Our Garden Design and Build Process
Working with an experienced company like us makes the whole garden design and build process easier and more efficient, ensuring your project will be completed exactly as you wish and to the very highest standard. Below we have set out the order and process from start to finish to give you a clear idea of all that is involved in a garden design and build project with Artscape.
1. DESIGN CONSULTATION
The journey normally starts with a garden design consultation visit by our Director to meet with you, at your garden/site, whereby we can begin to understand your overall objectives for your garden, and start to develop a written design brief. Following this meeting, we will email you with a Design Fee Proposal for your approval.
2. TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY
Once commissioned, we need a survey of your garden before starting our design work. For larger sites we commission an accurate site survey with our professional surveying team. The site survey records all measurements and key features. Quoted as a separate Fixed Fee.
3. DESIGN BRIEF
We always like to book a critical second meeting with our clients where we provide you with the best advice and direction possible to achieve your aspirations. Once the formalised Design Brief is signed off we then begin design work.
4. PRESENTATION PLAN
Once the survey is complete, we begin the outline plan which shows the overall layout of the garden. At this stage we have not finalised material choices or any intricate details of features.
5. MOOD BOARDS
The design brief achieves much, but we also feel that a pictorial statement (such as inspiring photos) allows our clients an early insight into the visual direction that we are planning to design towards.
6. 3D VISUALS
We generally provide some 3D visuals as part of our design package to assist with a full understanding of the design. We may even provide panoramic images to show different viewpoints within the garden.
7. CONSTRUCTION DETAILS
For bespoke features, Construction Details are necessary, to ensure that the feature is fully ‘worked out’ and that the contractor has an accurate design to build to. We may draw some of these for our own purposes free of charge as a part of our costing and organising. For more technical features we may quote a fee for this before the detailed design work takes place.
8. PLANTING PLANS
This plan shows the exact positions of plants, quantities and names. We provide labelled images of all the plants shown on the plan so you can see the proposed varieties and how they look together.
9. COSTING (HARD & SOFT LANDSCAPING)
Once plans are finished we start costing the full build (hard & soft landscaping) to provide you with a budget and then fixed prices for each element of the build so you can get a good idea of where money can be spent in the garden. This may inspire some amendments to the design. Our budget prices are generally submitted where materials have not yet been selected to give you an idea of costs, but they are worked out in exactly the same way as our fixed costs. We may give options for materials too. We generally give three size options for planting, subject to availability.
Although we give fixed prices, we recommend a contingency of circa 5% is included for peace of mind to cover in case of exceptional circumstances – you never know what might be found/dug up once a garden build commences.
10. ADDITIONAL CONSULTANCY
You may need us to attend meetings with other parties, such as planners, freeholders, architects, etc, which have not previously been defined in the scope of our works. These activities will be billed separately at our current hourly rates, but we will notify you of any charges before they occur.
We regularly attend the site to ensure all external works are carried out to our plans and high standards. Our teams are expected to adhere to high standards on site and we are often complimented on their behaviour and manner on site.
12. SOFT LANDSCAPING AND PLANTING
We source the plants according to the planting plans and sizes chosen and always aim to use the best quality and best value plants available. Planting beds are prepared and, once planted, mulched to reduce weed growth and conserve moisture.
We very much recommend that lighting is added to support and enhance the overall landscape scheme. A well-lit garden can provide significant pleasure, and really extends the viewable time that your garden can be seen. We show lighting positions on our plan and work with our electrical contractor to install the lighting during the build.
Irrigation is important to help the plants as they are establishing. We generally use a leaky pipe system controlled by battery operated timers which we find is sufficient for this early period and delivers water to the roots of the plants. Other systems are available including sprinkler heads and rainwater harvesting tanks.
We can offer a Maintenance programme, either regular or occasional. We can also produce a maintenance guide on request for additional charge.