Owen Landscape Architect – Outline of Professional Services


Peter Owen's Process Services- Consultation, Site Assessment, Site Planning, Conceptual Designs, Detailed Design, Project Management

Note for Homeowners

The fees depend on the complexity of the project and the amount of involvement that will be required of me throughout the entire process, as I can provide a turn-key service - project managing right down to the selection and placement of plant material.  This ensures that my creative vision and high standards are met. I have found that this is critical due to the oftentimes interpretational nature of landscape design.

My process for producing a landscape plan is approached in steps, thereby ensuring that time isn't spent going down the wrong path. It begins with the Initial Concept. The preparation of this requires the following: a) initial meeting with client; b) preparation of an accurate base plan (often requiring site inventory and measuring) c); rough design ideas and compilation of pertinent typologies (pictorial examples to help explain the intent); d) conceptual design; preliminary budgeting; and, e) the presentation to the client.

Once the design concept and preliminary budget are worked out, then the Concept Plan needs to be taken to the next level of detail. The concept is firmed up; notes and dimensions added; materials identified. This Detailed Concept can then be used to elicit a quote from a contractor.

From here the process can go in a few different directions, depending on the client's wishes. For example, I have had this Detailed Concept Plan used to construct a landscape if the design is pretty straightforward. More often than not the plan needs flushing out because there is built form in the design that requires Detailed Design. Elements such as structures (decks, walls, fences, pavilions, gazebos), features (waterfalls, fountains, fireplaces), lighting (this very important, but often overlooked ), detailed planting design need to be thought through and properly detailed. It should be noted that the contractor can look after all these aspects, but it will be reflected in their quote, and you will be relying on their interpretation - not the landscape architects.

All this may sound a little daunting, but it is a pretty straightforward and logical process.

Typically, a rule of thumb is: the less involvement I have, the more detailed the plans should be. Conversely, I have been able to take a concept plan and run with it, providing the necessary project management to see the project through.


Peter Owen Pre Design
Initial Concept Plan


Ideally there are 5 phases to the Process:

  • Client meeting to present portfolio and to gain a sense of clients' design style(s) and criteria and possible budget ideas.
  • Obtain necessary documents from architect for interpretation (site plan, topographic survey, pertinent plans and elevations).
  • Study and analyze architectural plans and survey.
  • Visit the site to record impressions and to confirm/supplement documented information. (if not Lot Plan or survey available then a base plan must be constructed from scratch)
  • Conduct discussions with municipal officials having jurisdiction if necessary.

(steps required before creative process begins)


Peter Owen Conceptual Design
Detailed Concept Plan


Step 1 – Sketched Concept

  • Compose Initial Concept design(s) on paper (2 Dimensional drawing)
  • Present sketched concept(s) and other pertinent visual references to convey the intent of the final design.
  • A general discussion on budget

(A second and third drawing may be necessary to achieve client objectives)

Step 2 - Preliminary Design

  • Design development at this stage is more detailed. It develops the preferred conceptual ideas as a 2-dimensional plan drawing referred to as a Detailed Concept. Some sectional and elevational studies may be included to depict the design intent. Elements such as walls, steps, paving, and conceptual planting (generic depictions of major plant groups such as groundcovers, and the identification of trees and specimen shrubs).
  • Detailed information on grading such as contours, elevational changes (steps, retaining walls, etc.) Note: a topographic survey is required as the basis for this.
  • Client meeting to present Detailed Concept. (Revisions may be required).
  • Preliminary cost review information will accompany this design.
  • Client sign-off on the drawing to freeze the design required at this stage.
  • Note: an artist's rendering (perspective sketch) can be created upon request to help with the visualization of the space.

Peter Owen Detailed Design
Detailed Plan


Step 1 - Design Development

  • Should the design be architectural in nature (structured), then the Detailed Concept Plan requires hardlining with another level of detail with regards to dimensions and notes. This plan is referred to as a Detailed Plan.
  • Supplementary to this plan is the development of detailed design for any built forms and features depicted in the plan, such as fountains, paving, structures (sheds, trellis's, arbours), walls, steps, planters, screens, railings, gates, etc. Lighting is often integral to a design and can be dealt with at this stage.
  • Refined grading design (working the contours and spot elevations)
  • Planting design (taking it from the conceptual to the detailed, so every plant is identified)
  • Client meeting to present detailing information. Minor revisions may be required.

Step 2 - Construction Documents

  • Detailed notes and dimensions
  • Planting plan
  • Grading plan
  • Layout
  • Construction details (sections and elevations - as developed in phase 3)
  • Client meeting to deliver drawings and final review.



  • OLA will assist the client with the tendering process such as the prequalification of bidders and issuing addenda.
  • Upon receipt of tenders, OLA will assist the client by reviewing and analyzing the tenders and recommending most appropriate selection.
  • OLA can assist the client in obtaining any necessary Permits form the City.



  • Source materials
  • Monitor progress and quality of construction
  • Make clarifications to contractor
  • Solve on-site design problems
  • Evaluate payments to contractor



Owen Landscape Architect also offers "exterior design services" such as:

  • Outdoor furniture selection and sourcing/procurement
  • Outdoor lighting design, fixture selection, source and procurement
  • Sourcing and placement of outdoor artwork.
  • Facilitate the fabrication of specialty items (ie. Custom metalwork)