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Our Process

The Key to a Successful Project is a Proven Process

We Listen First and Design Second!

Outdoor Living & Water Feature (Pond) Design, Installation & Maintenance Services
Serving Lexington & Central Kentucky

We Listen First and Design Second!

Your Paradise is our Passion!.

From our very first phone conversation you will quickly see that we do things just a little bit different here at H2O Designs. To ensure that we successfully meet all of your project objectives and to stay within your desired budget we have established and follow a set process. No matter what the size or scope of your project following a time proven process guarantees every project we install exceeds your every expectation, comes in on budget and on time.

Click Each Subject below to Learn More..

INITIAL PHONE CALL / EMAIL

If you email us or call and get our answering service (PLEASE Leave a Message) we will promptly get back with you. The first thing we want to do is to understand how we can help you. You don’t need to have all the answers at this point. Just a general idea of what you want. We will help you with the details and associate costs later in the process.

Information you will be asked for

  • General Contact Info (Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, etc)
  • Project Scope (Patio, Deck, Fire Pit, Outdoor Kitchen, Water Feature, etc)
  • How you found our company (Referral, Google Search, etc)
  • What is your end goal? What do you hope to achieve from this project?
PHOTOS OF PROJECT AREA / BACKYARD

At first glance this may seem like a trivial step to our process. Conversely this is one of the most important steps to our process. Having pictures of your existing ponddeckpatio or just a blank backyard allows us to have a visual reference to use during our initial phone conversation. 

Also, if you have done any online research we encourage you to send us photos of things you like or links to ideas you have found online. The more information we have the better we will be able to assist you with your project design.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING & SHARING A BUDGET WITH US

Before we go any further with our process lets address the elephant in the room..
What Are you willing and Able to invest into your project? Seems like a simple question. However, there sometimes is a “belief” that by providing an honest budget to a contractor you are giving up control of your project and money.

“I Don’t know how much your services cost?“… This is probably the most popular response we receive when we initially ask a customer for a budget. While this is often true providing us with an amount that you are comfortable investing into your home helps us come up with the best solution for you and your family. The perfect answer to this question is something like “I would like to be somewhere between $10,000 – $20,000. However, I’m not spending any more than $25,000”. In this example I like to call the $25,000 amount your “OMG!” amount. By setting a project range and most importantly the project limit you have established boundaries for our designers to work within.

Having a project budget and sharing it with our designers is likely the single most important thing you can do to ensure that you maximize our services to achieve the outdoor living area of your dreams. Your budget does not have to specific. However, having some idea of what you are willing to invest into your backyard living area will help us with suggesting options and determining the initial scope of your project in order to proceed to the detailed design phase of your project.

For Example: Imagine how you would feel if you have a $10,000 – $20,000 project in mind and our designer presents to you a project that comes in at $50,000? Your probably going to have many mixed emotions at this point. Disappointment that your dream backyard now seems like just that, a dream or anger for having wasted your valuable time and energy on what may be a beautiful but unattainable design. Many times we will design a $50,000 project for you and offer you a plan to start out with a $15,000 investment and then add additional items in the future.

PROJECT EVALUATION PHONE CONVERSATION

Often we get asked “Why can’t you just come out or Swing By when you are in the area?”.  This may seem like a simple/logical request at first glance. However, as we mentioned our process exists so that we can work with you to determine if your project is a good fit for our services & solutions. By having a 30-45 minute phone conversation with our customers to discuss their project expectations and our procedures we can come to an agreement together whether our services are a good fit for you and your project. This will save time and energy that is associated with simply blindly coming out to your home for both you and our designers.

​Topics to be discussed during our initial Project Evaluation Phone Conversation

  • Project Overview (Patio, Pond, Deck, etc)
    • ​​Any Ideas you have
  • What led you to call us to help you with your project?
  • How will you and your family use the finished product?
  • What research have you done on your project options?
  • Comfortable project budget
    • ​Do you want to spend $5,000 or $50,000?
    • Are you willing to do the project in phases?
    • Are you interested in financing?
    • ​etc.
  • When would you and all decision makers be able to meet?
DO YOU PROVIDE FREE ESTIMATES?
We often get asked if provide Free estimates. The answer is Yes We do, there are a couple of ways for you to get a “Free Estimate” or general idea for what your project will cost.
  • You can schedule an appointment with our sales staff at our display gardens. We will gladly review your project, show you options & examples we have for your project and provide you with a high level estimate for your project​. Below are some items/information you will need in order for us to provide you with an estimate.
    • Photos of your project area/yard
    • Measurements/sketch of any existing structures (Home, patio, deck, etc)
    • Photos / drawings of ideas that you have researched.
    • Your desired overall project budget.
    • NOTE: While you are welcome anytime to visit our design center and browse ideas, please do not show up expecting a meeting with one of our designers without scheduling an appointment in advance.
  • You can send us an email with the information listed above. We will likely need to schedule a call to discuss this information in detail.
  • We can schedule a Project Evaluation Phone Conversation described above
ONSITE DESIGN CONSULTATIONS

