Outside Collective
We specialize in a simple, modern, and ecologically sensitive approach to the landscape. Our custom designs are deeply informed by your needs, the site, the environment, and your maintenance goals. Lets build your dreams together.

About Christel
Christel Leung is the owner and principal designer of Outside Collective. She has a BS in Design from UC Davis and a Landscape Architecture Certification from UC Berkeley Extension. She has a former career in web design, and has been designing the outdoors since 2010.

Our Process
We specialize in providing landscape design drawings. These drawings document the intensions for the space, and are an essential tool in the tasks of estimating and construction. This small initial investment allows you to confidently put your landscaping budget towards a design that you know you will use and love.
We'll start with a Site Consultation ($75/hr), have a look at the property and hear the ideas you have in mind. From there, we'll send you a Design Estimate and Proposal, for your signature. With a 50% Deposit, we can start work and complete a Site Analysis, Base Plan, a few design options and ultimately, the Schematic Design. This rough, sketchy plan drawing is developed through several rounds of communication, and documents all the design intentions for the space. Circulation is worked out, spaces are designated for specific use, trees are located, and paving materials are generally specified (e.g. concrete, gravel, steel edging, etc). Note that this type of drawing is ideal for an initial conversation with landscape contractors and ballpark estimating, but does not have enough detail for construction. However, it could also be sufficient for do-it-yourself homeowners that plan to take on the installation themselves.
At the beginning of this phase, we offer Contractor Bidding Administration, which entails meeting with several local landscape contractors, walking them through the Schematic Plan on-site, answering project-related questions, ensuring all bids are 'apples-to-apples', and comparing submitted bids. Then, together, we choose the contractor, based on experience, cost, communication and organization skills, and availability. And, our project gets placed on the contractor's construction timeline, which is typically a few weeks/months into the future. Within this timeframe, we identify all the decisions that will need to be made before construction, and we make them together, with a close eye on the budget. This can include paving material selection, plant selection, light fixture selection, and construction details of special features in the design (e.g. custom bench, custom paving pattern, etc.). Note that all means and methods of construction (e.g. footings, retaining walls, deck framing, drainage, irrigation, etc.) would be determined by the licensed landscape contractor. Also, there can be an adjustment in the contractor's initial bid, based on these Phase 2 'Contractor-ready drawings'. Typically, this is handled by the contractor through a Change Order. This cost differential shouldn't be too great, if we've made budget-conscious decisions.
Prior to the construction start date, all materials need to be ordered, custom features need to be fabricated, lead times need to be coordinated, unavailable items need to be substituted, etc. Once construction has started, there are often issues that arise on-site, requiring adjustments in design. We see the project through all the hiccups and last minute decisions, to ensure that the details come together beautifully, in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Plant This Now Berkeley
This blog is dedicated to our love of plants, and a desire to study them and their appropriate use in the garden. 

Email: christel@outsidecollective.com
Phone: 323.610.9254
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