Design Build

Our Process for Design + Build Projects

Welcome to the transformative journey with Seattle Sustainable Landscapes, where every step is meticulously curated to ensure not only the creation of stunning outdoor spaces but also a seamless and rewarding experience for our valued clients. Our comprehensive approach to landscape design and build projects unfolds across a series of intricately planned stages, each tailored to deliver excellence and exceed expectations.

Example of an English Garden

1. Initial Reach-out

The process begins with the initial connection—an exchange of emails or a quick phone call that sets the tone for our collaboration. This foundational step is essential for confirming the basic alignment of the project between the client and Seattle Sustainable Landscapes.

2. The Preliminary Consultation

After the initial exchange, we move to a more in-depth stage— This involves a face-to-face meeting at the property site, allowing us tounderstand the clients goals, priorities and expectation. This phase is crucial for gaining a deeper understanding of the scope of work, exploring creative possibilities, and aligning these visions with the client’s budget expectations.

3. Estimate and Review

After the consultation, Seattle Sustainable Landscapes crafts a few project estimates, breaking down costs across various elements. The goal is to help frame the project budget and help the client priortize the various landscape elements.. It’s not uncommon for this phase to undergo multiple rounds of review as expectations and priorities are fine-tuned.

4. Agreement and Deposit

Upon alignment of project scope and budget, we formalize the commitment through an agreement. To initiate the process, a deposit ranging from 10-50% of the total project cost is required, with the percentage determined by the project’s size and complexity.

5. Milestone Payments

For larger projects, we introduce milestone payments. Our three common schedules include: 

  1. 50% deposit – 50% upon completion
  2. 10-25% deposit – 25-40% upon starting – 50% upon completion
  3. 10% deposit – 30% upon starting, 30% milestone, 30% upon completion 

6. Project Scheduling

A projected start date is estimated, keeping in mind there are still many factors in determining the actual start date including the existing project pipeline and finalizing the design process.

7. Material Selection

Following the deposit, the design process begins with a material selection phase. This encompasses visual elements such as plants, hardscape materials, lighting fixtures, and mulch. Seattle Sustainable Landscapes provides initial recommendations based on prior conversations, fostering a collaborative approach where client opinions and approvals are valued.

8. Sketches and Reviews

Once materials are approved, the design process enters a more tangible phase with the creation of sketches. Throughout this stage, the initial scope may undergo alterations—perhaps a pathway widens or a patio takes a new shape. As the design is fine-tuned, budget considerations come into play, with adjustments made to maintain harmony between vision and financial plan.

9. Updated Project Schedule

Depending on the intricacies of your project and others in our pipeline, the project schedule may be updated. Factors such as the design process’s speed and the progress of other ongoing projects contribute to this dynamic timeline.

10. Project Kickoff

With the design finalized, Seattle Sustainable Landscape leadership meets with the project crew at the job site to review the scope of work. While client presence is welcomed, it’s not mandatory for this kickoff meeting.

11. Ongoing Project Reviews

For projects extending over a considerable timeframe, periodic client reviews are integrated into the process. This ensures ongoing alignment with expectations and provides an opportunity to address any concerns promptly.

12. Unplanned Change Orders

The nature of landscaping projects may unveil unexpected challenges—discovering decommissioned oil tanks, unearthing boulders, or excavating old concrete slabs. Unplanned change orders may come into play prompting trade-off conversations to determine whether the budget should expand or specific elements need modification or elimination to accommodate budget requirements with these unforeseen barriers.

13. Planned Change Orders

In contrast, planned change orders are instances where the client actively decides to introduce modifications. This could range from adding features like a gate or pathway to altering the plant budget, adding lights, or adjusting materials. Depending on the complexity, these changes may be seamless additions or may require adjustments, potentially impacting timelines and budgets. In some instances these change orders require redoing existing work performed and compensation will be necessary.

14. Final Project Review

The culminating stage involves a comprehensive project review, either on the project’s last day or at the client’s convenience. This final meeting allows for experiences to be shared, adjustments to be recorded, and any installed technology, such as irrigation or lighting systems, to be thoroughly reviewed.

beyond crafting beautiful outdoor spaces

At Seattle Sustainable Landscapes, our commitment extends beyond crafting beautiful outdoor spaces; it encompasses building enduring relationships and consistently exceeding your expectations at every stage of the journey. Join us in transforming your vision into an extraordinary reality.

Frequently Asked Question

How long will the design process take?

The design process is highly variable depending on the client and the project. There are some instances where the project is very straightforward and no sketch is required. When sketches are provided it is common for this process to take between a few days and a few weeks.

How long will the installation process take?

This process will vary drastically, sometimes there are projects that take a single day to install or it could be a couple of months. Again this varies mostly on the scope of work.

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