The site plan represents the overall design for a landscape and is the primary tool used by the landscape architect to lay out the space.
Landscape architects, such as the ones at Heinen, are trained to create the design in plan view as one of the first phases in the design process. This article from Houzz explains the process in greater detail.
What is a site plan? The site plan shows the proposed landscape design and includes relevant existing conditions. It shows the overall layout and placement of the major design elements. Depending on the size of your property, the site plan may be detailed enough to show paving patterns, or it may show only layout lines for paved surfaces. The drawing is created at a standard scale. The scale of the drawing depends on how large the property is and how much detail needs to be shown.
Use the drawing to evaluate spatial dimensions. With a site plan drawn to scale and using an architectural or engineer’s scale (the multisided blue ruler in the photo here), you and the landscape architect can physically measure design elements in the plan. During client review sessions, sometimes it takes time for the client to get used to reviewing a scaled drawing. It’s the landscape architect’s job to walk the client through the design and be able to measure off the plan to answer questions. If something looks too narrow or too wide in the plan, use the graphic scale on the drawing or the scaled ruler to measure the actual dimensions and evaluate if it’s truly too narrow or wide. A good shortcut to imagining how the design plan will translate to the real world is to imagine yourself inhabiting the drawn spaces.
Think about some standard dimensions in relation to the scaled plan. For instance, a neighborhood sidewalk is usually 4 or 5 feet wide. If your garden path measures 4 feet in width in the site plan, then there’s probably plenty of room. Landscape architects know standard spatial dimensions by heart and can reference them when reviewing the site plan with you.
What to ask. Here is a checklist of questions to consider when reviewing a site plan with a landscape architect. Think about the big picture with these questions in mind. More details will fall into place as the design progresses.
- Are paths, driveways and all paved surfaces the correct width for how they will be used?
- Do the circulation and access to different areas of the landscape make sense?
- Are the major components in the right places? Major components include driveways, patios, a swimming pool and water features
- Does the overall layout feel cohesive?
- Does this design give me the look and style I want?
- Will I enjoy being in this landscape and looking at it from the inside of my home?
- Does the design fit my personal tastes and aesthetics and the architecture of my home?
- Does the design meet my requirements for being family friendly? Pet friendly? Wildlife friendly?
Along with your ideas and input, the experts at Heinen will handle all of the important details of your landscape plan. Contact us today to start planning now.