Step-by-step Landscape Design Process

Design-Build Process Illustrated: Classic Backyard & Swimming Pool

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Not sure what it takes to make a basic backyard beautiful? Follow along, step-by-step, through the process of creating this award-winning landscape in Shoreview, MN.

award-winning destination backyard

Phase One: Initial meeting

All Southveiw projects begin with a meeting between the homeowners and the landscape designer or architect. There is no charge for a first meeting. This is a time to ask questions and learn about our design-build process. You may discuss your wishlist, as well as any specific landscape challenges to address.

These homeowners came to us to create a backyard for their family and friends to hang out. They love their mature trees and wanted to preserve the sense of privacy that they provide.

indoor-outdoor backyard living space

Wish list:

  • Preserve privacy
  • 9 foot deep, salt water filtration pool
  • Audio + night lighting
  • Indoor-outdoor connection
Shoreview destination backyard before

The challenges:

  • An eight foot drop from the walkout basement threshold to the back property
  • Steep grade
  • Proximity to the neighbors home
  • Balancing tree canopy preservation with creating more usable living space
designers at work drafting plans on the computer

Phase Two: Design & Preliminary Budget

The purpose of this phase is to draft a plan and agree on a budget. Your landscape designer or architect will measure the property and create drawings and diagrams showing the elements of your landscape. They will also help you set a realistic budget – based on your design goals and the scope of the project.

landscape design plan blueprint

Phase Three: Planning & Specifications

Even with a preliminary plan in hand, there is still a long way to go before breaking ground. Many questions will be asked – and answered! As we work on the details, exciting ideas or new issues sometimes emerge. We provide detailed and accurate information about the cost of construction and materials. As we gather more information about costs, we often adjust the plan.

For this project, there was a lot of discussion about where to place the filtration equipment for the salt-water pool. Balancing easy access for maintenance with reducing the impact of the noise it makes took careful consideration. The final decision was to place the equipment on the other side of the boulder wall by the trees. Out of sight and far from the living spaces, you hardly know it’s there.

3d rendering shows that there is still plenty of privacy

The homeowners loved the established trees on their property and wanted to keep them. All but two of the trees were preserved.

3d backyard rendering

To show the homeowners there would be plenty of privacy and to help them visualize the design, we created a 3D model which included the existing trees. With a detailed plan, 3D renderings, budget, and timeline in hand the homeowners signed their construction contract, put down their deposit, and were assigned a place in the construction schedule.

landscape construction in process

Phase Four: Construction

While many projects can be built in a couple of days, this backyard overhaul would take several months.

boulder wall construction in progress

Special consideration was taken when building the boulder wall to protect the established trees. The wall was constructed from the inside of its footprint (rather than from the easier, lower elevation) and once it was complete crews did not go behind it except to resod.

silt fence to keep soil in place

Silt fencing was installed to prevent exposed soil out of the neighbors’ yards. It also reminded our crews not to stage materials or park equipment near the trees.

Phase Five: Final Walkthrough.

Upon completion the homeowners and staff tour the project to discuss proper care and maintenance. Wow, it is truly the destination backyard the homeowners envisioned.

Move the slider to see this project before and after

The design footprint uses most of the backyard and, because we protected the mature trees, it feels as if the landscape elements have always been there.

Starting your project

The sooner you start, the sooner your project will be complete! Meet with a landscape designer or architect, or learn more about our design+build process.

Contact Us

Ready to get started or just have a question? Get in touch and someone from our team will reach out to you ASAP.

Our Design-Build Process

From the initial meeting to the final walk through, our process is design to deliver a positive experience every time.

Classic Backyard & Swimming Pool

With amenities like a dining patio, fire table, and swimming pool, this landscape is ready for summer pool parties and fall evenings around the fire – or enjoying the hot tub.

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