Planning in Arizona can be quite challenging for a landscape and pool designer because there are so many variables that come into play. Phoenix has such a diverse landscape that covers old, flat citrus groves & farmlands to mountain & hillside terrain. A good designer needs to be well-versed in all aspects of, plant & tree knowledge, drainage & irrigation, hardscape layout and patio experience. On top of that, since Phoenix is such a landscape “rich” environment, there are so many selections for each of those areas. I can think of 10 different patios that one of my clients can choose from, ranging in price from $5/s.f. to $15/s.f. With that being said, the biggest challenge for a designer in Phoenix is trying to work with a budget. Unique Landscapes & Unique Custom Pools has a HUGE advantage over any other company when it comes to designing to fit a budget. Why? Well….we know what both pool and landscape construction costs and we know how to integrate both landscape and pool design together to get a beautiful project, based on a realistic budget! Check out our designers and how we can be the company for your next landscaping & pool project.
Landscape Design needs to start with the designer getting to know the client. Once a designer can understand the client’s needs, wants, desires, dreams, and goals – he can start offering ideas and solutions to each of those aspects. From a design standpoint, it’s often difficult to get a new client to “trust” in them – so, most of the first appointments are spent building “rapport” and confidence in the designer, personality, and company.
Arizona Landscape Design
As a Arizona design-build landscape & pool company, Unique’s philosophy revolves around a realistic and practical design. This plan, in our opinion, is the building block to the entire relationship, the entire project and directly impacts the end result. A design for many Phoenix residents is simply a drawing or sketch, laying out where everything is going to go. This works great for smaller, do-it-yourself projects, where contracts and expectations are not being considered. Unique highly recommends that for any project over $15,000 – both parties need a complete & detailed drawing. Also, no swimming pool should ever be constructed without a pool plan, drawn to 1/8” scale for construction, contracts & future records. We hope that you choose Unique when hiring a company for your next design project.
The basics: Every landscape design needs to put onto paper (or some method of documenting the idea). The typical plan needs to be drawn to scale, so that field measurements can be verified. A basic plan needs to show where everything is located “spatially” – so that they can be constructed with some level of precision. A legend, of some sort, needs to identify items on the design/plan.
The upgrades: As customers start to invest money into this landscape design process, they should expect more of a presentation – or more of way to visualize what the designer is proposing. This may include a color landscape plan that includes more presentation quality items. It may also be a more detailed drawing of some of the items involved in the landscape plan (like a fireplace, water feature, pergola or ramada). A perspective drawing – which is a 3D-type drawing that shows up to 3 sides of a proposed feature – is not uncommon in the landscape & pool design business.
The “Premium”: Few would argue that Unique’s landscape & pool design presentations are “basic” or “upgraded”, as we quite often get put into the category of “WOW” or “AWESOME” or “Premium”. That is why a premium landscape design should include full-color, detailed precision for all aspects of the project. A detailed legend explains all aspects of the job, from start to finish. It should be ready for permitting, engineering review, or HOA approval. Our latest presentation techniques include 3D presentations of your backyard, where we walk you through a virtual tour – all before you sign a contract for the work. Seeing it, before you buy it, is a sure way to make sure it’s the perfect investment.
Keep it together – Pool & Landscape. Make sure all aspects of your backyard are designed together. Don’t build a pool, and then try to figure out how to landscape around it! There are companies out there that specialize in landscape AND pool design (Unique is one of them!) Even if you are planning on doing the project in phases, a professional landscape and pool plan is your single BEST investment – guaranteed!
GO BIG OR GO HOME! Make sure you design and install adequate patio space. Outdoor entertainment is a way of life in Arizona, so don’t be stuck without enough room for your guests. Try to figure out what the maximum amount of people you would have over on a large event, this will help you decide what is “enough” space for you.
Preserve your views! Think about where you will be sitting, and make sure you block what you need to block, and leave open your precious mountain or city views. A good Phoenix landscape designer will even think about the view from INSIDE your home too!
Plant in 1’s, 3’s & 5’s. This interior design rule is also just as relevant outside. Keep your specimen trees & palms in singles (or groups of 3), and plant your plants in groups of 3’s or 5’s – keeping similar colors in large groups.
Plant for All Seasons. Most people make the mistake of buying all the plants that look good when they install their Phoenix landscaping. The problem is that most of the time, these same plants all look BAD later in the year. A good designer knows how to design for all seasons, allowing your plant palette to be ever-changing and colorful all year round!
Focal Feature Frenzy! The best Phoenix landscapes have a great focal feature. This can be a front entry fountain (for a front yard focal feature), or a beautiful fireplace for your backyard focal feature. Every designer focuses on some sort of visual “anchor” that can be the center of attention. This allows for other accents to be coordinated & associated with this main focal feature.
Create textures! A common mistake is to dump large amounts of granite & similar plants into a front or backyard. For not much more money, one can create mounding, riverbeds, riprap, & plant textures (grasses & agaves) – and the result is ten fold!
Decorate! Even some of the best looking backyards can look much better with accents & decorations. Patio furniture placement, outdoor pottery & flower gardens, collectibles & ironwork – all the items add to the “personality” of your new design.
Think Construction. Not all landscape plans can be built to look & function as they appear on paper. It’s always a good idea to have a contractor look at the design, and offer construction tips & suggestions that may improve the cost or functionality of the project. Unique is often working with landscape architect designs to reduce cost & “value analyze” the project – most of the time saving our clients 20% or more – and still installing the same design!
Longevity & Low Maintenance! We find the main goal is to get things done & installed as quickly as possible. While doing so, it’s easy to forget about one important question – How is this going to look & function in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years? Unique Landscapes can provide a 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year plan for your project. We can show you what to expect after each of these time intervals when it comes to repairs, removal of plants/trees, future proofing, and energy efficiency of landscape features.
QUALITY DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Unique continues to excel at being one of the only Arizona landscape and pool design firms, and we believe our designs and presentations are far superior to most companies. We want our clients to see what they are getting – before we start! It’s a great way of setting expectations for both customer & company. Here are several ways we show our clients what they are getting, and make sure all the important details are included in all of our designs.
The “UNIQUE” difference – After many years of perfecting our products, we have come up with the best possible way to show our clients what they are getting from our installation crews.
• AutoCAD Plans – One of the most precise architectural programs out there when it comes to construction design. Our plans are accurate to 1/10th of an inch, and provide a level of detail that is far superior to any other landscape & pool company. Our CAD plans are also presented in full-color, with a detailed legend – providing all the details for each phase of the job.
• 3D Designs – With computer technology where it’s at today, it’s no wonder we can show you what your backyard will look like BEFORE we install it. We can do this with the help of a 3D animation program that we use for 3D pool design, and 3D landscape design. Enjoy a real-life walk-through of your front or backyard from one of our computers – even get a bird’s eye view from 50 feet over your backyard! This program also makes it easy to see different materials – so you can decide easier if flagstone looks better than pavers for your hardscaping. We can show you both in just 1 click of the mouse!
• PERMIT & HOA Plans – One of our complimentary services is to assist in the HOA approval process, and then submit and obtain all necessary city & county building permits for our projects. Our designs quickly roll over into these permitting copies, because of the systems that we have in place. This makes it very quick and easy for us to get you what you need for the HOA, and allows us to obtain permits for your property in days. Choose Unique for your next Phoenix landscape plan!