Contra Costa – Landscape - Designers & Consultants

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(925) 201-6127

Serving Contra Costa and Alameda Counties including Antioch, Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, El Cerrito, Hercules, Moraga and Clayton.

Services include Arbors, Channel & Surface Drains, Decks, Gates & Fences; French, Landscape Design & Installation, Landscape Lighting, Patio Design & Installation, Paving & Retaining Walls, Pergolas, Planting & Sod,...
License 853176 | DCID6878926

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Why Trust Diamond Certified Landscape Designers and Consultants Rated Highest in Quality?
A custom landscape designed by a landscape consultant.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a landscape designer and consultant that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified landscape consultant and designer. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated landscaping designer and consultant and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
Finding a Reliable Landscape Designer in Contra Costa County

Finding a landscape designer to partner with on the creation and/or renovation of your outdoor space might be one of the best thing you could do for your landscape and your bottom line. Landscape designers are trained in design and horticulture to provide the best advice and ideas that will help you avoid costly mistakes as you undertake the rejuvenation of your outdoor space....

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Finding a landscape designer to partner with on the creation and/or renovation of your outdoor space might be one of the best thing you could do for your landscape and your bottom line. Landscape designers are trained in design and horticulture to provide the best advice and ideas that will help you avoid costly mistakes as you undertake the rejuvenation of your outdoor space. When you find a trustworthy landscape designer, you will find someone skilled in color, texture, proportion, unity and perspective that can help you create a totally integrated design that will actually work in your landscape and with your personality.

Whether you live in the bigger cities of Contra Costa County, such as Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Danville and Martinez or even the smaller towns of Alamo, Briones, Maltby, Orinda and Vine Hill, you can become overwhelmed by the sheer number of landscape design firm options. You’ll probably be asking yourself, what qualities should I look for in a landscape designer? Where do I begin? Diamond Certified is here to help. We’ll provide you with questions to answer that will actually lead to hiring a dependable landscape designer in Contra Costa County.

Landscape designers crave the creative process, excellent design and clients who are ready and willing to transform their outdoor space. Peruse the following articles to gain knowledge on how you can find a landscape designer in Contra Costa County who can meet your needs and give you the landscape of your dreams.

Understanding the Landscaping Industry: Deciding What is Right for You

While the route to hiring a landscape designer can seem complicated, you first have to understand the differences between landscaping professionals so that you can make an informed decision on what type to hire. The three main landscaping professionals are as follows:

Landscape designers: Skilled in design and horticulture, these individuals have usually obtained quite a bit of in the field experience. They are able to provide design ideas, landscaping plans and help with material selection. Some designers work independently of contractors, providing solely design services while others work in larger firms alongside landscaping contractors.

Landscape architects: These individuals have received a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school and met California’s requirements in order to be licensed. Trained specifically in landscaping site analysis, design and construction, they often lack the horticultural expertise of a landscape designer. Landscape architects are often more suited for larger commercial projects than homeowner design.

Landscape contractors: These professionals deliver a wide range of services from landscape installation and maintenance to masonry or carpentry work on outdoor spaces. Some subcontract any design work, while others may have landscape designers as a part of their companies. Often thought of as the laborers of the landscaping field, it is best to clarify if they subcontract designs and whether or not they will work with a designer of your choosing.

Obviously, there are many routes you can take to realizing your dream of a better landscape. For attention to plant detail and easy, understandable designs, you should look no further than your own backyard, including in such cities as Alamo, Briones, Maltby, Orinda and Vine Hill for an expert landscape designer.

Five Reasons You Should Partner with a Contra Costa County Landscape Designer

You may be thinking to yourself: I don’t really need a landscape designer, right? Maybe I could just head to the nurser and figure all this out on my own. But the reality is do you have the knowledge of what plants work for your yard, your climate, your commitment to outdoor life? Do you understand how to plan for irrigation so that you are not wasting money on plants that won’t survive? Do you have the expertise to understand what it takes to design for the installation of any high-end features you may be considering such as an outdoor kitchen or waterfall? Most likely the answers to these questions is “no.” Here are five more reasons to seriously consider hiring a Contra Costa County landscape designer.

