The Todd Group - Creating award-winning outdoor spaces for discerning NJ homeowners since 1975

A FEW FAQ's

We know there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right landscaping company for your property, so below are answers to a few of the questions that are frequently asked. If you have any additional questions, or would like to speak to us about our residential design, installation, and maintenance services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

DESIGN - BUILD SERVICES

What is Design-Build?

Design-Build is a collaborative process between the client and designer/contractor, where the designer and contractor are part of the same firm.

What are the advantages of using a Design-Build firm?

There are many advantages to using a Design-Build firm for your landscape project, including:
  • Single source for design and construction streamlines the process, saving time and money throughout
  • Design and project management fees are typically much lower than traditional “design only” landscape architecture firms
  • Less drawing and development of construction details, and specifications, speeds up the design process
  • Accurate cost and time estimates early in the process help project stay on budget and on schedule
  • No lengthy and confusing bid process
  • Clear communication between designers and construction personnel reduces potential for up charges related to change orders
 

How do I schedule a consultation with a designer?

If you would like to schedule a design consultation, please contact us today by completing our Project Questionnaire. Upon receipt, our designers will gather a few more details about your property and answer any questions you may have regarding our services and workflows. If it feels like a good match, we’ll then schedule an on-site consultation to walk through your property and discuss potential project needs and goals. Prior to our on-site meeting, we require the Project Questionnaire be completed to maximize our time together.

What happens during the Design-Build process?

INTRODUCTION

Each project begins with the completion of our Project Questionnaire. Upon receipt, one of our design team members will reach out to review as part of the introductory call.

The introductory call is a great opportunity answer any general questions, discuss your project needs and goals, review the Project Questionnaire, explain our design-build process, and schedule an on-site meeting.

The on-site meeting allows us to discuss your project needs while walking the property together. We value your time, and in an effort to be as efficient as possible, request that all decision making parties be present at the time. This will give us all a chance to see things firsthand, and an opportunity to review our design portfolio. After the on-site meeting, we will prepare a design contract to proceed into the Concept Design phase.

Deliverables received at the completion of the Introduction phase include:
  • Completed Project Questionnaire
  • Company Design / Services Portfolio
  • Landscape Concept & Budget Sample
  • Design Contract for Concept Design Phase

CONCEPT DESIGN

Our goal is to create a “Landscape Vision” for your property that addresses your needs and meets your project goals – on budget, on schedule, all within one seamless process.

During the concept design phase, we perform an initial site and zoning analysis to determine the feasibility of your project goals. This includes reviewing all available surveying, engineering, and architectural documentation available at the time. If documentation is outdated or not available, we will advise you on what is necessary to begin the concept design phase.

Upon completion of the analysis, we begin designing accordingly. Once the design is complete, we will schedule a time to meet and review with all decision making parties.

The fee for the concept design phase will be determined after our on-site meeting and presented as a design contract. Since each project scope is unique, the specific terms of the design (i.e. – # of site visits, meetings, revisions, etc.) will be outlined in the design contract.

Deliverables received at the completion of the Concept Design phase include:
  • Color concept plan with images depicting the character of all proposed hardscape and landscape features
  • Scope narrative and graphic delineation of all proposed features
  • High level budget used to begin defining costs and discuss potential phasing strategies
  • Completed Retainer Agreement
  • 3D modeling and rendered views are available at an additional cost
  • NOTE: Additional documentation from partnering consultants (current survey, topographical survey, tree location diagram, etc.), may be required at an additional fee during this phase

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT / BUILD

Once the Concept Design phase is complete, and we have collectively determined a working project budget, we will proceed into the Design Development / Build phase.

During this phase, we require a non-refundable retainer of 10% of the determined budget to move forward with the completion of the design. The completion includes hardscape selection, plant specification, and refinement of any custom work that may require additional detailing.

As we refine the design, we begin to create a final proposal for the implementation of the project. When the design is complete, and the final proposal is ready to be signed, the retainer from the project will be used towards the deposit amount.

Once the final proposal is signed, and the balance of the deposit is received, we will determine an approximate start date for the installation phase.

Deliverables received at the completion of the Design Development / Build phase include:
  • Schematic level design plan; scaled and labeled including material and plant selection
  • Additional construction sketches for custom features (i.e. – fireplace elevation, outdoor kitchen layout, etc.)
  • Material samples and supplemental images / cut sheets of proposed features as needed
  • Final proposal for the construction of the schematic level plan, incorporating any revisions/details covered during the Design Development phase
  • 3D modeling and rendered views are available at an additional cost
  • NOTE: Additional documentation from partnering consultants (structural drawings, drainage design, civil engineering, etc.), may be required at an additional fee during this phase

Do you work with outside landscape architects / designers?

Our team always welcomes the opportunity to work with outside landscape architects and designers. If you have a project you would like to collaborate on, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

What size projects do you take on?

We’ve tackled a wide range of project sizes, from simple foundation plantings to full property transformations exceeding $500,000. The majority of our projects fall within the $25,000-$250,000 price range, and many are installed in a phased approach.

Do you work with new home buyers?

Yes, we know the process of buying a new home can be overwhelming, which is why we are here to help along the way. Through years of experience, we find clients fall in love with a home, yet don’t know if there are restrictions to building the yard of their dreams.

How are projects billed?

This is determined based on the scale of a project. Smaller projects can be billed upon final completion. Larger projects are progress billed every 2 weeks based on substantial completion.

Do you require a deposit for installation projects?

We provide itemized proposals for all work, and request a deposit based on a percentage of the total contract value, which can be found in the terms page of the proposal.  

Do you provide design-only services?

