan?

An elevation plan is plan that shows something from the side view. In shows what the elevation looks like or how it would appear in relation to something like the ground. Sometimes you may want to see how tall something like a wall or a patio cover is in relation to a person walking along the ground. This can be shown with an elevation plan. The idea is this gives you a better feel of what to expect when something is actually installed.
Elevations plans are essential sometimes with installation items that have a large effect upon the viewer when standing and viewing it from the side. For example, if there was a property with a large hill section in the front yard and we need to design multi-tiered garden beds and walls, than an elevation plan will really help the homeowner get a good idea of what to expect.
If we are designing a large outdoor fireplace with water-features, a pizza oven and other interesting add on details, than we can show these items better with the elevation plan. We can show and discuss options on where to move things and what details to add or discard.
If we are doing a computer drafted 3-D model of the yard we can get a good amount of elevation detail in that as well. Hoewever, sometimes doing a hand drawn visual gives you more options and is ultimately a less time consuming and less expensive option.

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Perspective Plans

What is a Perspective Plan?

A perspective plan is basically a plan that just gives you a particular angle or view of something. It offers a better 3-D aspect when viewing it from the side or at an angle. It is not as flat looking as an elevation plan and gives you sense of space and relation. It can show you how large a planter bed in space looks compared to some trees or a water feature.
Perspective plans are not always needed as the conceptual plan may be fine for what we are trying to accomplish. However, some clients find these very helpful and if we are designing some really interesting items like large waterfalls and streams the perspective plan can really help.

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Extra Detail Plans.

We can add extra design elements to landscape plans to give additional understanding of a planned project.

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Softscape Plan

What is a Softscape Plan?

A softscape plan is basically a plan that shows what the planting items are vs the non-planting items like concrete or walls. It can be all included on a simple conceptual plan as well but sometimes it helps having this separated out. There will be a suggested plant list and details showing where all those planting items will be placed. Combined with actual photos of those particular types and species of plants, it helps give you an idea of how the yard will look from the softscape aspect.
Sometimes this will be combined with an irrigation plan to show how the various areas will be watered and help create a construction plan to ensure proper irrigation and installation.

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3-D Plans

What is a 3-D Plan?

This is a more and more popular design feature that clients really seem to love. This plan offers the client the opportunity to see the yard from all sorts of angles and interpretations. This is created using specially created design software. This is done in conjunction with the conceptual plan that has all the dimensions and basics on it.
When we create the 3-D renderings we try to give it as much realistic feel to it as possible. The type of detail that we want to create will often be decided by what you are looking for and how much you want to spend on this type of design.
This rendering can gives you nice imaging and a neat walk through experience. You can visually go through the yard or project and the computer automatically re-renders the images on the fly as you adjust the angle in which you want to see something. It can show you still images of patios and plants and it can also show you some activity in the scene as well, like a low flaming fire pit or moving water in a fountain or stream. Give us a call and we can give you even more information and come and show you some 3-D renderings.

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