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What to Expect

Designing Your Escape

ELA Outdoor Living

For over 30 years, ELA has been creating award-winning professional landscape design services that make home your favorite destination. Crafting resort-like landscapes requires creative ideas and attention to detail, calling for remarkable experience from our designers, structural engineers and architects.

We have developed a process to make that experience extraordinary and guide our clients through each step...





Our Process

Payment Not Required

After contacting ELA for the first time, our team evaluates your project and returns your call or email within three business days.

Fit is important to us. Due to overwhelming demand, ELA cannot accommodate every request we receive. We carefully assess every inquiry and advise if our company can take on your project or if we may have to decline due to scope, budget or location.



Payment Not Required

A meeting is scheduled to visit your property, discuss your goals and budget. During this meeting we will discuss three important topics. These topics are:

The Wish List - What is the scope of work?

The Design Style - What will this project look like? We will discuss specific design styles, colors, forms, and textures. We will also talk about the architecture - will it blend with the style of the home for seamless connection to the outside space? Or are we introducing a different style for an eclectic blend?

The Budget - What is your investment level now and in the future?

It is important to discuss your wish list, design style and budget for us to gain a clear understanding of your vision. At the end of the design consultation, the design fee will be discussed. A Project Design Agreement (PDA) will be sent to you via email following this meeting. Not every project requires design services, some projects can simply be discussed, estimated and built. The design categories are listed below:

Category #1 - Up to $10,000 Budget - Simple front yard or rear yard planting renovation, simple hardscape replacement/repair, tree plantings, landscape lighting, drainage systems, etc.

Category #2 - $10,000 to $25,000 Budget - Landscape and hardscape in the front or rear yard. Hardscaping renovation that involves multiple elevations and elements. Extensive front, side, or rear planting design/renovations. S
mall fire feature, water feature, or kitchen gardens. Design fees in this category range from $500 - $1,000*.

Category #3 - $25,000 - $50,000 Budget - Entire property planting design overhaul. Expansive hardscaping projects including paver or Bluestone patios, fire places, outdoor kitchens, TV walls/entertainment spaces, pergolas, shade structures, small ponds and streams. Design fees in this category range from $1,000 - $1,500*.

Category #4 - $50,000 - $100,000 Budget - Outdoor living spaces under 500 SQFT, which would include, masonry, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing crews. Projects in this category include entertainment, dining and kitchen spaces. Projects might also include fire features, water features, and/or putting greens. Design fees in this category range from $1,500 - $3,000*.

Category #5 - $100,000 + Budget - Outdoor living spaces over 500 SQFT, which would include, masonry, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing crews. Projects in this category would include entertainment, dining and kitchen spaces. Projects might also include fiberglass pools, spas, water walls, water slides, and cabana spaces...outdoor living designs you would see on HGTV. Projects may be installed in phases over years and/or one phase over several weeks/months. Design fees in this category would include a $3,000 retainer followed by an hourly rate.

*PLEASE NOTE: Design fees include one (1) conceptual design of the space, one (1) initial design presentation, and one (1) revision and follow-up presentation. Any additional design work, estimate creation, or presentation preparation beyond design fee limitations will incur additional hourly fees.


Payment Required

Once a design contract has been signed, the design phase begins:

Site Survey and Base Plan
We visit your property to gather detailed measurements, grades, house elevations and take some photographs. A scaled base plan is prepared to show the complete site information accurately. A professional survey company may be contracted to this category based on the complexity of the project. A separate fee will be required for this and will be paid directly to the survey company by the client.

Property Research
Our team researches the project site to gather information regarding by-laws, zoning, lot coverage, offsets, conservation etc. The findings determine what can be done on your property and assist with the design discussions. Based on certain findings, such as allowable impervious coverage, storm water controls/requirements, building set back lines/easements. These requirements may trigger additional research/engineering/third party contractors that are not covered within the initial design concept.

Concept Presentation
The design team presents a concept plan along with a budgetary estimate/build cost. During this meeting we will discuss your thoughts on the design concepts and pricing. These design concept presentations are typically held at the ELA Design Studio.

Design Revisions/Estimate
Following the concept presentation and your feedback comments we will revise the design as required and finalize the budgetary pricing.

Final Estimate/Design
When you have approved the revised design and scope of work, ELA prepares an itemized final detailed proposal for installation. Typically these documents will be provided electronically for final approval.



Payment Required
Upon deciding to proceed, we commence the process to formalize contracts, gather signatures and obtain a deposit check.



Payment Required
ELA believes in doing things by the book. If a permit for your job is needed, ordinarily we will initiate the permit application on your behalf. Permit drawings will need to be made, and all construction details worked out.



Payment Required
A preconstruction meeting is arranged with you and your project manager to review our plan to complete your project in the most efficient way possible. Sit back and relax. We take care of all the details during development and keep you informed on a need-to-know basis.

Building Your Resort

Start the process today!

Get in touch with us here to start the planning of your new favorite destination.




Experts in Outdoor Living    |    Diversified Style    |    Over 30 Years Experience


© 2021 Environmental Landscape Associates, Inc

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