Creative Garden Designs

During the initial consultation, Scott Cohen meets with all homeowners of the property to discuss budget and size and scope of the project. Based on that meeting, he prepares a Work Order for Design Services. He then takes the time up front to explore your needs with our exclusive Design Questionnaire. With our design staff, he begins to form a custom hardscape and landscape design around your lifestyle and budget.

Sketches, Computer Design, and Professional Perspectives

For local clients, we measure your property to create the "base map", and then our design team begins conceptual drawings. These are quick ideas drawn out in pencil for your review. We often provide several ideas from which you can choose.

For out of area clients, Scott will create a design based on the measurements and photos you send us. Click here for complete consultation rates.

Next, based on your feedback on the concept drawing, using landscape design software, Scott will present detailed printouts to show you the proposed layout of landscaping, hardscaping, and water features. Our garden illustrator creates hand drawn colorful landscape perspectives to show you what the completed project will look like. Your new yard plan will be easy to understand and visualize. Below are some of Scott Cohen's amazing back yard swimming pool designs.

The Green Scene Consultation Rates

Scott Cohen is available for both Design Only and Design and Build consultations on-site, online, by telephone, expert witness evaluations and testimony, and training and speaking engagements.

Residential Design Consultation on-site (within our service area, shown below)

Want your yard designed right this first time? Call us to schedule a consultation with Scott Cohen - you will benefit from his 20 years of experience and creativity.

Telephone Consultation

 If you live outside of The Green Scene's service area and want Scott to design your yard, or if you want to know how we designed or built something you saw on our web site or HGTV, or what materials we used, you can schedule a telephone consultation with Scott Cohen. Mr Cohen offers telephone consultations at $250/hour. Please call our office at the phone # above to schedule a telephone consultation. Your credit card information will be required at the time of scheduling.

If you are a contractor and looking for more information about our building techniques, Scott's professional trade consultation rate is $350/hour.

If you would like Scott to design your landscape, we need as much information about your property as possible. Before you call, please gather the following materials together: Photos of areas to be designed (views from windows, views of house, areas with privacy issues, etc.)

  • Measurements of areas to be designed*
  • HOA requirements
  • Setbacks and easements (areas that cannot be built on)
  • Drainage issues
  • Heights of slopes
  • Utility locations

*The accuracy of your measurements will determine the accuracy of the design we can create for you. Approximate measurements will allow him to create general sketches; precise measurements will allow him to create detailed plans.

Residential Design Consultation on-site outside

For residential design consultations outside of our service area map above, Scott will walk your property with you, discuss options and ideas for improvements at $250 per hour, plus travel reimbursement at $250/hour ($500 minimum). During site visits Scott will sometimes create doodles and quick sketches included in the design consultation fee.

Occasionally clients will decide to pay for our crews to travel and sometimes stay overnight so we can build the project that Scott has designed for them. In those situations, consultation fees are always credited back to the project when you have us build it.

Scott Cohen likes to stay close to his home, wife, and 3 children and rarely travels for work. All travel consultations requiring flight are billed daily for on-site and travel time. One day of travel to site, plus days on site and one full day return. $2,000 per day plus air and hotel reimbursement. ($6,000 minimum)

Online Design Consultation

 If you live outside of The Green Scene's service area and want Scott to design your yard, you can schedule an online consultation with Scott Cohen. Mr Cohen offers online consultations at $250 for 1 hour. Please call our office to schedule a telephone consultation. Your credit card information will be required at the time of scheduling.

Before you call, please gather the following materials together.

  • Photos of areas to be designed (views from windows, views of house, areas with privacy issues, etc.)
  • Measurements of areas to be designed*
  • HOA requirements
  • Setbacks and easements (areas that cannot be built on)
  • Drainage issues
  • Heights of slopes
  • Utility locations

*The accuracy of your measurements will determine the accuracy of the design we can create for you. Approximate measurements will allow him to create general sketches; precise measurements will allow him to create detailed plans.

Industry Expert Consultation

Are you having problems with your contractor? Construction industry expert Scott Cohen can serve as your expert witness consultant for construction defects. Cohen is an absolute champion for integrity in the construction trade, and works regularly with the California State Contractor's License Board and private practice attorneys to perform onsite inspections and testimony. (For inspections, allow a minimum of one hour for each item on your list.) Please see topic list below.

  • Construction Defect Inspections: $350 per hour
  • Expert Witness Testimony: $375 per hour, $750 minimum ($1500 retainer required)
  • Travel expenses: @ $.50 mile + hotel and any other applicable travel reimbursement applies.
  • CSLB and Better Business Bureau are eligible for a discounted rate.

Cohen has provided professional Forensic Services as a member of the Industry Expert Program for the Contractors State License Board since 2002. Cohen’s forensic Services are less than 10% of his professional services, offered equally for plaintiffs and defendants. Cohen has testified in trials, depositions, arbitrations, and mediations.

He has experience testifying in the following categories:

Swimming Pools and Spas: Gunite construction, leaks, heaves, popped pool shell, plaster, Pebbletec, colored plaster, design configuration, plastering, plaster delaminating, beach entries, steel placement, tile work, plumbing, coping, waterproofing, water migration, drainage, concrete, heaved concrete, colored concrete, cracks in concrete, mastic joints, raised bond beams, sheer descents, laminar jets, deck jets, swimming pool covers, lighting and electrical, hydrostatic relief.

