Looking for A Landscaper? Here’s What You Need To Know
From Type to Technique, Everything To Know To Find The Perfect Landscaper For You
San Diego Landscapers
Great landscaping is something for which every homeowner strives. But it’s much more than curb appeal, a green lawn and a picket fence; it’s a declaration of your style outdoors and a natural space that you will interact with nearly as much as your home. The landscape is one of the first thing anyone notices about a house, and it’s why great front yards and gardens or beautiful back patios can significantly increase a property’s value. But while some are turned off by the cost of a landscaper, not everything can be DIY. When it comes to hiring a professional who can turn your visions into reality, here are a few tips to make sure you find the perfect one.
First of all, there are a few different kinds of landscapers and it’s important to know which one you’ll need for your project before you start making calls.
-Landscape Architect/Designer: The architect or designer is the person who will plan the layout, structure and function of your landscape if you’re planning a full renovation. Communicate with your architect/designer about how you plan to use your space and what kinds of vegetation you’re looking for. It’s also important to discuss your budget with the architect, so he or she can create a unique and personal design that’s also cost effective.
-Landscape Contractor: The contractor and his team will implement the architect’s design, creating softscapes (adding and removing soil, planting trees and vegetation) as well as installing hardscapes (stone or brick paths and patios, fences, water features, outdoor fireplaces, pergolas, etc.).
-Maintenance Landscaper: Maintenance is vital for a beautiful landscape, but most maintenance companies do not perform construction or actual planting. These landscapers typically take care of cutting the grass, pulling weeds and checking the general health of your gardens. You’ll want to call a maintenance landscaper once the major project is finished to regularly keep up your new lawn and landscape.
When looking for the right landscaper, don’t be afraid to do some research and make a few calls! It’s good to know who’s going to be tearing up your yard—you want to find someone you trust to put it back together in a way that will suit your personal style, your home’s architecture and your neighborhood.
Check that your landscaper is certified by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. This distinction is recognized throughout the industry and certifies that a person has met the professional standards upheld by the council.
-Bachelor or Master in Landscape Architecture: A degree is usually required for entry into the profession, and it certainly helps with credibility.
-License for Landscape Contractors: Make sure your contractors are licensed and obtain the proper permits for operating heavy machinery, removing trees, building and demolishing, as well as digging. If you are part of a homeowner’s association, be sure to provide your contractor with any additional rules and regulations about landscaping.
-Professional Arborist or Horticulturist: Some companies have arborists and horticulturists on staff, but if not, you may want to seek one out separately. Arborists are experts on trees and can provide valuable information about tree health, plus advise on which trees are best to plant in your area and where they will function the best. Similarly, horticulturists are experts on plants and can be extremely useful for determining the vegetation for your landscape.
Perhaps one of the most important factors in customer satisfaction is finding a landscaper who can bring your vision to life. Ask for photos of previous work so you can get a feel for the kind of space your landscaper can create. Ask if a landscape company specializes in anything, like low-maintenance gardens or hardscaping, and pick the best one for your vision. If you’re planning multiple special features, it could be costly to work with several specialty companies. Consider all-in-one landscapers that can design, plan, hardscape, softscape and maintain to save a little time, money and headache.
Cost is the biggest thing to factor into your choice in a landscaper. When choosing a company, be upfront with your budget. The architect and contractor can better create the best look for the money when they have a number to work with. You can also speak with your landscaper about doing the work in parts, which can spread out the cost of a landscape renovation over time and ease a tight budget.
It’s okay to ask questions and get specific, too. Ask exactly how far your dollar goes by comparing services: what will $500 buy you from this landscaper? How about $5,000? You can also try creating a list of ideas to implement in your yard, then go over the estimated cost of each one. By prioritizing, you’re making sure to stay within budget while getting the most out of your landscaper. