About Design-Build

We are design-build contractors, meaning we typically develop both the landscape plans for your project and do the installation. The design-build process has many advantages to a traditional construction process of architect/designer and separate installation contractor:


Design-build streamlines the process of design and can avoid conflicts between the design and installation teams. During the project, you deal with a single point of contact for the project. Our designers also project manage the construction, allowing for flexible implementation of the design and the ability to make site specific changes in the field as needed.

Cost Control

Design-build allows us to forecast costs during the design work, not at the end of the process. This allows us to plan around a desired scope and budget and make adjustments and trade-offs throughout the process using our cost worksheet process. This is the preliminary version of the work contract. This way we aren’t stuck value engineering an existing design if the proposed work exceeds the desired budget.


Using both our design and installation expertise, we can build high quality installations at lower cost by utilizing our standard installation methods for each project. Our principal directed project management also makes sure that work is being done right.

Landscape Project Steps

Here is a general overview of our work process from the initial proposal to project completion.

Step 1 – On-Site Consultation

This is the first meeting to review the site and your project needs. We review the site, make initial suggestions, provide a work portfolio with similar projects and provide a general ballpark cost range for the work.

Make a list: It helps to have a list typed out of the elements, key considerations or design details you want for the project. Photos or Houzz Ideabooks are also very helpful at this stage. This will help us meet your needs and make the proposal more accurate.

Example- Project Scope

  • Remove existing concrete patio- replace with flagstone or new concrete
  • Plantings- low maintenance, Mediterranean style
  • Install lights on front path
  • Remove oak tree in back yard
  • Target budget $50-75,000, etc, etc…

Step 2 – Landscape Proposal

For most projects, we are brought into the process at the starting point, no landscape plans or detailed drawings have typically been prepared. In these cases, we create a landscape project proposal. This is a little different than a typical estimate. Because the landscape project will be fully defined in the design phase, the project proposal creates the initial price and scope roadmap from which the design and final cost estimates for construction will be produced.

Items Included

  • Take bid measurements for proposal elements to determine lengths, sizes, and square footages of potential elements.
  • Take photographs of existing landscape elements and areas of work.
- Provide informed ball-park estimate of items discussed during landscape consultation for project proposal.
  • Provide line item estimates for areas of work, with a range of potential treatments and options for work to be performed as appropriate.
  • Work does not include any design work, no detailed conceptual or plan drawings are to be provided. These are started once the design process is commenced.

Step 3 – Proposal Finalization

In our initial proposal we provide a menu of options and treatments for the desired work. Before moving forward to the paid design phase, we will update the initial proposal costs based on your designed scope and budget.

Step 4 – Landscape Design

Once we have a good idea of price and scope roadmap, we start the paid design process. This is an iterative process where we develop and refine an initial concept plan into a finalized design. 
 See our Landscape Design Services Page for More

It May Include

  • Site Planning: Hardscape layout, grading and drainage
  • Softscape Design: Planting and other landscape elements
-Irrigation planning: divided into zones based on plant type and water use
  • Accents and Special Features: low voltage lighting plans, firepits, water features and other installation details and plans
  • Permit Submittals: As required for any required permits. For example, for structural elements (arbors, walls) or utilities such as gas and electrical lines.

Step 5 – Landscape Construction

Once the design has been finalized, we start construction work. Prior to construction we develop a detailed work contract and installation specs that line items the costs for each element, start and completion date, and payment schedule

See our Landscape Construction Services Page for More