Policies & Procedures
Landscaping is a process! Here’s a look into it:
Phase 1: Site documentation
The starting point is a site visit, which allows us to determine the scope of work together. I document the site through photographs of the yard, take measurements to verify the accuracy of the existing drawings, make notes and sketches of other existing hardscape elements (i.e. existing fences & utility locations/ constraints), and catalog existing plants that will remain. You must provide a survey of your property at least one week before your scheduled appointment
My initial site visit fee is $300.00 for an hour-long consultation and is non-refundable. That covers my time and expertise and gives you ideas, suggestions, and recommendations for solutions. I collect the $300.00 site visit fee when we meet.
Phase 2: Conceptual design
My normal design process is a four to six week turnaround time from the initial site visit due to the time-intensive nature of designing, sourcing plants and materials, and formulating cost estimates. Design work cannot proceed prior to a site visit, nor will your project be queued for work without an up-to-date survey of your property. I request a 50% deposit as a retainer to begin your project and to hold your spot on the roster for design work, as I only take on four projects a month. I will give you an estimate on a design fee when I know what amount of work and time is involved.
I draw a base plan to scale of existing conditions based on our field measurements and use this plan to review site issues such as grade and drainage, privacy, circulation, property setbacks, climate and solar aspects, etc. It is the basis for design in addition to your information. Preliminary design concepts typically include hardscape and key plants.
After I complete a preliminary design, I will discuss the concepts with you to incorporate additional information and adjust to suit your requirements. The conceptual design meeting is a critical “team” meeting where we share ideas prior to the final design.
Phase 3: Final design
I incorporate suggestions, requirements, changes, etc. from the conceptual meeting into a final design. This phase may also include trips with you to select materials, finishes, and accessories, which is billed hourly should they be needed.
During this phase, I prepare and mail you a proposal to help you fully understand your new garden. This includes a copy of the final design plan, a final plant list with estimated costs for installation (subject to change based on plant availability and meetings with my landscape contractor), any necessary samples, photos, or presentation of proposed landscape finishes, and policies and warranty information that require your initials and signature. We can meet to review the final design—approval via e-mail or text is also accepted.
The remaining balance for the design will be due upon receipt of your final design and must be paid in full at that time.
Phase 4: Installation observation and scheduling
We will have one coordination meeting prior to installation with you and my landscape contractor(s) at the site to review the plans and establish a clear understanding of the design intent and direction. I will provide designer assistance during plant layout prior to installation of plants if needed by installer. I will also periodically review of the contractor’s work during construction to contribute to the contractor’s accurate interpretation of the installation.
All installation jobs require a signed contract and 50% down payment to secure plants and materials. Upon receipt of the signed agreement and deposit, we will then create your account and add your job to our queue. Projects that take longer than eight working days to complete are subject to an additional weekly draw after the first eight working days based on the percentage of work completed to cover our operating expenses, with the remaining balance due upon completion.
Before any work begins, a utility locating service such as NC One Call will be contacted for them to mark and identify all common utilities such as gas, cable, telephone, and power. Any property lines or personal utilities (septic system, well, dog fences, irrigation, lighting, etc.) is the responsibility of the customer to be identified and clearly marked. Amy Strunk Designs & our installation team will not be held responsible for any utilities or property that is not properly and clearly identified prior to work beginning. We will not begin work until all utilities and property lines are clearly marked. Homeowner needs to provide a path to the work area. We are not responsible for broken concrete, pathways or any unforeseen underground items such as tree stumps, bed rock, shale, boulders or buried propane tanks. If we run into these items, a new price will be given for removal.
Many clients do an install in phases and some do it all at once, depending on your time and budget. I am happy to help you figure that out.
Our installation schedule goes on a rolling basis. Whoever says yes, signs their paperwork, and pays their deposit has the next open slot on the landscape contractor’s calendar. Each job varies so much—some projects are a few days; some are a few weeks—so availability really can change on any given day. And we always have weather to contend with, too. Weather permitting; work shall occur during normal business hours (7:00am to 5:00pm) Monday through Friday. Amy Strunk Designs will not be held liable nor will the customer be compensated for work delays caused from: another contractor’s work holding us up, employee illness, change orders, and/or bad weather (i.e. rain, extreme cold, frosts, ice, high winds, storms, snow, etc.).
