11 Jan On-Site Design Consultation with our Landscape Architects
Clients’ Inner Dialogue might be like: This year, we’re going to do it! We’ve been talking about a pool for a while. We love to entertain. This could be awesome. I’m going to look on Pinterest. Woah, look at that outdoor kitchen. Look at that fire pit! I love these ideas. What is this going to cost? Where do I even start? Let me type in local landscape architect. Design Works! This company does both the design and the installation. They even do an on-site consultation. This sounds interesting. Let me give them a call.
Design Works Response: Tell us about your dreams, your program, your ideas, your expectations. Tell us about your backyard and your front yard. Is it a blank slate? Are their grades to work with? How is the access? What are your expectations for a pool? How do you plan to entertain? Are there other elements? Fire Pit? Kitchen? Plantings? What is your timeline? Now that we’ve heard you, let us tell you how we can get things started quickly with our On-Site Designing Consultation!
Design Works’ 1-Hour Conceptual Design Plan Consultation:
It’s our goal to blow your mind with inspiration, ideas, and give you a real-life plan to hold onto in about an hour’s worth of time. Yes, we said it, at the end of most of our meetings, the conceptual plan is yours, in PDF format, and drawn to-scale.
Many design professionals charge a fee to meet with customers to review their thoughts and goals, take notes, measurements, pictures, site data, etc. Then they take the information and bring it back into the office to create a plan for an additional fee. While we wholeheartedly support the design process and required fees by other professional colleagues, we are just lucky to have a design wizard on staff who can speed up the conceptual process and achieve most designs it in about an hour.
Meet Jimmy DiNovo. Much like an artist performing a caricature at Disney World, under limited time constraints and while being watched and studied, Jimmy’s rapid design skill and thought organization generally allows him to provide a take-home design treasure right at the first meeting.
Meeting Part 1 In-Person: When you meet Jimmy, he will walk outside with you for about 10-20 minutes for PART 1 of the meeting. You can assist him by showing him the outdoor area and reviewing your pre-prepared wish list, existing conditions plans, (i.e. plot plan, septic plan, pool plans, etc.), budget, etc. He will gather measurements, etc.
Meeting Part 2 connect with Jimmy via Google Meeting: Immediately following Part 1, Jimmy will ask you to go to your computer and he will go to his mobile office computer. At this point in the meeting, you will no longer see him in person but he will remain on your site in his mobile office. He will send you an email with a link to a Google Meeting. Once connected, you will be able to watch his screen and watch him work. You will also be able to hear him and talk with him. Tips: Be prepared with good internet service and the ability to access a Google Meeting on your desk top or lap top computer. A phone will not work for screen sharing.
Meeting Part 3: Jimmy will start to draw your design in AutoCad. Believe it or not, when you were meeting outside, he was already visualizing how he was going to draw up the design. Give him a few minutes to get started and then you will start to see things come together right in front of your eyes. You’ll start to see things like a space for table and chairs, a passage way/walkway to get from the basement door or deck out to the space, a wall or stairs be placed to help transition an elevation change, the location of the pool, shed, etc. If you are putting in a pool, he’ll make sure to consider sun orientation, ease of access around the pool, appropriate places for chaise lounge chairs, appropriate flow of traffic, etc. If you have an active family, preservation of yard space may be an important part of organizing the plan. If there’s heavy shade, you may discuss tree removal, etc. He’ll continue to ask questions and when you want an item modified or you have an idea to share, just blurt it out and he’ll make the change. When hardscaping elements are organized and make logical sense, he will add in conceptual areas for planting beds, grass areas, lawn, conceptual gardens, shed, stepping stones, etc.
Meeting Part 4: As the hour(ish) starts to wrap up, Jimmy will ask you if there’s anything else you want to have included in the plan or any other advice you seek, discuss ball-park pricing, etc. If nothing else, he will send you an email with a PDF of the plan you watched him create and he will ask to collect payment. After payment is collected, he will be on his merry way.
Post-Meeting: If the design is something that you want built by our construction team, our estimators will put together a price proposal, typically between 1-2 weeks from your initial meeting. Our salesperson will send over the price/set up a time to review the project in more detail, discuss schedule, next steps for the build, etc.
Cost of Consultation: The cost of a design-plan consultation starts at $350 for an hour. This fee covers base plan preparation, travel time, visit time, and design time during the first meeting. Sometimes, though not very often, additional time is needed beyond the first meeting to add in more detail, figure out technical challenges, design plantings, make edits, etc. Additional design time will add an additional cost. Also, consultations outside of 30 minutes from our office will incur an additional travel cost.
Credentials and what inspired our process: James DiNovo, graduated from the University of Massachusetts, in 2004 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Jimmy has technical experience in the landscaping field that dates back to 1998. Jimmy has created hundreds of beautiful and inventive “on-the-fly” designs to assist customers with a friendly, cost-effective way of receiving a design and design advise. Here’s an Interesting tidbit: This process began during the start of Covid (spring 2020) as way to safely meet outside and virtually and has been popular ever since.
PROCESS NOTES: We have performed hundreds of on-site consultations and delivered 100’s of first-meeting design plans to happy customers. Please note, however, there are occasional circumstances where plans are not delivered during the first meeting or a phase II design is necessary. Examples may include: additional design time is necessary, a detailed design needs to be added and completed, a customer is not prepared to discuss ideas or prepared for a google meeting, site information is limited, etc. In addition, it should be noted that plans during a design consultation are 2-dimension and in black and white, prepared in AutoCad. They are not color rendered, in 3-dimension, and do not include elevations, suggested materials like paver patterns, choice of pavers, and plant material. The value of the 1-hour design consultation plan is the layout of good professional ideas and seasoned advise provided at a reasonable fee. Colored plans and 3d plans/videos can be created for an additional fee. Please note that each customer, their sites, and our design solutions are always unique. We do our best to stick to the above-described process, however, it is subject to change to allow us the flexibility to adapt to each client’s unique circumstances. Thank you.