As a design & build firm, Chicago Specialty Gardens advocates strenuously for the development of comprehensive, master-plan designs. Every project on this website began with a well-crafted design to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing and site-specific urban garden. Our design work then seamlessly transitions into our installation process.

Our design onboarding process begins with an initial get-acquainted phone call with each new client. The broad parameters of the project scope are established and goal budgets are identified at this meeting. A proposal outlining our fee for developing our designs—and the design deliverables to be provided throughout this process—is then supplied after this meeting. If our Client wishes to proceed, we invoice for the design fee and work begins!

The concept meeting—where the design concepts are presented—takes place virtually. The project Designer will present 3D renderings of the design, accompanied by images of suggested shade structures, hardscape materials, container and planting options, etc. which we’ve considered for the installation. Importantly, line-item budget ranges are also presented for each component of the design. The presentation is then sent to our clients to consider in detail over the coming days. Once the Client provides us their comments on the design and budget, we begin the steps to complete the final plans and construction contract.

Last but not least, we schedule a final meeting where we present all final deliverables with specifications on all design elements, including shade structures, material selections, planting palette, lighting and irrigation plans, fire or water features, etc. We then also present the final construction proposal which covers all the components outlined in the project scope. This meeting concludes the design process. If our Client wishes to proceed with construction, schedules and deposit payments are discussed at that time.

At CSG, we consider the designing and building of our gardens to be a collaborative effort between us and our Client, and we welcome your comments and questions in that spirit.