Our Process

Our work is about change; changing what is into what can be.

Through every step of the creative process, from concept design to construction administration and all the steps in between, South Fork Studio works with the each client’s aesthetic and budgetary needs in mind. Careful steps are taken in each project to insure timeliness, accuracy and long-term enjoyment of the finished space.

DESIGN SEQUENCE

During this phase of the work the LA will collect information about the site that will impact the design work throughout the project. The LA will study the site, make notes, take photographs and collect soil samples to aid in the preparation of accurate drawing.  The LA will acquire any existing drawings and surveys, but it may still be necessary to have a new survey of the project prepared. Additional survey work will be coordinated by the LA with permission from the Owners.

This phase of the project is where the overall framework is established for the project.  During Preliminary Design, ideas are transferred into real site elements. Collaboration with the Owners and understanding the needs of the Owners during this period will create the foundations for communication and design philosophy for the remainder of the project.  Drawings will be simple line drawings showing site plan views, elevation (front) views and perspective (3-D) views as necessary. Drawings in this phase of design do not show detail, but show the locations for proposed site features (walls, paths, gates, etc.) major planting beds, and proposed trees if appropriate. Suggestions for material selections will be made during preliminary design but drawings will not show details such as paving patterns or masonry wall laying styles. The presentation may include multiple design options for the client to choose from.

In this phase of design we add detail to the preliminary drawings, and the result is a set of drawings that can be used for preliminary pricing or permitting, but not for construction.  A more detailed and accurate site plan will be created and additional information will be added to the drawings including grading and drainage, detailed paving patterns, and development of a more detailed plant list.

Depending on the scope of the project it may be necessary to obtain permits form the local town or county, or approvals from the local historic review board. If the project is located in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area it will be necessary to obtain permits and comply with the limits on lot coverage.

This is where the drawings are finished and developed into a set of documents that will be used to actually construct the project. The documents will include all information necessary for the contractor(s) to accurately price and construct the project. In addition to drawings, construction documents include written specifications that provide additional detail and instruction for the contractors, and liability protection for the Owners.

The Landscape Architect will compile the drawings and documents into a package that will be used to obtain bids from a list of contractors to be determined by the Landscape Architect and Owners.  Assist the Owner in the review of those bids and the selection of a contractor to build the project.

This is one of the most important steps in the process of seeing the design go from paper to reality.  Throughout any construction project, there are inevitably unforeseen complications that arise and require design changes.  A close working relationship between the contractor and LA is a critical part of successful construction. During construction we make regular visits to the jobsite to see the construction progress, provide the owner with regular project updates and answer any questions the contractor may have about the design.