What is your process?

Here’s the typical process I follow:

1.  Initial Conversation: I begin with an email exchange with a prospective client to determine if the project is a good fit and in line with what I do.  Inquiries should include any preferences on project scope, materials, timeline, budget, and general design.

2.  Site Visit: We then meet for a site visit and an in depth discussion of the scope of the work they are hoping to have done.  I take notes and some photos and create an estimate for my time and materials.

3.  Estimate: My estimates are divided into 3 segments:  Design Phase, Installation Phase and Materials/Expenses.

·      Design Phase is an estimate for my design fees including meetings during this phase

·      Installation Phase is an estimate of my time to support the installation

·      Materials/Expenses estimates plants and materials that I purchase to facilitate the installation based on similar jobs I’ve done. 

4.  Deposit:

·      If the client approves my initial estimate, the client pays a deposit to officially begin the project.

5.  Site Survey: Unless a scaled Site Plan or Survey already exists with current conditions, we hire a third-party professional to measure and draft a site plan. 

6.  Design: After the estimate is approved I work with the client to develop an aesthetic.   This includes:

·      A Pinterest page to exchange ideas via photographs to define the overall aesthetic

·      A photo narrative documenting the style of the hardscape, amenities and the plants 

·      A set of plans, drawn to scale.  These generally include a Master Site plan with material call-outs, a Planting Plan, a Lighting Plan, and an Irrigation Zone Map  

7.  Installation: Together, we decide upon the contractor and then estimate the job in its entirety and the develop the budget from there.  I partner with a handful of landscape contractors for installation of my designs. I do not personally carry a crew. They are all local and licensed by the State. For the protection of my clients I do not work with unlicensed contractors.  When the estimate and budget is all finalized, we break ground…

 

How do you charge?

My projects typically begin around $80k for a front or backyard depending on what amenities you plan to include.  This includes my design fees, installation support and plants plus the landscape contractor’s installation labor and material. I price my designs per the project and for meetings and on site work I charge $175/hr.

 

Are you on the project from start to finish?

I am hands-on from start to finish, providing continuity in the intention of the design and the quality of the materials.

 

What are Sycamore Design’s specialties?

I specialize in Modern Mediterranean California Gardens which utilize the watershed approach to landscaping. My designs can include pools/spas, patios, arbors, outdoor kitchens and bbqs, showers, fencing & fire pits, landscape lighting, as well as, plantings. I often help with outdoor finishes, paint colors, house exterior lighting, mailboxes and house numbers, and signage. Plantings are California native plants and Mediterranean species well adapted to our summer dry climate.  Meadows and lawn alternatives are integral to my designs, utilizing the watershed approach in all of my installations. 

 

Do you have a wait list?

Lead time varies depending on the time of year, but I typically require 2 months to get a new project on the design board.