The Process

McKinnon Associates is a 30-year old firm that specializes in landscape architecture and construction in greater Houston, Austin, Dripping Springs, Galveston and Victoria, Texas. Lead by Mark McKinnon, the firm specializes in residential, commercial and civic projects.

Our commercial and residential landscape architectural services include site planning, feasibility studies, landscape restoration & reclamation.   We offer complete design, construction, installation, and maintenance services.  

In addition to their considerable horticultural knowledge, our crews include craftsmen experienced in all types of masonry, stonework, and carpentry.  We also offer fountain, irrigation, drainage, and lighting design as well as installation services.

MCKINNON ASSOCIATES uses a three-phase approach during the landscape development process which includes:

Phase One - Conceptual Design

Phase Two - Construction Drawings

Phase Three - Construction Implementation

Phase One – Conceptual Design

The design process begins with an extensive client consultation.  During the conceptual design phase, a list of program elements to be included in the design is established.  These elements will meet both the functional and aesthetic requirements of the client.  A thorough site analysis is conducted and base plans are produced.  This includes an inventory of existing plants, drainage patterns, sun exposure, off-site views, utilities, easement restrictions and the base architectural style context.  From this consultation and analysis, conceptual designs are developed which respond to the client’s program and site.  Preliminary budgets are developed simultaneously.  The conceptual design process may include several reviews before achieving the final design.  Once the conceptual design is approved, the design process proceeds to Phase Two, which is the preparation of construction documents and drawings.

Phase Two – Construction Drawings

During the Construction Drawing Phase, specific construction materials are evaluated and selected.  The precise details of how various materials will be integrated are resolved to insure that everything fits together properly.  Depending on the scope of the particular project, the construction drawings may include a demolition plan, layout plan, grading and drainage plan, planting plan, irrigation plan, lighting plan, and various construction details.  Any outside consultants such as architects, engineers, and surveyors may become involved during this phase.  After the construction drawings are complete and reviewed by the client, they are put out to bid to the various construction trades.  The bids are compiled for evaluation by the client and revisions to the construction drawings may be necessary to conform to budget considerations.  After all design, materials and budget goals have been met, a construction agreement is prepared and executed by all concerned parties.  This leads to the beginning of Phase Three, Construction Implementation.

Phase Three – Construction Implementation

Throughout the Construction Implementation Phase, MCKINNON ASSOCIATES has a Project Manager on site daily to oversee, observe, and coordinate all phases of construction. Regular meetings are scheduled with the client to review schedules and coordinate related work.  Many of the tasks – stonework, carpentry, lighting, irrigation, and drainage – are undertaken by MCKINNON ASSOCIATES personnel of skilled craftsmen to ensure a cost effective and timely execution.  Construction management oversees the details of layout, elevations and grades, plant quality, and evaluation of subcontractors work  At the completion of construction, a walk through inspection is done with the client to insure that all work is in order and fully acceptable.  Any product warranties, operating instructions or maintenance concerns are also reviewed at this time