“GardenStructure.com ” Supplying Landscape Design and Garden Design Services in the Toronto and GTA.
What is the cost for Landscape Design? If done by a local landscape supply, it is often free–however, in exchange for good landscape design, you get to have the plant material that they have on hand to sell, rather than what should be in your yard for a complimentary look or to suit your tastes. Free landscape design is often not worth the cost. When you are ready for inspired landscape design, get in touch with us at [email protected]
Cost of Landscape Design in Toronto Ontario:
Initial Site Visit / Consultation ($250 for initial consultation)
The designer will travel to your location for roughly an hour, sometimes a little longer. They will view the site and give their impressions, listen to your wish list and discuss expected landscape budgets. Critical site measurements are taken as well as photography for the future creation of scaled drawings and details. Typically the designer will create thumbnail sketches to illustrate what they envision and you are free to take a photo, photocopy or have the designer email a scan of what he does during the appointment. The designer will also give you a firm price on creation of site plan, structure details and planting plans and options for these drawings.
Creation of a site plan ($350 and up)
A site plan is a layout 2d drawing that shows the entire yard, with any features the designer conceptualizes in black and white. Patios, planting beds, structures and steps are shown in this scaled drawing, (normally 1/4″ scale). The price varies based on the size of the yard and complexity of designs.
Coloured Concept layout plan. ($700 and up)
As shown above, this is a birds eye view of your yard in colour that shows all the features as well as plantings, and as you can see it jumps off the page. Short of a 3d rendering this is the best way to visualize all the patios, walkways, structures and plants as well as open spaces and water features within the project.
3d Renderings. ($900 and up)
Hand drawn or Computer, 3d renderings of features within your yard help people that have trouble visualizing things before they are built. Most people can visualize from a coloured concept plan, but others need more illustration. Though these renderings are expensive to create in perspective, it is always less expensive than actually building 2 or 3 times . A set of 3-5 details may cost less than 1 highly detailed and complex view. A set of 5 simple colour detail perspectives may only be $500 each. Your designer should offer a quotation on these special details.
Concept Drawings ($500 and up)
Scaled concept layouts for a deck normally come in sets of 2 or 3 layouts to choose a shape. The home is drawn in to scale also. Normally 3 deck concepts for a mid sized deck is $600 for all 3. A concept elevation for a set of garden gates with an arbor will start about $500 and range upward based on detail and scale. Pergolas are normally conceptualized in elevation and layout and they normally cost about $600 for the drawing set. Custom fences with gates will start about $500 and range upwards. Keep in mind that to design these things well the designer has to check with the building department, zoning and local building bylaws to make sure that they are acceptable to the municipality. There are bylaws that apply to decks, pergolas and fences in most areas. The builder should be able to quote a deck, pergola or fence based on concepts as long as they have a general specification list. Quotes can be prepared more accurately if Construction drawings and details are included.
Elevations with Home in Background ($2000 and up)
For visualization purposes, most people want to see how a structure will look attached or aside your home. These drawings involve rendering the home first, then creating the deck or pergola elevation in scale in front. These are not required for permit purposes–this is simply for illustration purposes.
Working Drawings / Construction Drawings ($900 and up)
Fully detailed construction drawings show you every intimate detail of how a structure should be built. Every size of every piece that goes in are specified for size and material type to avoid builders simplifying or skimping on materials.
For decks, unique detailing like custom or curved rails, tempered glass inserts, curved platforms and beams and overspan beams will often require engineering stamps as well as BCIN stamps. These fees are additional, and just the cost of building high end structures in the Toronto area. Building Departments offer up the most simplified and non-descript details as accepted practice and they are all quite dated. The purpose is for cost cutting and avoidance of legal responsibility in the case of law suits. They are ok with you building something unique, however if it goes wrong they don’t want to be responsible, so any details that are at all different than their standard specifications for decks will require an engineer’s stamp to be applied. BCIN design stamps are also a redundant fail safe. An extra layer of insulation from law suits.
Pergolas are sometimes quite complex. Normally a 12′ x 12′ pergola does not require a permit if it is not attached to a wall, however when it is larger you may need permit drawings.
Fences and arbors don’t require permits in the Toronto area unless the fence and gate is surrounding a pool. In these cases it is best to supply the construction details to the pool fence examiner for pre-approval prior to building. If they have concerns it is best to discover them before the fence is built. These bylaws are normally published on-line.
BCIN Stamp applied to working drawings. ($500 and up)
In Toronto, the building code is based on an old British precept that goes something like this: ” Your Home is YOUR Castle, and you have the right to do with your home what you like as long as it is safe and doesn’t endanger you or your visitors”, which can roughly be translated as, you have the right to create your own sketches and apply for permits based on those. Quite often the building department will supply sample drawings for you to use as reference when you create your own plans. In other words again, you can take responsibility for drawings you claim to create for any project on your own property so long as it is less than 5000 square foot. (those all require engineer’s stamp).
The purpose of BCIN certification is to add another layer of insurance $2,000,000 liability, and these designers are trained to specify the dumbed down details (only), that the building department has specified in their infinite wisdom as “the way to build”, which are fairly close to idiot proof. Builders decks with nailed on ballusters, beams perched on posts with enormous footings that look as if they were pressed from the same uninspired assembly line. Standard simple details only. Anything different will require engineers stamp, even these overused and tired looking steel tube balluster rails require an engineer’s approval.
If you want us to apply a BCIN stamp, we will handle that for you for an additional fee.
Our designers can manage your complete project if you like. This involves obtaining competetive bids for all aspects of the projects and organizing them (comparing the quotes and what they include for you), managing the day to day operations of the site and keeping the project on budget and on time. Fees range from 5% to 15% of the total project budget, and it varies depending on the size of the project and complexities of running it. The other option is to pay the project manager an hourly fee for management in an “On Call”, basis. Normally these fees are $125/ hour for a site visit (minimum 3 hour charge), or pre-arranged appointments with 3 days notice, $95/hour (minimum 2 hour charge).