Frequently Asked Questions

When do we pay the Design Fee?

The design fee is paid upfront at the beginning of the project, enabling us to promptly deliver content as soon as it’s created, without the need to wait for payment milestones.

Can you help us install the project?

Yes, we can manage and install our designs. This is our preference. We understand that some clients may choose to install the project themselves and we are happy to provide support for that. However, if you feel more comfortable having us handle the installation, our team is available for full-service installations. We will provide a detailed quote after the design process is complete based on your specific requirements.

Does Serenity Designs manage the project?

If the client decides to hire Serenity Designs, we will take charge of managing the project. However, if the client chooses another contractor for the installation, we can still provide additional consultations to assist, but the project management responsibility would not be ours.

Can we use your design for obtaining other estimates from other companies?

Yes, you may. Once the design process is complete, we will provide a detailed set of drawings including specifications, materials lists and pricing information. This way you can be sure all contractors involved in the bidding process are aware of all project requirements.

Can your design be used for Owner/Builder applications?

While owner builder applications are technically possible, we strongly advise against pursuing this route. Our designs are highly complex and will require precise measurements and quality workmanship.

How long does the design process take?

Typically, the completion time for an average design range from 4 to 6 weeks, contingent upon the speed of communication between the client and the designer.

What if I do not like the design?

You are entitled to one complimentary design revision if you are not satisfied with the initial draft. If the second revision fails to meet your expectations, you have the option to purchase additional design revisions.

Can you install a design we already have?

Absolutely. We are happy to provide installation services for existing designs. For this, we will require a thorough examination of the plans before providing a quote. Once installation begins, we can provide additional consultations for any changes you would like to make along the way.

Why should I purchase a Serenity design instead of just getting a free estimate from another contractor?

  1. It minimizes the number of appointments with contractors.
  2. Everyone can bid on identical plans.
  3. You can now finish the design phase and then plan out the remaining phases without feeling overwhelmed by the need to tackle everything at once.
  4. It will ensure greater accuracy in your bid, minimize guesswork and subjective opinions that may complicate the process. This will result in a more streamlined project.
  5. It is simpler and more cost-effective to modify plans than to alter the actual thing.
  6. For every $15k of contracted work, we will provide a $325 credit towards your design fee. This allows us to reward and acknowledge your commitment while ensuring a fair and beneficial arrangement for both parties involved.



Interested in a customized swimming pool or landscape design but don’t know where to begin? Download our FREE Sample Plan to get a glimpse of what every Serenity Designs client receives with our landscaping design package and experience our seamless process.

What are the differences between landscape designers, landscape architects, and landscape contractors?

Landscape designers offer a range of services including design ideas, landscape plans, planting plans, and lighting plans. Some may also assist with material selection and plant placement during installation. While they can provide conceptual ideas for garden structures, irrigation, and hardscape layout, they typically do not have the licensing to provide construction drawings or actual construction services. Their expertise lies in residential design, focusing on design strategies, hardscape options, and appropriate plant materials for residential projects. They often collaborate closely with contractors to ensure the aesthetic elements of an installation are executed effectively.


Landscape Architects in California are licensed professionals who possess expertise beyond that of landscape designers. They can create comprehensive construction-ready plans, which may encompass intricate features like retaining walls, grading and drainage systems, and physical structures. Their specialized training focuses on designing expansive public and commercial spaces, such as parks and commercial landscapes, although some also specialize in residential projects.


Landscape Contractors are licensed professionals who bring the designs of landscape designers and landscape architects to life. Some contractors even offer design services themselves. If you choose to work with a design/build firm, it’s important to clarify their design process. Will you receive landscape drawings for review and approval, or will you get a verbal or written description? Some design/build companies include the design fees in the overall cost of construction, but it’s still crucial to understand the breakdown in case you decide to hire a different company for installation.

How does the design process work?

While the process may vary depending on the designer, the client’s needs, and the complexity of the project, most residential design projects include the following:


Initial Phone Consultation

We’ll discuss our design process to ensure our firm is a good fit. We charge a consultation fee that is credited towards the total cost of the design.


Design Consultation & Questionnaire

This in-depth conversation and questionnaire cover your home, design style, budget, and timeframe.


Site Survey & Measurement

For an accurate design, we need measurements of the site. When applicable we will note any preexisting features to be worked around. If in-person, we will stop by to measure the yard.

If you chose a virtual design, we would use mapping technology with your assistance to obtain all the required data.


First Design Presentation

After the initial consultation and site survey, our design team will put together a design concept that includes a 3D rendering, & video walk-through, and estimate.


Client Revision(s)

After the 1st design presentation, you may have design edits. We allow for (2) rounds of revisions before an additional fee.


Final Design Presentation

After updating your design from the revision process, we will present your design in its final form.



Our expert team will give you a comprehensive proposal for your pool and landscaping so we can bring your vision to life!

What about the budget for my landscape installation?

Successful landscape projects begin with a well-defined budget. It’s important to openly communicate your budget with the landscape designer. They can assist in finding the right balance between using premium materials and making cost-effective choices, resulting in a stunning space that aligns with your functional, aesthetic, and budgetary preferences. Before reaching out to contractors for quotes, ensure that your budget accounts for the ongoing care and maintenance of your new surroundings. By investing in proper maintenance, you not only protect your investment but also guarantee years of personal enjoyment and satisfaction.


As a rule, budget approximately 5-10% of your home’s total value, including the land, for a complete landscape installation or renovation (based on average-sized yards). For instance, if your home is valued at $550,000, allocating between $27,500 and $55,500 for a basic yet functional landscape can potentially yield up to a 200 percent return on investment. Keep in mind that the use of unique materials, mature specimen plantings, or intricate hardscape features can further enhance these figures.


Intelligent and thoughtful landscape design has been extensively documented for its ability to enhance the value of your home. In certain regions of California, the land surrounding your home can be equally or even more valuable than the home itself. By implementing well-designed, properly installed, and meticulously maintained landscaping, you can significantly increase the overall value of your property.

Serenity Designs is Here to Help!

Get Started on Your Dream Project Today

Book your design consultation and let's transform your backyard today!


or call us directly at 916-931-3116 today!