Get In Touch – Either by phone (0797 462542) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will arrange to visit you in your garden. This first meeting is free of charge within a 10mile radius of Watford (if you are further away any travel costs will be confirmed in advance).
The First Meeting – At this meeting we will have a walk around the garden and a chat about what you want from the garden. You will be able to look through a portfolio of some of my work. I will take you through the design service and the various options open to you. This meeting usually takes about an hour.
Garden Design Fee – After our first meeting I will write to you regarding the Garden Design fee, which will depend on the size, location and the complexity of the garden. At this stage there is no obligation for you to proceed. However if you do wish to proceed to a formal Garden Design, then we ask for a deposit equal to 50% of the Garden Design Fee.
Briefing Meeting – This is the start of the process proper. Once the deposit for the Garden Design Fee has been paid (as detailed above) we will meet again to take a detailed brief for the Design. Discussing your likes and dislikes, features you would like to include, who is to use the garden and more crucially things you want to avoid. If you have pictures of gardens you like that is always useful. It also helps if you have an idea of the budget you have available for building and planting the garden.
The Site Survey – If possible I will carry this out directly after the Briefing Meeting. If the garden is very large or has many changes of level it may be necessary to bring in a surveyor to carry this out. The garden is accurately measured, notes are made of details such as how the sun moves through the garden, views in and out of the garden and any other issues that need to be addressed by the design. I will also take photos of the garden to act as an aide when creating the design.
Concept Drawings – We will meet, usually about 2 weeks after the Site Survey has been carried out, to discuss a number of options for the layout of the garden – these pencil Concept Drawings are not to scale. This meeting gives you the opportunity to discuss the different options in detail, ask any questions you may have and make any changes or amendments. We will also discuss the materials to be used in the garden, such as paving and any structures that are to be added, such as pergolas or garden rooms.
Presentation of Final Layout Plan – Once the layout has been finalised we produce for you the final Printed Layout Plan. This Plan is to scale and has notes sufficiently detailed to enable the contractor to be able to produce accurate costing for the construction of the garden. The balance of the Design Fee is due at this stage, on delivery of the final Printed Layout Plan. You will be provided with one coloured copy and 3 black and white copies of the design ready to be sent out to contractors for quotations.
Making Changes – if you have had a serious change of mind or there are unforeseen circumstances for which we could not plan, that require additional drawings, then we will charge our usual hourly design rate.
Planting Plan – As far as I am concerned, the plants are the finishing touch, bringing the garden to life, softening the hard landscaping and reinforcing the style of the garden. The Planting Plan fee will be quoted once the layout of the garden has been finalised as it will depend on the area and complexity of the planting required. The Planting Plan shows the position and quantity of plants needed for the garden.
Building The Garden – there are a number of ways to approach this, and we will be happy to work in which ever way suits you best. Ideally most clients would like to have the garden built for them as quickly as possible, but where to start – we can help by putting this work out to tender for you, for example to contractors that we have used in the past, firms you may have had recommended to you or used in the past.
We will meet the prospective contractors on site to go through the plan and answer any questions they may have, help you compare the quotations if required and finally oversee the construction through regular site visits and also be on hand to deal with any queries that may arise during the build.
Unlike some designers, we do not believe in charging a fixed percentage of the contractor’s fee for this service. Instead, we find it fairer to charge our usual hourly rate for the actual time we work. This ensures we are completely independent from the contractor and can truly act as your representative on site.
Should you decide to construct the garden in stages we can help you to plan the work in the most logical and cost effective way, to minimise disruption to you.
Plant Supply – We source high quality plants from trade suppliers. We also offer a Setting Out Service for the plants, to ensure that the right plant goes into the right place. These can then be planted by the contractor or by us.
Anything Else – Should we need to engage the services of specialists for example structural engineers, architects, surveyors etc. these are charged at cost. Fees for site visits will include travel time to and from site.