Here at Stephen Charles Landscapes, we like everyone to know the process from early on, so that we meet all our expectations. We see the design as a partnership between you and us to achieve your ideal landscape.
From initial concept to realisation, the following steps serve as guide to the stages involved in a garden design project - a full conception to completion service.
Initial call - An initial chat over the phone and a few pictures emailed to us is a great way to kick things in and start a conversation. We can then agree on a date and time for an initial visit.
Initial Consultation - In order to gain a solid brief for your garden design, it is important to understand what you would like from your outdoor space, as well as an understanding of your likes, dislikes and any problem areas that you may have with the site. It is always helpful to see any pictures that you have of gardens, plants and any artwork that you like.
The Brief - This initial meeting will involve looking at the site and taking photographs, in order to later write a report of the meeting for you. The report will include:
a. Your brief for the project
b. Initial impressions of the site
c. A suggested plan of action for the project
d. The budget
Site Survey & Analysis - A detailed analysis will be carried out of the site, informing the design of boundaries, land levels, location of services, aspect, and all site measurements, soil analysis, views and features to keep, enhance, hide, remove and relocate. This will be priced separately.
Design Proposal / Outline Plan - From the brief and the survey, a scaled garden design
plan is produced. This enables you to see the main elements of your new garden. It can act as a discussion document, allowing for the presentation of ideas and to talk through any changes that may be required.
Planting Plans & Schedules - Planting plans are produced and presented in colour, which include all the individual plant names and locations of plants. The plan takes into consideration the growth, size and habit of the plants, allowing them the space they will need to thrive. This will be priced separately. This can also be a standalone service.
A quote for the design work that has been discussed - Once the proposal and details have been finalised and the planting plan confirmed, we will at this stage provide you with a quote. This will outline when deposits are due and the full payment terms. The quote is provided free of charge.
Detailed Plan & Construction Plan - This includes any agreed amendments from the design proposal. Technical drawings and specifications are produced in order to ensure that the garden is built to the correct standards and as outlined within your design proposal. This is for our landscaping team to use on site when building the landscape. The Construction Plan is a black and white scaled drawing which provides detailed measurements of specific features such as levels, ponds, retaining structures or hard surfaces. Providing and sourcing samples of construction materials is included in this price.
Work commences - Using all of the plans from above, our team of expert landscapers commence on the work outlined, materials are ordered, and plants are ordered.
Project Monitoring - This involves monitoring works during the construction phase. Our landscaping teams will be carrying out the works, and this means that we can work with them closely to achieve the desired effects. Our design teams will visit twice a week and carry out video calls with the team the rest of the week. This may mean one or two additional visits at key stages, such as once the setting out has been done and to check construction details. We also liaise with other specialists such as lighting, electricians, and irrigation plans etc. We use all of our own contacts to ensure that we know the work ethic and ability is what we expect.
You will not always need a complete re-design of your garden. It may be that you just need to revitalise, improve or radically overhaul your outdoor space. A one-off consultation is a really popular service and a good starting point for getting advice.
Having created a lovely garden for you to enjoy, we pass over to our maintenance department who will use our maintenance plan in order to assist in helping you to keep the garden looking its best at all times. Alternatively, we can come in on an ad hoc basis to provide maintenance when you may need it. This will be a separate cost.
EXPERT GARDEN CONSULTANT
When a client decides to have professional gardening and landscaping works carried out, there can often be quite a difference between a client’s desires/expectations and the actual end result. This can be due to the widely varying nature of this sort of work, and the fact that problems can arise when there is a failure to agree in writing beforehand exactly what is required and expected from both sides. Sometimes a minor argument can escalate into a very expensive court case going into thousands of pounds.
We can help - Stephen Charles can provide completely unbiased and independent reports for use by home owners, contractors, or solicitors etc. where we will report the facts exactly as seen at the time.
We make no charge for the initial consultation which can be carried out via email or letter, and at this stage, we can give an indication of assessment. We would take into account the possible complexity of the case and any distances involved when preparing our initial quote. We will need to make a visit in order to prepare the actual report, and we charge for our expertise at a daily rate of £550.00 + VAT or £330.00 + VAT per half day.