The Design Process

Following is a summary of Brooks Kolb’s design process:

Initial Design Consultation

The first step is a visit to your home for an on-site design consultation. The consultation is free to clients residing within one hour’s drive from our Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA office. During the consultation, we work together to reveal your vision and determine your overall project goals. You provide your wish list of everything you want in your garden, while I offer some design and cost-savings opportunities you may not have thought of. Shortly after our meeting, you’ll receive a letter of proposal detailing both the scope of work and projected fees. The proposal lists all the design features (also known as program elements) that you requested to make sure that your needs and goals are met.

Preliminary Design Phase

After you agree to a proposal for professional services, I will work up a preliminary design (or two or more design options) for the landscape improvements based on the size of the space, existing conditions, and your wish list. Probable construction costs, presented in a cost analysis report, are based on the design features included in the drawing. Together we will review the design and set the construction budget. Based on your input, the design and cost analysis report are revised until you are satisfied and ready to proceed. If it is clear that your wish list exceeds your budget, we work together to prioritize design features. At this point, you may decide to break the project up into more than one construction phase to make it more affordable. When several construction phases are anticipated, the overall, completed plan is called the “master plan.”

Construction Documents and Bidding Phases

Once you have approved the preliminary design and construction budget, I develop the design into a “bidset” that landscape contractors can use for pricing. The bidset includes a Construction Plan, detailed Planting Plan, Construction Details and Specifications, together with a Bid Form and sample Construction Contract. During this stage we’ll meet to review the specific “blueprints,” including all the plant selections and construction material choices. As soon as the bidset has been completed to your satisfaction, I either send it out to bid or recommend a single contractor to price the plans.

Design Process