OUR PROCESS begins with our first conversation, during which we discuss any concerns regarding your landscape and the vision you have for its completion.
A CONSULTATION is scheduled with either Angela for a complete evaluation at an hourly rate. During the visit, we discuss your existing landscape, the goals you have, any concerns and potential hazards. I familiarize myself with the unique nuances of your location and discuss costs including your budget.
During the discussion process, I may present new ideas you may not have considered. I find our clients like to engage with fresh ideas in this early stage of development. With thoughtful communication and perhaps a rough sketch of the space to further clarify, I refine the ideas being discussed. Taking into consideration all your input, I then derive a written proposal including all the elements brought out in this focused discussion.
If formal landscape plans are desired or required, details and costs for drawings will also be part of this same discussion.
AN ESTIMATE is then prepared from the discussion. As part of preparing the estimate, I may revisit the site a second time to evaluate unforeseen challenges in the project. It is not required that you attend this second visit, and in most cases there is no additional charge for this visit. I will always notify you ahead of time if we feel a second visit may require any additional charge.
My proposal in the form of an estimate will be broken down into two main parts. 1) The base project; what is minimally necessary to complete the discussed project, and 2) any optional additional projects the client may wish to add to the base project. For example: low voltage lighting, potted plants for the patio, a centerpiece fire-pit, an ornate wooden trellis or a beautiful artistic sculpture. We love to customize each project to suit each individual client, location and budget.
I know that you are excited about a new beginning with your envisioned landscape, so from start to finish the proposal will provide a project scope that will detail materials needed, outline the payment schedule and include the necessary labor to complete your vision in a timely manner.
I can deliver your proposal via postal mail, e-mail, or if you prefer, meet again in person to review the final details together.
A SIGNED CONTRACT and deposit are then required to reserve a place on our client list. I find that organizing projects on a first-come first-serve basis is the best way to remain fair to our clients and ensure our team resources can provide focused, detailed attention on each individual job. During any preliminary waiting period, you are always kept updated via telephone or e-mail as we near project start.
Once the project has begun, any tasks not specified in the base proposal or the additional items mentioned above and requested by the client or suggested by Utopic Gardens is treated as a change order whereby the original proposal will be amended and revised.
PROJECT COMMENCEMENT is a day which is marked by the removal of the existing landscape to create a fresh beginning and prepare the site for its transformation.
Excavation and grading are typically first on the list. I then move to hardscape (concrete, flagstone, pavers, tile, boulders, etc.) followed by trenching for irrigation, low voltage installation and any gas or high voltage electric work. I then add soil amendment to prepare the soil for planting as well as to form interesting peaks and valleys for added interest and natural design. Next may come any woodworking of pergolas, gazebos, gates, trellises, fences, or a custom water feature. When the exciting planting day arrives, I strive to create a colorful garden with year-round interest and appeal.
COMPLETION time is swift while in the caring hands of our Utopic crew who devote their energy, attention and creativity to your unique landscape.
Photos and video will be taken before, during and after your project to document the transformation, which you can share with family and friends. Occasionally, I will request a short video interview or ask for a written testimonial to include on our website for others to appreciate.
Our goal is to exceed your expectations and we feel grateful for the opportunity to create a landscape that you will enjoy for many, many years.
Please review my kudos page for more information about our clients’ experience and how they feel about their completed landscapes.
I use only the finest materials, from local suppliers; our Flagstone, boulders, rock, brick, pavers, gravel, soil & mulch, typically comes from either from American Soil & Stone, Sloat Garden Center, Brickyard or Morgans — depending upon the location of our project.
Our plant material is hand selected from either Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery, Orchard Nursery or Sloat Garden Center and most of our Pottery is from either Pottery & Beyond or Sloat Garden Center.