February 21, 2019

Our Process

We have developed the following design process through years of experience working on residential landscapes:

Step 1 – Ask The Expert:  Our design process begins with a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with one of our Licensed Landscape Architects to discuss your project.  This is an opportunity to talk about your specific goals and challenges relating to your landscape project. 

Step 2 – Site & Program Analysis:  Unlike many design firms that will rush you into the design phase, our Site & Program Analysis is an essential planning phase for your project that will help you avoid potential design pitfalls and cost overruns in your landscape project.  During the Site & Program Analysis we meet with you on-site to discuss your project and identify the unique opportunities and constraints of your project.  Then using an aerial photo of your site as a scaled base map, we sketch out how your program (the uses/elements of your landscape such as pools, and decks or patios) might lay out on your site.  We research any potential restrictions (municipal zoning ordinances and HOA requirements) that you might not be aware of.  And based on your program we provide a preliminary budget to help guide the design process and decision making moving forward.  The cost for this service is $450, but will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Step 3 – Master Plan:  The Master Plan is the design phase of your project.  This is where we take the preliminary program and site layout that we developed in the Site and Program Analysis, and transform it into a tangible design, including thinking about style, materials, furnishings, and yes specific varieties of plants.  The master plan includes an illustrative site plan, and perspective renderings to effectively communicate the big vision for the yard.  It also includes a custom plant list, and an updated budget.  The cost for the Master Plan is typically around 4% of your overall project budget.

Step 4 – Construction Documents:  This is the phase in which we translate the big design idea into detailed working documents for contractors to bid and build off of.  Construction drawings usually include a fully dimensioned and key-noted site plan, with referenced detail drawings and specifications calling out specific materials and construction methods.  It also includes planting and irrigation plans.  Detailed construction drawings ensure that you know exactly what product and quality you are getting for the money that you are spending, and allows you to get truly comparative bids from multiple contractors.  The cost of Construction Drawings is typically around 5% of your overall project budget.

Step 5 – Construction:  Using the construction drawings that we developed in step 4, we work with you and the contractor(s) to obtain bids, and then coordinate with you and the contractor(s) throughout the construction process, including scheduling, answering your and contractor questions that inevitably arise during the construction process, and responding to unexpected issues that might arise (changes in site conditions or lack of availability of a desired product or plant are common ones that we see a lot).  We also review contractor invoices for approval prior to payment, and walk through the project with you and the contractor before completion to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with all of the work.  The cost for Construction Coordination is usually 1% of your overall project budget.


Io LandArch would love to work with you! Contact us to set up a complimentary consultation call!