Frequently Asked Questions

What does Water and Earth Landscape Design do?


Water and Earth is an outdoor living design company that works with homeowners that are looking to redo their outdoor living spaces. We have a thorough, several step design process to land on that perfect design, help our clients source a contractor and then we stay with the project through construction to monitor progress and to protect the integrity of the original idea.




Who should hire Water and Earth?


Clients that engage us are typically looking to redevelop the majority of their backyard or their entire property. We find that those that are reaching out to us are most commonly uninspired by the usual recycled styles being introduced by our competitors. Potential clients that value creative out of the box thinking, clear communication and collaboration will find that we value the same.




What does Water and Earth do differently than other local landscape design companies?


Everything we can. We will always strive to be different and to stand out. We are constantly evolving as we work with different clients and styles of projects. This business was started to deliver forward thinking ideas to like minded homeowners. The average developed outdoor living space in the Bay Area is delivered at the maximum of a clients budget but with the same overused products, applications and am ambiance. Doing a 180 and coming up with fresh ideas that you won’t find anywhere else on your block costs the same.




Will Water and Earth help us find contractors?


Absolutely. We bring all of our clients through a binding process with multiple contractors that we have a relationship with. These contractors will be invited to the project depending on the scope of the design to make sure those bidding are able to execute the ideas that we come up with.




How many times can I edit the design?


Our design process typically consists of 7 steps with clients being able to provide feedback in-between each one. Because we have an open line of communication with our clients, we get to know everyone as well as their properties and the process is focused more on getting it right than sticking to a rigid set of rules.




What if I don’t like the first design that I see?


As most local outdoor design companies only offer one initial idea, water and earth shows our clients two ideas as the first step. This gives our clients the opportunity to choose which one they would like to proceed with or the opportunity to marry ideas from both to move into the next iteration. Because the design process is an evolution, there will always be an opportunity to change directions or explore new ideas.




Does Water and Earth do “planting only” design?


No. We prefer to focus on outdoor living spaces and include planting design as a part of this process. For projects requiring only planting design it is best to reach out to a designer that specializes in it.




Will Water and Earth apply for permits for the project?


We pay attention to code and city rules as to make sure we are designing something that will be able to be built. As we are not general contractors, it will be up to the contractor chosen to use our plans to apply for permits. Sometimes depending on the design, extra engineering may be needed depending on the situation and jurisdiction. We are able to help our clients through this process as well.




Do Water and Earth projects get installed exactly as they are designed?


While we pride ourselves on our design ideas and output, we are also excited to help our clients meet different contractors we have a relationship with. If our clients choose to hire one of these groups or find their own, we stay engaged with the construction project to monitor progress and protect the original design idea.




How is Water and Earth different from remote/online landscape design  companies?


In the last couple of years several remote design companies have popped up. While this can be a good route for clients who want to keep costs as minimal as possible and don’t require a personalized service, we prefer to have an intimate relationship with both the design process as well as the needs of our clients. We do not limit our availability to any existing clients and we are always able to have someone available in person for clients that are in our service area. We also have a solid understanding of all of the potential issues with budgeting, contractor engagement and project execution in the local market as we have real-world relationships with local industry professionals.




Does Water and Earth work remotely?


Yes, but if we can’t service your project due to distance we strongly suggest you engage a local designer. However if it’s our style you’re after, we are able to work remotely assuming site plans for the property are available or you are willing to get a survey prepared by a licensed civil engineer. We typically work on 5-10 remote designs per quarter but limit our availability depending on our in-person service commitments as they take precedent.




I have a design from a different designer but I’m not completely happy with it, can  water and earth help?


Yes. We regularly review designs from other providers to make sure they align with the needs of the property.




Where can I see more Water and Earth design work and finished construction?


Outside of this site we post our work in the places below: Houzz Instagram




What budgets does water and earth work with?


Many Bay Area designers have a “Must spend x” to be considered to be a client. We will work with any budget but sometimes budget vs expectations isn’t a reality. If this is the case, we will happily refer you to a group that can cater to your needs. Typically our projects are going to be in the 100k-500k range. We have had projects that cost less and a few that cost more. The majority of our clients engage us for a project that will include a complete backyard overhaul including a swimming pool and have a 150k starting budget with most of them falling in the 2-300k range.