Landscaping and Design specifications: Plans and take-offs, computer aided design, patio sizing, setbacks, irrigation systems, sprinklers, drainage, French drains, hydro-static relief drains, grading, retaining walls, seat walls, bender board, planting, rototilling, amendment, fertilization, maintenance practice, fine-grading, low-voltage lighting, transformers, lighting wiring, expansive soil, clay soil, voltage drop, seeding and sod.

Ponds & Waterfalls: Ponds, waterfalls, Aquascape systems, biological filtration, stagnant water, filtration, skimmer placement, plumbing, electrical, pond maintenance, leaks, excessive splash, rock selection, liners, and underlayment.

Hardscape: Patio sizing and placement, concrete, concrete cracks, score joints, stamped concrete finishing, colored concrete, concrete coping, cast concrete, concrete steps, footings, retaining walls, seat walls, swimming pool decking, delaminating, pop-outs, efflorescence, drainage, sheet flow, water intrusion, weep screed, pavers, stucco, pilasters, lighting, conduits, concrete counter-tops, fire-pits, gas plumbing, plan take-offs, accurate dimensions, decorative concrete.

Cohen’s forensic Practices Assurances:

  • Cohen will formulate and articulate his opinions with truthfulness and clarity
  • Cohen will provide opinions only on subjects where he is qualified and which are based on known facts that can be proven.
  • Cohen will accurately track and report time and services provided
  • Cohen’s opinions may be subject to modification as a result of new information
  • Cohen will examine all documents supplied by client in a timely manner.
  • Cohen will work overtime if case is urgent
  • Cohen is under no duty to provide opinions if given insufficient time or compensation to complete a thoughtful examination of the case
  • Cohen will provide opinions that are not inevitable and may be different than the client’s opinions
  • Cohen will notify client immediately if conflicts of interest are revealed that may prohibit further involvement of his services
  • Cohen may stop work if past due invoices are not paid
  • Cohen will provide reasonable cost of project repair based on evidence provided

Please call us at (800) 675-5296 to schedule an appointment.

Seminars, Training, and Speaking Engagements

Hire Scott Cohen to speak at your next industry show. Cohen’s outgoing personality and comfortable speaking style entertain attendees as he shares knowledge collected over 22 years of work experience.

A two time Masters Of Design Award winner, Scott has also been featured on Home and Garden Television's Landscaper's Challenge, Designing for the Sexes, and Get Out, Way Out! Scott's designs are also regularly showcased in numerous local and national print media, such as Pool and Spa News, Architectural West, Hearth and Home, and Signature Pools and Outdoors.

He is nationally recognized as an expert in swimming pool and spa design, outdoor kitchen design and construction, concrete patio design and sizing, outdoor fireplace construction, water features, ponds and waterfalls, and general landscape construction. As a certified Expert Witness and Industry Expert with the California Contractors State License Board, he regularly serves as a mediator, and testifies in cases of alleged outdoor construction defects. He continues to lobby for ethical Workers' Compensation and professional business practices in the construction industry.

Seminar fees range from $2,500-$,4,500 up to three hours plus travel expenses Ask about professional discounts for multiple seminars at the same show.

Lessons Learned from a CSLB Expert Witness

Because I've witnessed so many bad practices over the years — and frankly, because they don't seem to become any less frequent with time — I've decided to share my observations of common problems in this seminar. Someday, I intend to turn the articles into an educational textbook for the watershaping industry.

The Outdoor Room Boom

Learn all about the latest trends in creating outdoor rooms in your own backyard. Cohen walks you through the design and construction process of the outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen, outdoor dining areas, proper concrete patio sizing and “wayfinding” from place to place.

Patio / Outdoor Kitchen Design and Construction

Discover the best techniques for placing outdoor kitchens and patios, taking into consideration entertaining needs and lifestyle. Learn the best materials for flooring and outdoor kitchen countertops.

Outdoor Kitchen Design and Build (basic and advanced versions)

Find out how the addition of an outdoor kitchen adds value to a home, and learn step-by-step how to design and build the ultimate outdoor kitchen using poured-in-place concrete countertops, embedded colored glass chips, and fiber optic lighting.

Outdoor Fireplace and Fire Feature Design and Construction

Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are one of the hottest trends in outdoor living. Find out whether a fireplace, fire pit, or fire hearth is best for any given project, and step-by-step construction tips.

High End Swimming Pool and Spa Design and Construction

Scott Cohen is one of the leading design trendsetters in swimming pool design. Learn how to incorporate vanishing edges, slot overflows, sheer descents, popup fountains, Baja shelves, and more.

The Backyard Battle of the Sexes: Outdoor Design For Couples

As any landscape designer (or any other residential contractor, for that matter) knows, there can be big differences between what men and women want out of a home improvement project. Scott Cohen has many years of experience navigating the delicate balance between husband and wife when it comes to outdoor design and construction. Laugh and learn how to bring harmony to the outdoors!