We will render our services as expeditiously as is consistent with professional skill and care. During the project, anticipated and unanticipated events may influence any project schedule. The owner acknowledges that significant changes to the project schedule, budget, or the project's scope may require additional services by the designer. This will be discussed and approved by the client prior to any additional fees or work commencing.
Phase 5: Final walk-through
After the work is completed, we will schedule a review of the completed work with the customer within five business days. The review consists of going over any plant/sod/seed care instructions, irrigation/lighting operation and maintenance instructions, and any other items to ensure the overall satisfaction of the work completed.
Upon completion of the final walk through, the remaining balance for the project will be collected and is due in full.
Change orders & pricing validity
Any additions or changes made to the original signed contract are subject to an additional 30% above our standard pricing to recover time lost, schedule fluctuations and procurement time. All prices quoted are valid for 30 days unless otherwise specified. A new proposal will be submitted for approval via text or e-mail prior to any added work commencing and any additional deposit will be requested at that time.
Fees are due upon receipt of invoice. We accept checks or cash. All payments must be made according to the terms of the invoice and account remain in good standing in order to maintain an active account and warranty validity.
Invoices that are not paid within 15 days from the date of the invoice will be considered past due. Past due invoices are subject to an additional 1.5% monthly interest charge. Past due invoices that are more than 45 days late will be forwarded to a third-party agency for collection. Past due invoices that become more than 60 days late are then sent to an attorney to place a lien on the home or property with a claims court date set.
The customer will be liable and responsible to reimburse Amy Strunk Designs for all reasonable legal fees and collection fees, and any applicable court costs. The laws of the state of North Carolina shall govern this agreement.
Plant warranty - 6-month limited
All trees and woody shrubs purchased and installed by Amy Strunk Designs carry a 6-month limited warranty.
There is NO warranty on perennials, annuals or transplanted items.
Any watering, insect or disease treatments, ongoing plant care such as pruning or annual maintenance is required on the part of the homeowner in order to maintain the warranty. Plants that die as a result of insufficient watering, over watering, drowning, improper watering, lack of watering or infrequent watering will void the warranty.
Animal, Insect or disease damage, damage caused by others, vandalism or severe weather is not covered.
We will make periodic site inspections after the installation to ensure proper practices are in place. We do not guarantee neglected plants. If during the 6-month period plants die due to causes other than listed above; we will replace the trees and woody plants one (1) time during the current spring season or the following fall season as seasonally appropriate. This is to encourage the customer to water and care for the plants after the installation and notify us of plant problems as soon as they start to occur.
Transplanted plant material, plants provided by customer and tender plants such as perennials and annuals cannot be guaranteed and do not have any warranty extended to them. All plants are installed with soil conditioners and slow release fertilizer. Some plants may have a limited availability and may only be available in a bigger or smaller size. If a certain plant is not available, it may have to be substituted with another suitable and similar plant species.
We are not responsible for and will assume no liability for the results of any improper construction, installation, or maintenance.
All the documents we prepare are specifically for the project of this agreement and cannot be reused on other projects without the designer’s written permission. The drawings cannot be used with another designer to complete this project unless the designer agrees in writing or has materially breached this agreement.
We reserve the right to include representation of the project in its promotional professional materials without compensation. You may request anonymity.
Either you or we may terminate this agreement upon seven days written notice. Fees to date will be due and payable on the effective termination date.
Visit the Prospective Clients page to schedule a site visit. You will have a chance to tell us a bit more about your project, ask questions, and upload your property survey as you schedule! Please note that you can opt to upload your survey at a later date if you need more time to scan it or have one conducted, but it must be submitted at least one week in advance of your site visit.
After we have received your information, we will get back to you within three to five business days for any necessary follow-up regarding your project and pending site visit.