D E S I G N
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If you do not already have a landscape design, your initial bid meeting will include a discussion regarding how design issues on your project should be handled.  We'll listen to your needs and your vision and begin a rough design process  mainly as a means by which he can more accurately communicate with you regarding installation costs.  This rough process will include both on paper sketches and spray painting hard-scape features on the ground where they might appear on the property.

If your install is simple enough, then the decision may be made to go without a formal design process.  Installation direction and decisions will then rely on the following: 

Do i need a landscape design?
Your wish may be to go with a designer and a full design process, or your job's complexity and/or your style inclinations may demand it.  Your job may require a design due to the concerns listed below:
I. The sketch made at final contract signing
II. The painting on the ground and continued layout and painting support during construction from your salesperson
III.  A job-site walk-through
IV. Walk-throughs with JWA key players either at the initial walk through or during the job
V.  Plant consultation meeting(s) with a JWA designer (who will subsequently layout the plants and discuss them with you as they sit in their proposed spots prior to planting)
VI.  Consultation with the installation technicians and craftsmen whose expertise your job requires. 
I.  You live within  a CC & R and/or Home Owner's Association jurisdiction that requires a landscape plan for any front and/or backyard improvements
II. The aforementioned plans have stringent guidelines concerning scale accuracy, materials and plant species specificity, drainage, irrigation and grade modifications
III.  Your envisioned grade modifications are so extensive that fair comparative bidding requires a concrete representation of what is to be done and/or the extent of modification is within the scope for which local codes require engineering
Your residence is mandated to use reclaimed (recycled) water for its landscape irrigation
V. Hard-scape features (ie. Retaining walls, Pergolas, Fireplaces, Shade structures) are of a scale for which local codes require engineering
VI. The quantity and/or scale of and/or stylistic specificity of features in the vision are such that on-the-fly designing would be cumbersome and time consuming for both you and the landscaper (making progress on the job slow and inefficient)
VII. You need the assistance of a designer to help you articulate and/or discover the unique genre (time and place) you are trying to evoke in the land surrounding your home