Five Step: Landscape Design/Build Process

A great landscape project starts with a great plan. That’s where our talented designer and registered landscape architect come in, we take the stress out of the creative process so you can concentrate on what matters most.

Phase One: Design Consultation

Our process begins with an on-site design consultation with a representative of TruNorth Landscaping. Our Landscape Designer, Registered Landscape Architect, and our General Manager bring over sixty years of combined experience in design, construction, and landscape maintenance.

Our goal during this meeting is to get to know you and your dreams or wishes for your property. This consultation provides us with an opportunity to first listen to the various landscape elements you desire in your ideal design, but to also exchange ideas that may reveal other design considerations. Our inquiries during this consultation will allow us to create a unique design, crafted specifically to fit your individual needs, lifestyle, and property. Finally, we will spend time discussing budget. It is an important component that we do not take lightly. Our intention is to present you with a beautiful plan that meets your individual budget. With our years of experience, we can provide various cost saving alternatives to consider without sacrificing the design. It is our goal to honor your time, exceed your desires, and show you how a creative landscape design can become a reality within your budget.

Phase Two: Conceptual Design

The conceptual design phase begins with a survey of your property and the gathering of site-specific information. A Plat of Survey of your property and/or architectural plans are very helpful in allowing us to prepare accurate base drawings of the existing conditions.

If this information is not available, we will take the necessary measurements to ensure an accurate design can be prepared, while accounting for all of the existing conditions. This may include locating other accessory structures, existing trees, other existing plant materials, site drainage patterns, solar orientation, finish floor elevations and walk-out basement elevations when applicable to accommodate drainage and grade changes during the design phase. As designers, we are inherently influenced by the architectural style and details of your home, and they will be an influence on our design and may become an element that is woven within the landscape theme for your home.

With the acquired base information, we begin the design of the landscape concept. The plan is a reflection your desires, designed in harmony with the realities and existing conditions of the property. The plan may be relatively simple, such as a small courtyard area, or it could be a larger plan, such as a comprehensive master plan of a large estate. In conjunction with completing the design of the landscape concept, we also prepare a budget outline of the associated project costs.

Phase Three: Construction Drawings and Proposal

Construction drawings vary greatly between projects and may include, but are not limited to: hard surface layout, grading, drainage, framing, planting, irrigation, and lighting layout plans, as well as critical details, cross-section, elevations, and planting schedules. During this time, we are also reviewing various hard surface material and color samples with you for final approval. The next step will involve your final review of construction drawings and presentation of our proposal for intended work. Once we have a signed contract, we will place your project on our construction schedule.

Check out our Optional 3-D Visualizer Tool

We offer state-of-the-art 3-D visualizer software 3D rendering of your landscape to help bring your project to life, if you choose. Click on the video below to see our process in motion.

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Phase Four: Installation

The installation of the design will be supervised by the Manager, Certified Landscape Architect, and Landscape Designer. They will be in contact with the foreman and installation crew throughout the construction period. In many cases, the Manager, Registered Landscape Architect, and Landscape Designer will be on-site at key times during the construction, working with the crews to ensure every detail is addressed per plan.

Finished Project

Phase Five: Maintenance

The first couple of years are the most difficult for transplanted trees and shrubs. Our maintenance experts can help ensure the livelihood of the new plantings and lawn, so you can begin enjoying the space immediately. Maintenance plans are able to be customized, and we take into consideration plant and lawn fertilization, plant protection, disease management, pruning, and spring/fall cleanups. Our goal is to keep your landscape in optimal health and maintain its beautiful appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is heavily dependent on the time of year in which you call. If you reach out during Spring or Summer, you will have a minimum of a week wait before we can meet. Our designers are not only fielding several calls, they are designing projects and setting up and monitoring signed projects as well. We want all of our clients to feel heard, so we plan for time to sit down with you and really discuss your project and space.

Again, this really depends on your project size, if you want a formal design and plant list, and when you are calling. In the off season, project turnaround can be as short as a week, but in the busy season it may be 2-3 weeks before your design is perfected and ready to discuss with you. There is a lot that goes into our design process—want to know more? Check the ‘our process’ link above.

We do charge design fees for a formal design. Your time is very valuable as is the time of our experienced designers and sales team members. Depending on the size of your project, what type of design you would like, etc. the fees vary. Before being billed any fees, they will be discussed with you and a design contract will be signed.

After you sign on your project, our designers begin ordering your material and work you into our schedule. A foreman is assigned to your project and the designer works alongside him or her to fill them in on all the details. The foreman is the installation expert, so feel free to ask any questions you may have throughout the process directly to him or her. If you feel more comfortable reaching out to your designer, we are always happy to talk with you.

We cannot guarantee your spot on our schedule until you have signed for your project. With many potential clients mulling over their choices, what is possible one day may not be the next if someone signs their contract before you sign yours. Once you have signed and paid your deposit (if required), we can give you a realistic date range for when your project will begin.

We work with several different natural stone and pre cast stone companies. The Concrete Service is a great resource that we work hand-in-hand with on several projects. Their showroom and outdoor showroom can really help you get an idea of your choices. We also have several samples we can bring to you as well. The most common companies for pre cast stone we work with are High Format (formerly known as Rosetta), Unilock, Techo Bloc, and Oaks. Share your vision with your designer, and they can provide several options for your project.

Some of our plants are grown and cared for here at our beautiful property in Leelanau County. Those that we order out of house are from quality nurseries throughout the state. We do not run to a local hardware store to buy the tree or flowers we are installing. Because of this, we are able to get larger size and plants and a better variety of plants. We frequently buy in bulk, allowing for a savings on your end as well!

Enhance Your Yard’s Natural Beauty

We would love to discuss your next project! Call Us at 231-922-0087 or fill out the form below to schedule an estimate.

We take your personal information very seriously. We will not share any of the information you provide with any 3rd parties. Provided information will be used specifically to contact you in regards to your inquiry.