  • The overwhelming nature of landscaping venture. It’s most likely that you understand there is something wrong with your outdoor space, but knowing how to fix it—that’s a different story. A landscape designer is trained to find the problems and solutions for your landscape and create a design that you’ll not only love, but that will work for you too.
  • Understanding rudimentary landscaping materials. Both softscape (plant materials) and hardscape (rocks, bricks, wood, etc.) materials can be a challenge to understand and work with. A landscape designer is trained to understand how each material works with another and to choose those materials that will work the best for your personality, lifestyle and particular landscape. If you want a natural looking landscape that will work with the climate in Contra Costa County as well as providing you with a functional and beautiful space, you should definitely hire a landscape designer.
  • Planning is critical. Like most home improvement projects, the goal is to “measure” twice, “cut” once. This old adage applies even if what you are measuring is your yard and the material you are cutting is old shrubbery. Landscape designers are trained to create a plan that takes your entire space into consideration as well as your hopes, dreams and vision for that space. In addition, a designer can help you know exactly how to budget for your entire project, before any work is actually started.
  • Speaking of budgets.  Financially, landscaping projects can be especially overwhelming. A landscape designer knows how to plan for the whole project, so you can plan more effectively from the start. Designers understand the process and are able to discuss all the details with you, from design sessions to plant costs, from working with contractors to savings on sprinkler systems. Most importantly, landscape designers are trained to help you realize your landscaping dreams while staying within your budget.

Landscape maintenance.  Just because you’ve dreamed up your ideal landscape, designed it too and had it installed, doesn’t mean it’s going to keep itself beautiful for all time without some work on your part. Landscape designers are trained to teach you how to care for plants and landscape long after the professionals have left the project in your hands. Even as landscapes change and grow, designers can answer your questions and help you feel confident in the maintenance of your outdoor space

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Know What You Want
What to ask before hiring a Contra Costa County landscape designer

The initial step towards designing a better landscape for your outdoor space is to understand exactly why you are seeking professional help with your yard. You have to know why you want to change the look of your landscape before a professional landscape designer can begin the process of transformation through a detailed design....

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The initial step towards designing a better landscape for your outdoor space is to understand exactly why you are seeking professional help with your yard. You have to know why you want to change the look of your landscape before a professional landscape designer can begin the process of transformation through a detailed design.

Being honest with yourself about the state of your budget for any outdoor project will also be very useful in starting a defined search for a Contra Costa CountyContra Costa County landscape designer. As with any home-improvement project, a budget must be tentative and allow for setbacks or complications, but you must have a number in mind before you begin. To truly be ready to answer the question of “how much,” you will need to clarify what exactly needs to happen with your space, how much of your landscape you are going to tackle and the basic idea of what you want the transformation to look like. You don’t have to come up with a design (that is why you are hiring a professional), but you do need to have some small idea as to what you are looking for so that you know how to plan, especially when it comes to creating a budget.

In order to help you create a tentative plan and budget, look at the questions below. If you answer them honestly for yourself, you will be well on your way to beginning the real process of hiring a good landscape designer in Contra Costa County, including from any of the cities of Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Danville and MartinezRichmond, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Brentwood and Pleasant Hill.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified landscaping designer that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. Do I want my landscape to increase the value of my property?
  3. Am I looking to make my outdoor space more user-friendly for pets and/or children?
  4. Am I looking to do more in my outdoor space (cooking, entertaining, etc.)?
  5. Do I have any idea what style I am looking for (English garden, new age tranquility, etc.) or do I need professional help with that step as well?
  6. What features am I interested in (water fountains, rock gardens, waterfalls, built-in barbecuing space, etc.)?
  7. What materials do I like best?
  8. How big of an area (in square feet) am I looking to revamp?
  9. What is the current state of my outdoor space (rough dirt and rock, basic grass, terraced, etc.)?
  10. How much am I willing and/or able to spend on this landscaping project?
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What to Ask on the Phone
Phone Questions to Ask a Contra Costa County Landscape Designer

You’ll want to make sure you’ve done some research before resolving on a few landscape designers to visit in person. The phone interview is a great way to determine a select few designers who you can see yourself working with easily. Use the following questions as a guide when speaking with a number of Contra Costa County landscape designers on the phone. Take notes and compare later to narrow down your search for the right designer....

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You’ll want to make sure you’ve done some research before resolving on a few landscape designers to visit in person. The phone interview is a great way to determine a select few designers who you can see yourself working with easily. Use the following questions as a guide when speaking with a number of Contra Costa County landscape designers on the phone. Take notes and compare later to narrow down your search for the right designer.