The Todd Group does not separate our design and build services as individual offerings. Instead, we commit our teams to providing unparalleled attention throughout the entire project, from concept to completion.

When is the best time to begin my landscape project?

Our design team is busy creating year-round. There’s certainly no wrong time to begin the design process, though please keep in mind our busiest time of the season is during the spring, early summer and fall.  For that reason, we encourage our clients to start the design process by completing the Project Questionnaire as early as possible, typically a season or two ahead of when the would like to be finished.   Our installation window typically begins in early April and concludes in December. As you can appreciate, weather is difficult to predict, but our philosophy is to be on-site whenever the ground is workable. If the weather is mild during the winter months, we will be available to work.  

How long does the design process take?

There are many factors that can impact the design timeline including property size, project scope, and design preferences. We find that our designs usually require 6-8 weeks from start to finish, with review cycles and scope changes being the largest variable.

MAINTENANCE PLANS & SERVICE

Do you offer snow removal services?

We offer snow removal services to annual full services maintenance clients only in a limited area including Short Hills, Summit, Harding, New Vernon, Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Bedminster, Chester and nearby towns. Please contact us to inquire about lawn services in your area.   We also offer commercial snow removal services in a limited area including Short Hills, Summit, Harding, New Vernon, Harding, Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Parsippany, Union and nearby towns

Do you offer lawn mowing services?

We offer lawn mowing services in a limited area including Short Hills, Summit, Harding, New Vernon, Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Bedminster, Chester and nearby towns. Please contact us to inquire about lawn services in your area.

Do I need to sign a contract?

We require a signed contract for initial maintenance services and contracts will auto renewed seasonally.  Should the property conditions change, we’ll tailor the contract accordingly upon approval.

How much do your services cost and when will I be billed?

Annual maintenance services such as weekly mowing and fertilization are priced based on property size and square footage of lawn area.  Additional maintenance services such as fine gardening and mulching are billed on a time and materials basis. Maintenance services are invoiced on a monthly.

Who do I contact regarding my maintenance questions?

We pair each client with a dedicated maintenance account manager that serves as a single point of contact. With extensive experience in all aspects of property maintenance, our account managers oversee all work, coordinate scheduling and execution, and clearly communicate with both the team and client.

Who will be working at my property?

Our crews are dedicated landscape professionals and fine gardeners, many of whom have been with our team for many years. We have a continuous training program including weekly classes and seasonal workshops, focused on horticulture, safety, and the latest industry standards.

What garden maintenance services do you provide?

The Todd Group offers a wide variety of year-round maintenance services, specifically tailored to your property and budget. Our maintenance services include (but are not limited to):
  • fine gardening including perennial care, pruning, and garden maintenance
  • container and bed annuals
  • planting of trees, shrubs, gardens
  • exterior holiday decorating
  • mulching
  • spring bulb displays
  • weekly lawn maintenance
  • annual lawn care applications
  • fall and spring cleaning
  • irrigation and water management
  • landscape lighting
  Our sister company Peters-Todd’s provides general tree work, ornamental pruning and plant health care spray applications.  

IRRIGATION & LIGHTING SERVICES

Do you install irrigation systems?

We offer irrigation installation and maintenance services. Our system installations are geared towards water conservation and efficient watering. Our service programs include startups, shutdowns and regular monitoring of the system.

Do you service existing irrigation systems?

We service irrigation systems of all shapes and sizes. For existing systems we send a qualified technician to your home to assess the state of the system. We then make recommendations for repairs or upgrades as needed, and suggest a service program.

Do you offer water management and irrigation monitoring services?

We consider water management and irrigation monitoring services to be an essential piece of any irrigation plan. We will create and maintain a watering schedule specific to your property and also make suggestions on ways to enhance your system to be more water efficient.

Do you install low voltage outdoor lighting systems?

We install customized low voltage outdoor lighting systems using LED fixtures and offer several control options. Popular lighting options include path lighting, down and up lighting, and customized outdoor scenes for entertaining. LED lighting systems carry a manufacturer’s warranty.

Do you repair and maintain existing low voltage lighting systems?

We offer a variety of lighting services including both one-time repairs and more comprehensive maintenance programs. If you’re interested in upgrading an existing lighting system, our lighting technicians can recommend products and materials including LED technology and other modern lighting solutions.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What payment methods do you accept?

The Todd Group accepts check and bank transfer payments. We do not accept credit cards.

Do you provide free quotes or consultations?

We offer free consultations for our design, maintenance, and irrigation services. We do require a quick introductory phone call prior to a consultation, to address any general questions and better understand your property and project requirements.  

Do you require a deposit before work begins?

Generally speaking, our design and installation services do require a deposit prior to initiating the project. Please contact us for details regarding the timing and amount for each service.

I would like to find a landscaping designer near me. Do you offer services in my area?

The Todd Group has designed and built work from the Jersey Shore to the Hudson Valley, based on project scope.

Are you licensed and insured?

A copy of our Certificate of Insurance, showing liability and workers compensation limits, is available upon request. Our Home Improvement Contractor’s license (#13VH0042050) may be viewed here.  Our Landscape Architects, Arborists and Licensed Tree Expert licenses are available upon request.

Do you have any examples of recent projects?

If you would like to see examples of our work, please visit our landscape services page. For full project stories, please visit our project spotlight page. You can also see examples of our work on Houzz, Instagram and Facebook.

Are you hiring?

We’re always looking for talented and driven individuals to join our growing team. We take pride in the family culture of our organizations.  If you’re an experienced account or project manager, fine gardener, mason, crew leader, irrigation technician, or just looking for a career in landscape design, contact us for more details.