The Landscape Design Process

The succeeding items describe how we typically go about developing a landscape architectural design project. Our services may consist of some or all of the following:

·         We like to start the design process with an informal interview so that we can understand the client’s goals, schedule and budget.

·         Discuss or establish the client’s program. Will there be a swimming pool, Frisbee golf, vegetable gardens, nature trails, etc.?

·         Explore design style preferences with the client. Every one of our designs is custom tailored to fit the client, architecture and context.

·         Site Reconnaissance: Visit to site to photograph it in detail, take measurements to locate minor site details, record spot elevations, inventory existing trees and shrubs, and get an overall feel of the property, to develop concept drawings.

·         Landscape Architect will contact local planning or building office to verify current codes and restrictions, and review with client where applicable.

·         Prepare a site base map in AutoCAD based on site reconnaissance and survey information provided by client. A land survey in AutoCAD format prepared by a licensed land surveyor will be required for major landscape improvements. This base map will be used to show existing conditions and as an underlay for the concept drawings and the construction drawings.  

·         Prepare Preliminary Concepts, usually presented as a series of hand-drawn sketches based on information gathered during the informational interview along with the client’s program. We like to present a two or three concepts to really study the possibilities with the client.

·         Once the client has approved a single concept, it is developed into a Final Concept Plan (see examples below) in AutoCAD based on client feedback and then reviewed with client for sign-off before beginning Construction Drawings. The Final Concept Plan is a color illustrated drawing that includes important layout dimensions, labeled hardscape materials, plant materials palette, drainage schematic and preliminary construction budget.

·         3-D Computer Modeling and Graphic Montages are used as supportive design tools when needed

·         Once the Final Landscape Concept is approved we can discuss material selections, visit nurseries and stone yards, review hardscape samples on site and make necessary changes.

·         Prepare and submit Final Landscape Design drawings to local plan reviewing authority for preliminary approval.

Final Landscape Concept Plan (Residential)

Final Landscape Concept Plan (Residential)

Final Concept Plan (Multi-Family Residential)

Final Concept Plan (Multi-Family Residential)


·         Demolition Plan

·         Tree preservation Plan

·         Alignment and Material Plan

·         Grading and Drainage Plan

·         Planting and Lighting Plan

·         Irrigation Schematic

·         Site Construction Details

·         Construction Specification Manual

·         Close examination of drawings and specifications with client.

·         Prepare and submit Construction Drawings to local plan reviewing authority for approval.

Construction Drawing examples 

Construction Drawing - Alignment and Materials Plan (University)

Construction Drawing - Alignment and Materials Plan (University)

Construction Drawing - Grading and Drainage (Church)

Construction Drawing - Grading and Drainage (Church)

Construction Drawing - Site Detail Sheet (Church)

Construction Drawing - Site Detail Sheet (Church)


·         Finalize Construction Drawings and Specifications into Final Bid Documents, including comparative bid sheet.

·         For private clients we typically send out request for proposals to three contractors in each specialty.

·         Make changes to drawings and specifications, and provide pricing options to get within budgets without sacrificing the overall design. These adjustments are usually caused by sudden change in material cost and availability.

·         Work with the client to select final contractor(s).


·         Conduct Kick-off Meeting with client and contractor at start of construction.

·         Answer client and contractors questions as they arise during construction.

·         Keep the client informed about the progress and quality of the work, and report any deviations from the contract requirements.

·         Review contractor’s construction schedule and completion dates.

·         Assist contractor in material selections and field tag trees and shrubs for project at local nurseries.

·         Manage the overall project budget, contractor invoicing, and change orders.

·         Develop a final checklist with client and review with contractors. Sign off on checklist of completed items and authorize final or partial payment.


Develop a landscape maintenance program tailored to project.