  1. Has your company received and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  2. How many years of experience do you have?
  3. Do you work with a particular landscaping company to help me with the installation of your design?
  4. Do you belong to any professional organizations or hold any certifications?
  5. Are you as well versed in the horticultural side of landscaping as well as design?
  6. What is your process of designing a landscape? Do you want to see my space before discussing anything or would we talk through my thoughts and ideas first?
  7. Can you provide me with at least three addresses for landscapes using your designs?
  8. How long do you usually spend designing a landscape?
  9. What kinds of styles are you most accustomed to or had the most experience in?
  10. Are you able to advise me on any building codes or permits that will be necessary because of your design?
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What to Ask in Person
Questions to Inquire of a Contra Costa County Landscape Designer in Person

Now that you’ve interviewed a number of Contra Costa County landscape designers over the phone, it is time to get out into your town, whether you’re in the larger cities of Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Danville and Martinez or the smaller towns of Bay Point, Clayton, Kensington, Port Costa and Walnut Heights, and visit with a select collection of designers in person. This face-to-face interview should provide you with the information you’ll need to hire the landscape designer that you feel most comfortable with and therefore get the best results from....

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Now that you’ve interviewed a number of Contra Costa County landscape designers over the phone, it is time to get out into your town, whether you’re in the larger cities of Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Danville and Martinez or the smaller towns of Bay Point, Clayton, Kensington, Port Costa and Walnut Heights, and visit with a select collection of designers in person. This face-to-face interview should provide you with the information you’ll need to hire the landscape designer that you feel most comfortable with and therefore get the best results from.

  1. How do you charge for your landscape designs?
  2. Can I see proof of any professional credentials or association memberships?
  3. May I review your portfolio?
  4. Can you provide me with at least 10 current references of projects that are similar to the one I’ve detailed?
  5. Describe in as much detail as possible how you go about understanding my landscaping wishes and needs and synthesizing them into your professional design.
  6. Tell me about your philosophy of landscape and design.
  7. Why should I hire you?
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What to Ask References
Questions for References of Landscape Designers in Contra Costa County

The search for a trustworthy landscape designer in Contra Costa County can be a demanding process, especially when you can’t be sure that the one you end up deciding on will give you the best results. There is a way to have confidence in your choice, however. Choose a Diamond Certified Contra Costa County landscape designer!...

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The search for a trustworthy landscape designer in Contra Costa County can be a demanding process, especially when you can’t be sure that the one you end up deciding on will give you the best results. There is a way to have confidence in your choice, however. Choose a Diamond Certified Contra Costa County landscape designer!

Here’s why it’s paramount to choose a Diamond Certified landscape designer: because all certified designers have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other professionals can’t pass. If you want quality from a landscape designer in Contra Costa County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified designer. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified landscape designers. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

If you can’t find a Diamond Certified landscape designer within your area, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your landscape designer. Keep in mind, though, those references provided to you by the designer or his/her company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

  1. Did this designer encourage open and timely communication throughout your project?
  2. Did you feel it was easy to address concerns and questions with this designer?
  3. Did you feel a comfortable level of involvement in the design process? Did you feel as though your thoughts, feelings and ideas were vital and validated?
  4. Did this designer keep ahead of delays as much as possible and give good warning if a delay was unavoidable?
  5. Was the design completed within the time frame and your agreed-upon budget?
  6. Were you satisfied with their service?
  7. Would you/have you recommended this designer?
  8. Would you hire this designer again?
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Review Your Options
Basic Design: Knowing Your Own Opinions to Better Share with a Contra Costa County Landscape Designer

Every landscape design starts with a consultation between designer and client. In order to get the most out of your initial visit with your chosen Contra Costa County landscape designer, broadly answer the following questions about your outdoor space and ideas for transformation....

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Every landscape design starts with a consultation between designer and client. In order to get the most out of your initial visit with your chosen Contra Costa County landscape designer, broadly answer the following questions about your outdoor space and ideas for transformation.

