To provide additional explanation for each of the phases of the design process pre­sented in this text, this and following chapters describe how each phase is actually applied to a sample design project. This sample project, the Duncan residence, be­gins here and is followed through other steps of the design process in subsequent chapters. The project is a real one and involves ordinary clients who live in a typical single-family suburban home.

The Duncans’ house is a two-story, four-bedroom home with gray-blue siding, white brick, and white wood trim (Figures 5—12 and 5—13). It is situated on a site that is a little over a quarter of an acre in size and is surrounded on the west, north, and east sides by neighboring residential properties. The site is rather flat with some scat­tered existing trees in both the front and backyards. A more detailed description with additional photographs of the Duncan residence is found in Chapter 7.

To begin the process, Brian and Pamela Duncan telephoned James E. Kent, landscape designer, concerning the future development of their site. During this ini­tial telephone conversation, they expressed the desire to enhance the appearance and usefulness of their site. To accomplish this, they indicated the need for privacy, an outdoor family and entertaining space, shade, development of a front entry, and some additional planting around the site. The Duncans’ needs seemed to suggest the possi­bility of a challenging design project, and so Mr. Kent requested to meet with them at their house. Mr. Kent explained that there was no charge for this initial visit and ac­cepted their invitation to meet with them.

Upon arriving at the Duncan residence, Mr. Kent was introduced to Brian, Pamela, and their three children. Initially they met in the living room, where Mr. Kent encouraged the Duncan family to talk about their needs, desires, and anticipations about the site. When necessary, Mr. Kent asked the Duncans questions to clarify their

thoughts or to seek more specific information about their requests. Later in the meeting, they walked through the house and around the site as Mr. Kent listened to the Duncans discuss specific concerns and requests. He kept written notes of all the fam­ily’s thoughts and ideas. After this, Mr. Kent talked about the capabilities of his firm and the preferred process for working with clients. He explained the need to develop an overall master plan for the site as the best way to accomplish everything the

Duncans had in mind. Although the Duncans were somewhat apprehensive at first, they realized that a master plan was a comprehensive approach to developing their site. So as not to rush the Duncans into making an immediate decision, Mr. Kent told them that he would prepare a “Proposal for Design Services.” If this met with their satisfaction, they could then sign the proposal and return it to begin the design process. He thanked the Duncans for the opportunity to meet with them and ex­pressed hope that he would be able to provide them with design services.

Upon returning to the office, Mr. Kent prepared a “Proposal for Design Services” and sent two copies to the Duncans, one for their files and one to be returned to him. The cover letter and proposal he wrote are shown in Figures 5—14 and 5—15.


62047 Bedford Court Eugene, OH 10548 Tel: (614) 830-4900 FAX: (614) 830-2010

July 26, 2011

Brian and Pamela Duncan 4140 Willow Bend Road Eugene, OH 10548

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Duncan:

Thank you very much for the opportunity to meet with you this past Wednesday evening and the informative discussion we had about the improvements for your residential site. The interests and ideas you shared with me are very important for properly developing a design for your residential site.

In response to all the ideas that were discussed during our first meeting, I am submitting the enclosed “Proposal for Design Services” in hope that I will be able to work with you on this forthcoming adventure. Although there are obvious site issues that must be contended with, I am confident that there are a variety of alternative ways to turn these problems into potentials while satisfying your specific needs and requirements.

Respectfully submitted,

JamesE. Kent

James E. Kent Landscape Designer


Figure 5-14

The cover letter.


The Duncan Residence

SCOPE OF WORK. Outlined below are the proposed tasks to be accomplished.

1. Assimilation of all program and site data received from you.

2. Actual on-site measurement and development of a base map.

3. Analysis of existing on-site and immediate off-site conditions.

4. Preparation of two alternative preliminary plans, which will be presented to you at your home.

5. Further refinement of one of the alternative preliminary plans or a combination of the two to establish the final master plan.


1. Detailed construction or working drawings for any site structure.

2. Actual construction or installation of the design.

DRAWINGS. I will submit the following drawings to you according to the time schedule outlined below:

1. Two preliminary plans for the entire site. These plans will be drawn at a scale of 1/8’= 1′-CT. They will show the location of all proposed site elements (and existing site features that are to remain) such as walks, driveway, terrace, fences, and planting. Notes will identify pavement and fence materials, fence heights, and general type of plant materials. You will receive two copies of each of these plans.

2. One master plan, drawn at a scale of 1/8’= 1′-0′ will show specific names of plant materials and other materials and patterns. You will receive two copies of this drawing.

TIME SCHEDULE. I will begin work upon receipt of the signed contract. The preliminary plans will be completed within 15 days, at which time I will contact you to set a specific time and date for presenting them to you. Following that meeting, and after a 10-day period for you to study the preliminary plans and get back to me with your comments, I shall begin the design of the final master plan. This plan shall be finished within 7 days. I shall again contact you to set a time and a date for presenting the final master plan.

FEE PAYMENT AND SCHEDULE. I propose to prepare and execute the above noted drawings and services for the lump sum of $750.00. The payment for the above services shall be as follows:

$150 submitted with the signed proposal/contract

$450 paid upon completion and presentation of preliminary plans

$150 paid upon completion and presentation of the master plan

Jcam[21]__E. Kenxt 7/26/11

James E. Kent Date

CONTRACT ACCEPTANCE. This offer is valid for 30 days. If this proposal is satisfactory and acceptable to you, please sign the enclosed copy and return it to me for my files.

Brian Duncan

Figure 5-15

The Duncans’ "Proposal for Design Services.


The initial meeting with the clients is important be­cause the designer acquires vital information about the clients that will be used as the foundation for the design solution. Having completed this chapter, you should specifically know the following about that first contact with clients: •

• Type of information obtained from the clients about their wants/wishes and likes/dislikes

• Questions that might be asked to learn about the clients’ lifestyle and interests

• Information that can be sought about the clients’ observations regarding their site and architecture of the house

• Alternative methods and techniques for obtaining information from clients

• Organization and potential content of a questionnaire

• Typical content of a portfolio

• Points a designer should discuss at the conclusion of the initial client meeting

• Content and organization of a proposal for design services