L A N D S C A P E P R O C E S S
I. Design or no Design?
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 hardscape features on the ground where they might appear on the property.
I. The sketch made at final contract signing
II. The painting on the ground and continued layout and painting support during construction from Randy
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.
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:
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
IV. 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 on your property.
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:
II. Bid / Budget Adjustments
A bid visit may result in a firm bid within the same visit, or, owing to job complexity and/or the need for a design, and/or a few undecided issues, the bid process may take longer.
Once a firm bid is established you are welcome to take time to consider the bid, all the elements in the proposed installation and get additional bids.
When budget becomes an issue one or more of the following solutions are commonly used:
I. Phase the job in logistically sensible stages across a year or several years.
II. Compromise on some of the design elements, either removing some things, or changing to less expensive materials.
III. Choose to do some of the elements yourself. (JWA can help you decide what elements you and your family might be able to take on).
III. Getting Approvals/Permits
Some installations require no permitting and no HOA or community/ municipal approvals. Others require all of the above. What's needed will usually be evident to your designer or JWA from the get go.
Generally, with the red tape, the sooner things are prepared and submitted the better. Certain above-ground elements that require engineering and subsequent approval from the city or county on said engineering, can be without approval at the start of the job. JWA will break ground on other elements that logistically make sense to start without the aforementioned feature in place.
Underground items that require city or county permits (ie, gas or electric lines) most often need to be installed early in the job. Often they do not require engineering, but they do require a sketch with specific details and a formal submittal for a permit. Once the permit is granted (the time this takes depends on the municipality) work begins and, at certain stages of the work, inspections by the issuing municipality are performed and work can be slowed by this process (ie., an electrical line's trench cannot be backfilled until the trench is inspected.
Some HOA's require the submittal of a deposit for the repair of potential damage to the front yard (usually only in neighborhoods with development corporation installed and maintained front yards). In this case they will take photos of the front yard or require you to submit them.
Certain HOA's have agreements with the local irrigation department that make beginning any job element difficult until approval has been given for the landscape's reclaimed (recycled) irrigation schematic. If your lot is plumbed with reclaimed water for landscape irrigation, you are required to submit a schematic. The schematic must follow their guidelines for both the system itself and the way in which the schematic is drafted (scale, elements shown, items in legend, etc.).
MORE JOB PROCESS OUTLINE ON THE WAY...STAY TUNED.....