  1. How am I looking to use my outdoor space?
  2. What are my landscaping goals?
  3. Is there anything about my current space that I would like to leave the same?
  4. What is the architectural style of my home?
  5. Am I planning to make any significant additions to my home or outbuildings?
  6. Which way does my house face? How much sun does the area receive?
  7. Do I know about any water, soil or irrigation issues? What are they?
  8. Do I have some favorite plants?
  9. Are there some plants that I can’t stand?
  10. What kind of style am I looking for (Zen, groomed, informal or formal, natural, etc.)?
  11. What are my tastes in landscaping as far as color, texture, space, materials, etc. are concerned?
  12. How much maintenance am I willing and/or able to do? Do I enjoy gardening or do I hope a garden will take care of itself?
  13. Do I have adequate outdoor lighting?
  14. Do I have a plan for watering or should a design include a sprinkler system?
  15. Do I plan on working with a contractor for the installation of a design or would I like to implement it myself?
  16. What is the estimated amount I am willing and/or able to spend on design and installation?
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How to Work With
Who Is Interviewing Whom? First Exchanges with Contra Costa County Landscape Designers

During that first phone conversation or appointment with your Contra Costa County landscape designer, you will be asking a myriad of questions to attempt to ascertain whether or not you feel you could work comfortably with the individual to come up with a design for your outdoor space. You’ll be making quick judgments about their work experience, their interpersonal communication skills and their philosophy of landscaping....

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During that first phone conversation or appointment with your Contra Costa County landscape designer, you will be asking a myriad of questions to attempt to ascertain whether or not you feel you could work comfortably with the individual to come up with a design for your outdoor space. You’ll be making quick judgments about their work experience, their interpersonal communication skills and their philosophy of landscaping.

But you also have to remember that the designer will be asking you significant questions that will help him/her to determine whether or not you understand enough about the process to be a client they can help or that they want to take on. They are essentially interviewing you to make sure that neither of you waste your time or resources.

This does not mean that you have to be anxious about calling or visiting a landscape designer. On the contrary, you should be grateful that they are willing to interview you in addition to your discovery of their personality and talents. This can ensure that you really need their services and not simply those of a contractor or gardener. You should be ready and willing to honestly answer any questions they might have as well as to share your vision while remaining open to their professional opinions.

You’re not the only one who can determine whether or not you and a Contra Costa County landscape designer are the right fit for each other. A trained designer with field experience can usually judge whether the client-professional relationship is going to succeed from that very first interaction and can be a great help to you as you make your decision.

The Landscape Design Process of Contra Costa County Landscape Designers

Now that you’ve chosen your Contra Costa County landscape designer, it is a good idea to have a clue as to what happens next. While not every designer works the same, there are basic fundamentals to designing a landscape that should show up in the design process. They are as follows:

  • First Consultation: This meeting takes place at your outdoor space and allows the designer to take a broad overview of the challenges and possibilities of your project. From this meeting, a tentative proposal for design and a budget should be able to be drafted.
  • Questionnaire: Most designers will have a series of detailed questions that they want you to spend a little time with to help them with starting the design of your dreams. They want to be as clear as they can be when beginning the detailed drawings.
  • Plan Development: The plan begins with deciding where all major elements are going to be located (things like water features, walkways, major garden plots, etc.).
  • Planting Plan: This part of the plan has to do with every living thing included in the final plan, including placement, type and quantity.
  • Master Plan Development: The final and complete design including all elements (hard and soft scape) as well as estimated installation time and cost predictions. This is what you will take to different contractors for bids on the actual installation of the landscape.

Most designers will be able to help you locate trustworthy landscape contractors in your area, including the cities of Alamo, Briones, Maltby, Orinda and Vine Hill. If not, Diamond Certified is here to help you with that step as well.

Benefits of Hiring Contra Costa County Landscape Designers

You may be wondering precisely what benefits you’ll receive from hiring a Contra Costa County landscape designer and worrying that it may be an superfluous expense. However there are many benefits that make the process of hiring and working with a landscape designer completely worth it. The first is that the designer will provide you with a comprehensive design that you can then take to different contractors so that they are all bidding on the same project. If you skip the design step, each of these contractors will charge you planning time to even give you an installment estimate. You’ll save money in the hiring process and the installing process because you will know exactly what you’re planning on.

Second, a landscape designer will take the time to hear your dreams and desires and put them into a usable plan for your outdoor space. They are trained and have experience in both the horticultural and design sides of the process and their knowledge is not something you want to live without when planning for your new and improved yard.

