Residential Planning

Why should I hire a Landscape Architect?

Your property is your most valuable asset, and our professionals at Oklahoma Landscape Architects understand that a beautiful home is essential to quality of life for you and your family. The planning phase for your property is one of the most important events that can take place in the course of building your home. We have over twenty years of experience designing and building our landscape designs and we know what works in Oklahoma, as well as what does not work. You can be sure that issues like Grading & Drainage, Climate, Environmental, Health, Safety & Welfare will all be taken into account during the design phase, bringing you peace of mind that your project will be thorough and complete. Most of us have had a contractor come over and quote a price for the work, but were not able to communicate exactly what work will be completed for that price. This lack of communication is reason for so many pitfalls in the construction process, such as changes, repairs, and extra work, which translates into unforeseen expenses. Prevention of these pitfalls is the very reason why you should hire the professionals at Oklahoma Landscape Architects!

We start with our Free Initial Site Visit & Consultation to find out how we can help. We find out what you like, what you need, and what your maintenance expectations would be in the future, as well as the budget for the project. Then we will take pictures, measurements; shoot grades; note existing utilities and plant material, sun patterns, microclimates, drainage issues, surrounding land uses etc., and anything else that will be necessary to complete the Site Analysis Phase of your design. Remember, we do not charge for this phase!

The Conceptual Phase of your design is always very exciting, and is the time where our passion for Landscape Architecture really comes to life. All of the information in the Site Analysis and Initial Consultation is used as base information and is taken into account when we start to layout and sketch your project. These sketches are developed, layer upon layer, until it is time to finalize the concept in black and white. Color, Labels, Dimensions and other notes and information is added to communicate the design intent. We then meet to present the Conceptual Plan and discuss changes to be made, quantities, materials and future steps to ensure that your project is successful.

The Design Development Phase is where we make the necessary changes discussed to develop, in more detail, your perfect landscape. Details concerning Maintenance, Drainage, Views from Neighbors, Layout and Uses are refined in order to meet your needs, wants and budgeting requirements.

The Construction Documents are the nuts and bolts of your project. These are legal documents delivered to you, and increase the value of your property. You will own and have access to this information, both on paper and electronically, in the form of PDF files or .dwg files. The Construction Documents will include all of the information needed for the Landscape Contractors to build your Dream Landscape. These drawings will be complete, accurate, clear and properly dimensioned to a scale that will facilitate accurate cost estimation. Construction Sections, Elevations and large scale Details will be used to correlate all parts of the project and to explain the more complex elements of your project. These documents often include, and are not limited to: Contracts, Bid Documents, Specifications, Demolition Plan, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, Grading & Drainage Plan, Layout Plan, Planting Plan, Irrigation Plan, & Landscape Lighting Plan. These legal documents are then used by all of the necessary contractors to build your project, and ensure accountability to them that your project will be completed with the highest standards of quality.

After your approval of all documents, your project then goes through a vital part of the process of translating ideas into the built environment.  This phase is the Contract Award Phase.  There two methods of selecting contractors, either by Competitive Bidding or Direct Selection with Negotiations.  Competitive Bidding will be used to get the lowest possible price for the work to be completed.  This method of bidding presumes that the completed work will be equally well done, regardless of who the lowest bidder will be.  These bidders will be screened and prequalified for competence and ability to perform the work.  We will assure that the contractor is well experienced with similar projects.  As a home owner, you will have the right to reject any and all bids, and you will not be bound to accept the lowest bidder.  When the Direct Selection and Negotiation procedure is used, a contract price will be negotiated by yourself, or Oklahoma Landscape Architects, with the Contractor. 

In order to ensure that the design intent for your project is fully realized throughout the Construction Phase, Oklahoma Landscape Architects also provides Construction Observation Services.  Design Intent and Construction Reality must be intertwined, and Construction Observation is a very important phase in the process.  The use and long term enjoyment of your project are dependent on its final form and the condition of the built elements.  The level of success of your project will be judged by the quality of implementation by the contractor. 

Our Mission at Oklahoma Landscape Architects is to design Experience.  We want your outdoor space not to be just form, color, shapes, spaces & things, but an experience that will last for generations.  This living experience should be a harmonious relationship between you, your family, your friends and the surrounding built landscape designed by Oklahoma Landscape Architects. 

“The design approach then is not essentially a search for form, not primarily an application of principles. The true design approach stems from the realization that a plan has meaning only to people for whom it is planned and only to the degree to which it brings facility, accommodation, and delight to their senses. It is a creation of optimum relationships resulting in a total experience”
– John Ormsbee Simonds