How long do the installations take?
Installation time varies considerably depending on the type, size and complexity of the environment. Remember, we are not contractors doing the same kind of thing over and over for every client by the numbers. We are science/technology/nature/esthetics geeks, and each project is a work of art and is absolutely unique. We can make two promises: 1. We will work as fast as possible, keep an intensive schedule and won’t schedule other projects until yours is completed; and 2. The quality and beauty of your project will be our number one concern, so we will not do anything that might compromise it, including rushing or cutting corners just to be timely.
That being said, before you hire us, we will give you a pretty good estimate of about how long your project will take, based on our experiences with similar projects. Basically, smaller and simpler projects with fewer steps and limited materials, like many waterfalls and water walls, may take as little as a couple weeks. Very large, complicated projects involving the use of subcontractors for construction, specialty fabrication, electrical work, etc., lots of technology, acquisition of specialty materials, detailed artistic work, etc., like a large, built-in, fully-automated tropical rainforest vivarium, may take 2-4 months to complete.
How do you price your environments and how much can I expect to spend?
Again, because our environments vary so significantly, pricing is very individual. We are the only business that creates many of these types of environments, so comparisons can be difficult. The closest you might come to some of our environments are those done by large companies for major zoos, etc, which would cost you vastly more, if you could get them to take on a smaller project for a home or private business.
However, if you compare the quality and pricing of some of our more common environments, such as exterior water features, with similar ones done by others, you will find that it is not possible to find anyone else that offers the quality we do for the great price we do. For example, we install waterfalls, streams and ponds constructed monolithically of our own specialty hydraulic concrete, the finest natural stone and highest quality equipment, with far superior design, natural look, environmental quality and the best, personally selected plants and animals (see “plant and animal acquisition”), for about the same cost as others’ installations using rubber or plastic liners, cheaper equipment, cheap, unnatural rock, sadly unnatural design and whatever common plants and animals the local big box store might have on hand.
The total price of the project will be specified in your contract, and there will be no surprises thereafter.
What kind of care do your environments require?
This is up to you. Most of our environments can be designed to be as automated as you desire. Nothing exists that requires no care. Even a painting must be occasionally dusted. Of course, living environments like ours will require some care. But even our biggest, most complex vivarium can be designed so that the only work required is the feeding of the animals and occasional pruning of plants. Many people who are natural animal and plant lovers like to pull their own weeds in the garden and clean up after their own dogs. These people will enjoy such vivarium chores. However, we understand that many of our clients are busy people, with neither the time nor desire to do such chores. Therefore, we offer maintenance services for all of our environments. (See “Maintenance Services”.)
Are you available for questions or assistance after you finish the installation?
Once you become a client, we are always available to talk with you, answer your questions and assist you in any way possible, for as long as you own your environment.
Can you provide regular service for these environments?
Yes. We offer several different levels of maintenance contracts at a very reasonable rate, as well as a concierge service. (See “Maintenance Service”.)
Do you guarantee your work?
Yes. We guarantee our work and either we, or our vendors, guarantee all equipment, materials, plants and animals against any defect that was pre-existing or due to any mistakes on our part. We also guarantee to protect the client against any damages to property that might occur as a result of our activities (thankfully, we have a perfect record of safety and efficiency). All guarantees will be specified in the contract.
Can you work with my interior designer, architect, contractor or builder to incorporate a specialty environment into my new design or remodel?
Yes. We can work with any of your other people to incorporate one of our beautiful, specialty environments into whatever project you are planning. Incorporating an environment such as a built-in vivarium or water wall is not unlike incorporating any other architectural/plumbing/electrical elements into a structure.
Can I have one of your built-in interior environments at any time or place?
Yes. However, it is obviously easiest to incorporate a built-in vivarium, water wall, planter, etc., as part of a new or remodel project. But if you want a nice, built-in environment in your current space, we can work with your architect or builder to make it happen.
What areas do you serve?
We are based in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs). Our primary service area is Southern California. However, we can install our environments anywhere, by special arrangement.