Finally, Contra Costa County landscape designers, whether you live in the larger cities of Richmond, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Brentwood and Pleasant Hill or the smaller towns of Bay Point, Clayton, Kensington, Port Costa and Walnut Heights, hold a wealth of knowledge when it comes to hiring a good contractor. If you are diligent in your search, you should be able to locate a designer who has a good working relationship with a reliable contractor who will be able to implement the design efficiently and effectively. Plus, your designer will provide advice along the way so that you are never trying to figure out the process by yourself.

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Be a Good Customer
Being a Good Contra Costa County Landscape Designer Customer

It's the landscape designer’s responsibility to design quality landscapes using the best possible methods. But you play a big part in the achievements of your landscape designer, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Contra Costa County landscape designer....

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It's the landscape designer’s responsibility to design quality landscapes using the best possible methods. But you play a big part in the achievements of your landscape designer, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Contra Costa County landscape designer.

  • Be clear and upfront with the designer. Let them know what you want from your design, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
  • Before you hire a landscape designer in Contra Costa County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the landscape design representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local landscape designers occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your landscape designer if you should call to check on the progress or if he/she will call you with updates.
  • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re designing. The work will move along more smoothly if your landscape designer can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
  • When your designer contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the design on schedule.
  • Pay for the landscape design work promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Landscape designers in Contra Costa County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

Payment and your Contra Costa County Landscape Designer

Most landscape designers bill their clients in one of two ways. One, by charging an agreed-upon project price. This would include the consultation, time spent preparing the plan and for the rights to the final design. Two, they can charge separately for each piece of the puzzle, including a set cost for the initial interview, an hourly rate for the time spent designing and another set amount for the rights to the master plan.

Due to the nature of designing, most landscape designers do charge a down payment so as to protect themselves from doing a lot of work and having a client decide they don’t actually need or want their services. You should be wary of anyone who wants more than 10% of the total estimated cost of design.

Also, be sure to find out whether or not it is standard practice for the Contra Costa County landscape designer to work within a contract. You have the right to demand a contract and refuse to work with a designer who does not provide one. Contracts should include all the basic information about the landscape designer as well as provide contingencies for anything that may be subject to a change in price as you move through the process of creating a complete design. Remember, if your landscape designer doesn’t offer one up to begin with, request one and move on if one is not provided.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Six Landscape Designs Used by Contra Costa County Landscape Designers

Landscape designers are not only taught to listen and interpret your landscaping wants and needs, they are also very good at getting those ideas on to paper and in to a plan that outlines the project, the lay of the land and the color palette. An organized and pre-planned design helps save everyone time and money as you move to the installation phase of your landscape. You’ll find it helpful to understand the most common types of design plans used by Contra Costa County landscape designers....

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Landscape designers are not only taught to listen and interpret your landscaping wants and needs, they are also very good at getting those ideas on to paper and in to a plan that outlines the project, the lay of the land and the color palette. An organized and pre-planned design helps save everyone time and money as you move to the installation phase of your landscape. You’ll find it helpful to understand the most common types of design plans used by Contra Costa County landscape designers.

  1. Site Analysis: A diagram outlining the structures and elements that are currently present and will affect the final design.
  2. Bubble Plan: A simplified plan that uses bubbles to denote different areas of the landscape design including gardens, water features, etc. This design can also include bubbles to show where the best views are located, utility features and other areas of focus for the final landscape.
  3. Plot Plan: An overarching design of all features, structures, layouts and measurements of final landscape.
  4. Concept Images: Photographic examples of all features detailed in a plot plan to give the client more of an understanding of what the final landscape will actually look like.
  5. Designer Renderings: A plan that either the designer draws or crafts using a computer program to show color, texture, lighting and shading of the final landscape design.
  6. Planting Plan: A detailed, labeled plan showing all areas included in the softscape of the final landscape design. This will often include the total number of plants to be purchased and the specific types to be utilized.
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If Things Go Wrong
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

Diamond Certified landscape designers are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the landscape designer is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by speaking with the designer or his/her boss if applicable, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138....

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Diamond Certified landscape designers are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the landscape designer is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by speaking with the designer or his/her boss if applicable, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Easy Ways to Finish Conflicts with Contra Costa County Landscape Designers
Contra Costa County landscape contractors, for the most part, have your best interests in mind and want a positive outcome for your outdoor space as much as you do. But in some cases, despite your best efforts, problems can occur. Remember that communication is key—always attempt to clarify any questions or concerns you have along the way.