Our initial Design Consultation is what we like to refer to as our “First Date”. Like all first dates we believe that it is important for us to get to know you and your family and for you to be familiar with our company & design/installation methodologies. After all, you will be entrusting us to create your dream backyard so a level of trust between our company and your family must be established in order to proceed with your project.

It is very important to make sure that all decision makers are present for our design consultation meeting. You have made the decision to invest your time and money into a meeting with our designer. We want to make sure you make the most of this investment. Having everyone involved offers a chance to interact and discuss questions / concerns with our designer. Often we are told “This is my project and my wife/husband doesn’t care what we do”. Sometimes this may be true. However, often we find that while it may be your idea it’s always a good idea to involve everyone involved from the beginning of the process.
During the design consultation meeting our designer will listen to your ideas for your project (If you have researched projects on the internet please feel free to print and share those ideas) and share their expertise and ideas with you. We will layout and discuss different designs & products for your backyard. It is our job to listen to your ideas and offer creative ideas. This is a very interactive process and together we can agree upon a design and general cost for your project.

From this meeting we will be able to provide you with adequate information about our company, products and your design for you to make an intelligent decision about whether to move forward with our company and services. In some cases we will be able to provide you with a design & quote so that you can make a decision that day to get on our construction schedule. For larger projects or projects that require a detailed design we will be prepared to schedule a follow up appointment to review the designs & associated quotes and inform you of any additional design fees if applicable.

PROJECT DESIGNS & DRAWINGS

We have taken detailed notes of all your ideas and measurements from your property. Its time for us to work our magic and turn these concepts into wonderful outdoor living area for you and your family. 

On our follow up meeting we will be prepared to present you with a detailed project design that includes 3-Dimensional renderings of your new Backyard Living area. We will be prepared to discuss in detail each aspect of your project design along with the associated cost. Providing you with a “Menu Style” quote will allow you to decide on different aspects of the design and possible phased approaches to your project. Once we agree on the design components and associated costs we will be prepared to finalize the project scope and schedule your construction begin date. In some instances slight modifications to the design may be necessary, rest assured we will work with you and your family to make sure every detail is accounted for before construction begins.

PROJECT INSTALLATION & FOLLOW THROUGH
Once we have agreed on the design and cost of your project it is time to get down to work. While our design and sales process may seem extensive. It is nothing compared to the amount of detail we put into making sure your new outdoor living dream comes to life.
  • The first step is to schedule a tentative start date and discuss the length of the construction process. The day you sign the contract we will discuss both of these aspects of your project.
  • About 2 weeks prior to your start date we will be in touch to give you a more specific start date and coordinate with you to make sure there aren’t any events that we need to plan around (vacations, parties, etc)
  • A week prior to the start date we will be in touch with the expected day/time we will be there to start your project. Keep in mind that weather can still impact these dates. However, we will be in constant contact with you with any changes to your construction start date.
  • Once our crews start our foreman (project manager for larger projects) will be keep you informed of any questions, delays, or issues that may come up. We encourage all of our customers to ask questions throughout the construction process if anything doesn’t look exactly how they think it should be. Our philosophy is that we would rather address issues/discrepancies during construction vs after the project is finished.
  • Upon completion of the project we allow you and your family to enjoy your new outdoor living area/water feature for a few days before our final walk through.
    • We will NEVER have our hand out for the final deposit the day construction is completed. The reason for this is simple. We want you and your family to enjoy your new water feature/outdoor living area and take time to write down questions and or items that may need to be addressed. On our final walk through meeting we can address these questions and provide a more complete service..
  • Our service does not stop with our final walk through!! We stand behind all of our projects with a full one-year “Bumper-Bumper” warranty and honor our workmanship for a full year after installation. Additionally we provide annual maintenance services to help you maintain your pond, water feature or outdoor living area for years to come…