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Stages of the Design Process


Below is a general guide to the process. Depending on the nature and size of the individual project, additional site visits, meetings, discussions and drawing stages may be required.


Initial Consultation

Before I provide any design services there is an Initial Consultation. I will visit you at your garden and we can discuss your thoughts, ideas and the garden’s potential. This gives you an opportunity to meet and get to know me. I feel this stage is vitally important as you need to feel that I understand what you want, and for you to feel comfortable with me. I would ask that you, as the client, think about your budget in advance of this meeting.


There is no charge for the Initial Consultation

(within 30 mile radius of Durham City - thereafter there is a charge of 45p per mile for any mileage above 30 miles)


After the Initial Consultation if you wish me to provide design services I will provide an Outline Brief for the garden together with a Fees and Expenses schedule. The Fees and Expenses schedule will be based upon the condition of your garden at the time of my Initial Consultation(s) and is valid for 30 days.


Stage A – Preparation and Brief

  • Visit the site and carry out an initial appraisal

  • Assist you in developing the initial project brief (what you want from your garden)

  • Provide advice regarding probable statutory and legal obligations and probable landscape services and complimentary professional services required (e.g. surveyors, environmental assessments, arboricultural surveys)

  • Draw up existing survey / site information

  • Establish your project budget and cost planning

  • Undertake or arrange for a survey of site

  • Investigate soil quality and soil acidity

  • Arrange the additional complimentary professionals to attend site at the request of the client (additional fee)


Stage B – Concept Designs

  • Prepare and present alternative Sketch Designs for the site (up to 3 designs)

  • Prepare Concept Design following discussion regarding the Sketch Designs.

  • Presentation of Concept Design with presentation drawings to you. Please note that Concept designs do not include specific detailed planting plans they will however indicate a flavour of the planting to be used. (See stage E for planting plans)

  • Submission for necessary statutory approvals could be organised at this stage (additional fee)

Stage C – Detailed Design

  • Setting out plans, construction details, drainage and irrigation

Stage D – Tender process

  • Prepare (a) a specification or (b) a schedule of works

  • Preparation of documents for tendering processed

  • Advise on potential contractors to be invited to tender for work if requested

  • Invite, appraise and report on tenders


Stage E – Planting plans

  • Planting plans developed including planting numbers, variety and spacing by species


Stage F – Site operations

  • Preparation of contract documents to be signed by contractor and you, the client

  • Visit site to see that work is proceeding generally in accordance with the design (once a week, more if requested)

  • Notify you of discrepancies between the design and the actual works being delivered so that you may take steps to rectify such changes as you see fit.


As work progresses, if further discussions, meetings and amendments are required (within stage B) these may be subject to additional charges for work over and above that which was initially estimated and/or agreed, but will be discussed with you first. Any amendments requested by you after the finalised Concept Design is completed will be charged for. Site meetings charged at previously agreed rate.


You do not have to commission me for all the stages and it is possible for me to produce Concept Plans (stage B) with Planting plans (Stage E) without any other involvement in the implementation of the design.


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