Of course, problems can sometimes arise no matter how much you may communicate all the way along, but you can sometimes end a problem by remembering the following pointers:

  • Stay calm, rational and polite.
  • If it is a larger company and there is a supervisor to speak with, request a meeting between you, your designer and that person.
  • Have a detailed outline of your complaint and expectations ready to present.
  • Be willing to compromise to a mutually agreed upon outcome and let the company know it.
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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Lanscape Designers & Consultant Terms

Landscape designers often use very specific and technical language to describe their process and to accomplish your design. The following list of terms should help you feel more comfortable when conversing with your chosen landscape designer.

base plan
A plan showing site boundaries and features, used as a basis for further development.

built environment
A man-made creation or alterations to an outdoor space, including its natural resources....

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Landscape designers often use very specific and technical language to describe their process and to accomplish your design. The following list of terms should help you feel more comfortable when conversing with your chosen landscape designer.

base plan
A plan showing site boundaries and features, used as a basis for further development.

built environment
A man-made creation or alterations to an outdoor space, including its natural resources.

Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)
A digital design program that produces precise plans for landscaping projects.

contour
The form of the land. Contour lines are map lines which are used to show and measure slope and drainage.

conservation plan
A plan for protecting natural or manufactured resources. Used as a tool in making decisions regarding soil, water, vegetation, manufactured objects and other resources.

design
The creative illustration, planning and specification of outdoor space for utility, value and beauty.

drainage
Where water escapes from a land surface or subsurface, through sewers or natural means.

easement
The legal grant to use an area of designated property.

grade
How the land slopes. Grading is the process of changing the degree of the slope in order to promote drainage and landscape design.

hardscape
Things that are added to a landscape, such as paving stones, gravel, walkways, irrigation systems, roads, retaining walls, sculpture, street amenities, fountains, etc.

landscape
The amount of land that can be seen at a glance.

landscape architect
A licensed professional who designs outdoor spaces from whole ecosystems to residential sites

Also known as:  planner, consultant

landscape architecture
The science and art of design of the land involving natural and built elements and concern for resource conservation to improve outdoor spaces. Effective landscape architecture makes the most of the land, adds value to a project and minimizes costs, all while minimizing negative effects to nature.

landscape contractor
A trained installer of landscapes who implements the plans of landscape architects.

landscape designer
An unlicensed person in the landscaping business who designs outdoor spaces.

manipulation of space
The organization of land for aesthetic or functional design. Refers to the building of small backyard patios to huge urban plazas.

master plan
An initial plan showing proposed development. Master plans show phases of work needing to be completed and are therefore subject to changes over time.

natural resources
Elements naturally occurring in an area that can be used to fulfill human needs, including air, soil, water, native vegetation, etc.

site plan
A drawing including dimensions that indicates the form and physical objects existing in an outdoor space and those still to be built.

softscape
The naturally occurring elements landscape architects work with, such as plant materials.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions For Landscape Designers & Consultants

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape designer?...

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Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape designer?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a landscape designer with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only landscape designers rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified landscape designer.

Q: What services can a landscape designer deliver?
A: A good landscape designer will be able to hear your vision and provide insight on what can work with your space. They will craft a plan that fits your specific needs and vision. Working with you, they will design an outdoor space that will be both functional and satisfying.

Q: When should we hire a landscape designer?
A: As soon as you are dedicated to landscaping your space, which means you need to know what you don’t like about your current yard and what you would want installed to make it more enjoyable, then you are ready to begin your search. Hiring a landscape designer early in the process can help you keep from making costly mistakes and heightens the chances that you will be pleased with the final outcome.

Q: How can I make sure I am hiring the best possible landscape designer for me?
A: Seeking out a Diamond Certified landscape designer is always the best place to begin. Beyond that you should ask around to see if any family, friends, neighbors or co-workers have hired designers that they would recommend. It is essential to hire a designer who is familiar with the type of project you are looking to complete. Pay attention to the services and experience of every company you interview.

Q: What is the best indicator that I have hired the right landscape designer?
A: Research indicates that the number one way people can tell they will be satisfied with the final results of their landscaping project is whether or not they were able to communicate effectively with the landscape designer from the beginning of their professional relationship. Your designer should make you feel comfortable to bring up any questions or concerns that arise along the way. In addition, you should be confident that your landscape designer understands from the outset what you believe your transformation should look like. Ask many clarifying questions as you work on a plan together to make sure that you are on the same wavelength as your designer.

