Sophie offers an initial visit for free if you live within Devon, Somerset, Dorset or North Cornwall. No design or planting advice is offered at this stage, but it is an opportunity to meet her and look through her portfolio, and establish whether you think she is the right designer for you and your project. If you decide she is, it may suit you to continue there and then with the initial consultation.
Our first on-site meeting with you is a chance to assess the space and surroundings, as well as discuss in detail your needs, aspirations and budget for the garden. This may take up to three hours, dependent on project size, as it is important we work out exactly what you want from your space. Clarity of brief is crucial, in order to deliver the best results and minimise later changes to the design. Sophie charges £160 for this first stage of the design process.
Following the site visit (and for no further charge), we will draw up a written design brief, identifying any problems and suggesting outline solutions. This will also include an approximate budget. Copies will be sent to you for your approval, and this document will then form the basis for the Design Concept, should you choose to proceed.
It is important for you to realistically consider your budget at this stage. Designing your outside space is a significant commitment. For a complete re-design including all hard landscaping, plants and furniture as well as labour and design costs, a budget of between 4 and 10% of the property value is a recommended investment — and would typically yield a 10-20% rise in the value of your home.
However, larger projects can be undertaken as a phased development, perhaps over several years. Or you might have a garden where a complete overhaul is inappropriate, and you simply want help improving a small area or refreshing a planting scheme. Whatever your needs, we are always happy to discuss your project.
Before the design work begins, it is essential that the site is properly surveyed. For small sites we may be able to undertake this ourselves, but for larger spaces a professional surveyor will be employed. You will be invoiced separately for this service.