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Our Design and Build Process

Have you ever wanted an OES design but didn't need us to build it? Big news! We've grown and are excited to collaborate with architects and general contractors as we can now offer Simple Design and Comprehensive Design services in addition to Design + Build. Even better - both Simple and Comprehensive Design are available outside our Austin service area!


After having spent the majority of the past 15+ months at home, you have probably thought about upgrading your outdoor spaces. Maybe working from home was initially temporary but now your position evolved and you're going to be spending the foreseeable future working in your home office. Or you may have been thinking about this for years but being forced to stay home has made you re-evaluate the kind of living spaces you need in your yard.

Let's walk through what to expect.


First, we need to check out the space. We ask questions about how you'd like to use the space, what works and what doesn't, what issues you'd like to troubleshoot, and who the users will be. For instance, you may have two kids, a dog, and want to create a space where all your kids and their friends want to hang out. Or you and your partner like to entertain, so you need a dining area, a place for a fire pit, and want privacy from some new housing going up just over your fence. You may want shade, or a pool, or an area for un-programmed play. We like to design knowing the functions, and if we're doing our job correctly, it will be something you couldn't have imagined on your own. There is a $250 fee for the consultation and these are generally scheduled on Tuesdays to accommodate our twice-a-week design presentations. Click here to begin the consultation process.

Design Proposal

After seeing the constraints of the space like property lines, setbacks, utilities, slope, existing vegetation, easements, drainage issues, and existing built work (like the house, decks, fencing, etc), we can estimate how long it will take to render existing conditions in a 3D model and go through the rounds of design. The design proposal is sent within a few days of the consultation. We lock in design presentations in our calendar with a 50% deposit, and they are generally scheduled Wednesdays and Fridays.

Service Area

If your project is in the greater Austin area, highlighted in the map below, we offer a Simple Design Package, a Comprehensive Design Package, and a Design + Build Package. If it is outside of that area, including in other parts of the state and in other parts of the world, we provide Comprehensive Design Services only, which include a travel fee.

Design Packages

We can work with you on your project in several ways: Simple Design (Planting Plan or Built Object), Comprehensive Design, or Design + Build.

  • Simple Design

    • A Planting Plan is just as it sounds: you have existing planting beds that need a refresh on vegetation and gravels or mulch. We have experience in designing landscapes with plants that best fit your needs in conjunction with the varying Texas climate. With this package, our principal designer will meet with you on-site and produce a 2D Site Plan with plant type, size and location as well as surface treatments for you to take to a contractor for installation.

    • A Built Object simple design solves your unique need for an object such as a grill counter, pergola, or a small amount of steel work. It's a singular object with no design in the surrounding yard. With this package, we prepare drawing sets ("blueprints") that spell out every detail necessary to complete the object designed for you. This extensive document is used to acquire bids for installation from subcontractors of your choice.

  • Comprehensive Design is for prospective clients that might already have connections to a build crew or prefer to work with our designs faster than our schedule can accommodate. This package includes two rounds of design, Construction Documents, and optional Construction Administration where we interact with your subcontractor build process and monitor quality control.

  • Design + Build is the complete package, from concept design all the way through Three rounds of design, Construction Documentation, and installation with oversight from a dedicated Project Manager are included in this package. The projects featured on our site all fall under this Design + Build option.

Here are info graphics on the three design packages we offer. Design fees are based on size of property, complexity of terrain, scope, how many faces of the house are included in the space, design needs, among other factors.

simple design, comprehensive design, design + build packages



On average, the projects shown on our website are between $30-60K for a typical front yard, $60-200K for a backyard, and this number can increase or decrease based on material selection and what you like. We are your advocates for getting a project scope you can afford, so we can either value engineer to simplify scope or make suggestions on what can be removed. There is also the version where the budget comes in right in line and you may want to add or upgrade materials. We like to design assuming we're throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, and know not everything will. The design process is iterative, and distilling the design down to the core of what makes it work is always the best version of the project. Click here to read our blog post about the cost of landscape + build in Austin, Texas.


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