You’ve made it through the design process! You are happy with the design. The budget is right where you want it. You are just as excited as we are to start your new project. But wait! We cannot break ground just yet. Depending upon the project, we need to apply for any required construction permits or variance approvals at the local government level. Depending on where you live, this process is more involved than others and the very first step in the construction phase of your landscape design project.
Permits and Variances
Suburban and rural areas sometimes have a less thorough review process for new constructipon. The town usually reviews and approves the permits in less than two weeks. The landscape design process may take longer in urban areas or properties near bodies of water. These designs need to meet more guidelines and the review process by the various agencies can take up to two months. The DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) and ACE (Army Corps. Of Engineers) have very strict rules and regulations to prevent any new construction from interfering with a natural wildlife habitat or changing a coastline’s natural topography. If you live in a Historic District of a town or city there are additional guidelines to protect the historical aesthetic of the area.
The permitting process can cause some unexpected delays. We normally get through it unscathed and then the dirt begins to fly. Once the permits are approved and the subcontractors have their final scopes and schedules, it’s time to build your project!
Landscape Design Construction Begins
We begin the on-site work with walk-throughs and plan reviews with each of our subs to make sure that everyone is on the same page. We have a core group of subcontractors that we work with on every project and there is a great reason for that. Our subcontractors are all highly skilled and meet our standard of quality. Even better, they all work seamlessly together which creates a fantastic atmosphere and camaraderie. This, in turn, leads to a smooth construction process and an immaculate finished product.
Excavation and Hardscape Elements
Demolition and general excavation/grading work is the first part of the ground-breaking “ceremony”. Be aware, we do make a big mess! But we clean it up nicely with the hardscape installation phase. This includes any pools (pool cabanas), patios or decks, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, or fire pit spaces, the list goes on… Basically, this phase encompasses all the carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing, painting, etc. After this stage is completed the project really begins to come to life!
The softscape elements are next in line and they really put the finishing touches on the project. Irrigation systems usually go in first and then any stepping stones or plant beds. Organic mulch is applied to plant beds and any damaged lawn areas are finely graded and sodded, seeded, or hydroseeded. In a couple weeks’ time the grass will root and you will have your beautiful, finished landscape. It will seem like we were never there!
We follow the plans and all of the elements are installed. We’re done, right? Not yet! Now we set up a final walk-through with the client to make sure that all of the features meet their satisfaction. If there is a “punch list” of items that need attention we will either address it ourselves or we will bring the subcontractor back to address any issues. We believe the job is not done until there are smiles all around.
Sometimes we hit unexpected bumps along the way, but we endeavor to understand any potential issues and resolve them with on-the-spot, creative, and appropriate solutions. Our management style during the construction process strives for open communication between us, the clients, and subcontractors. In our experience, open communication fosters well-organized teamwork and a smooth ride all the way to your completed project!