The Design-Build Difference

What do you mean “design-build”?

In a design-build firm like A Yard & A Half, the designers and construction workers operate as 1 team throughout the entire landscape installation process. The homeowner has only 1 contract to sign and 1 firm with whom they need to communicate, as opposed to hiring and managing a designer, a separate landscape installation company, and possibly other contractors to fill any gaps.


homeowners and landscape designers review plans outside

A Knowledgeable Team

Designers in a design-build team like ours often have years of experience installing landscapes themselves, and a practical understanding of how designs on paper are actually built. Because we stay up-to-date with and follow industry best practices for installation and construction, you can be assured that the work will be done correctly, without paying for costly construction specifications.

Our design partners create realistic plans based on their knowledge of best growing conditions and micro-climates for plants, which construction method best suits the design, and which building and plant materials are available locally. Their on-the-ground experience and connection to local suppliers enables these designers to create plans that won’t need many modifications. They know, for example, when a wall needs a footing down to the frost line to prevent it from cracking, how deep and wide to dig a planting hole for a tree, and what soil amendments are needed to establish a healthy new lawn.


Customized to Fit Your Budget

Unlike working with a separate designer and installation contractor, design-build firms will estimate the entire cost of the project early on for you. Because we are familiar with the construction process from permitting to demolition, and from excavation to sealing a completed paver driveway, we can help you know what to expect, minimizing surprises and unexpected costs. We can point you to design decisions to fit your budget, or help plan a phased installation in order to spread costs out.


designers review hardscape installation planCentralized Project Management for a Smooth Process

Another major advantage of working with a design-build firm is having a single point of contact for the entire design and installation process. Working with one company saves you the hassle of coordinating schedules, monitoring quality, and adding up the costs of several contractors. Our design-build firm has close relationships with electricians, irrigation contractors, carpenters, and other tradespeople and we’ll manage the process from start to finish. We’ll handle communication with contractors involved in any part of the installation that our firm cannot do personally, so you don’t have to be your own general contractor! This prevents delays in coordinating between trades, and saves you the frustration of project details falling through the cracks.


Whether you’re thinking about hiring a separate designer or going with a design-build firm, check out these tips for five things to consider before calling a landscape designer.