Q: How much expense will hiring a landscape designer add to my project?
A: You will pay for the knowledge and ideas of a landscape designer, but hiring the right one can in fact save you a lot of money. The expertise you pay for will let you know exactly what features your outdoor space is suited for and you can achieve a design that will actually work for your yard. You won’t waste nearly as much money and they can also help you seriously reduce maintenance costs following the installation of a well-planned landscape because they understand the type of plants and design that will flourish in your space.

Q: How do landscape designers charge?
A: Landscape designers can charge based on time it takes to design a project or an agreed-upon project fee. You should be clear on how a designer charges before you enter into a professional relationship with them, ask for a detailed estimate and always work under a specified contract.

Q: What is my role in working with a designer to plan a landscape for my space?
A: You will need to clearly share your design wants, decide on a workable budget and provide insight into how the design will affect the livability and enjoyment of your space. A trustworthy designer will communicate with you throughout the process and be available to lend advice and design suggestions. You need to feel like a partner in the process and informed along the way.

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Consumer Agencies
Associations for Professional Landscape Designers

ANLA American Nursery & Landscape Association (http://www.anla.org/)
APLD Association of Professional Landscape Designers (http://www.apld.org)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
ELA Ecological Landscaping Association (http://www.ecolandscping.org/)...

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ANLA American Nursery & Landscape Association (http://www.anla.org/)
APLD Association of Professional Landscape Designers (http://www.apld.org)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
ELA Ecological Landscaping Association (http://www.ecolandscping.org/)

IA Irrigation Association (www.irrigation.org)
IALE International Association of Landscape Ecology (http://www.landscape-ecology.org/)
LDA Landscape Design Association (www.ldaonline.org)
NLAE Nursery & Landscape Association Executives of North America (http://www.nlae.org/)
PLANET The Professional Landcare Network (www.landcarenetwork.org)
WNLA Western Nursery and Landscape Association (www.wnla.org)

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Industry Information
Contra Costa County Landscape Designers & Consultants Information
Popular Landscape BrandsTypes of Landscaping Design & Consulting Services Available in Contra Costa County Cities ServedZip Codes Served
Kim Lightinglandscape designAlamo
Antioch
Bay Point
Bethel Island
Blackhawk
Brentwood
Briones
Byron
Canyon
Clayton
Clyde
Concord
Cowell
Crockett
Danville
Diablo
Discovery Bay
El Cerrito
El Sobrante
Hercules
Hilltop Mall
Kensington
Knightsen
Lafayette
Los Medanos
Maltby
Martinez
Moraga
North Richmond
Oakley
Orinda
Pacheco
Pinole
Pittsburg
Pleasant Hill
Point Richmond
Port Chicago
Port Costa
Rheem Valley
Richmond
Rodeo
San Pablo
San Ramon
Tara Hills
Vine Hill
Walnut Creek
Walnut Heights
West Pittsburg
94506
94507
94509
94511
94513
94514
94516
94517
94518
94519
94520
94521
94522
94523
94524
94525
94526
94527
94528
94530
94531
94547
94548
94549
94553
94556
94561
94563
94564
94565
94569
94570
94572
94575
94582
94583
94595
94596
94597
94598
94801
94802
94803
94804
94805
94806
94807
94808
94820
94850
Dixon Landscape Materialspatio landscaping design
Keystone Retaining Wallshillside landscaping plans
Jain Irrigation Systemssmall landscape garden designs
McNear Brick & Blockprivacy landscaping design
Baselite Outdoor Lightingfront yard landscaping design
Calstone Landscape Pavinggarden landscaping designs
FX Luminaire Lightinglandscaping rock designs
Rain Bird Irrigationlandscape edging design
Unique Outdoor Lightingpool area landscaping designs
Hunter Irrigationcommercial landscaping design
Toro Landscape Equipmentresidential landscaping design
Monrovia Plantsxeriscape design & consulting
Irritrol Irrigation Systemswater-efficient landscaping plans
Kichler Landscape Lightinghardscaping / hardscape design
Intermatic Landscape Lightingflower garden design
Hampton Bay Landscape Lightingnew landscape installation consulting
Hadco Lightinglandscape lighting design
Orbit Irrigation Systemsyard irrigation & drainage design
Netafim Drip Irrigationbackyard landscaping design
DynaSCAPE Landscape Design Softwaregarden plant selection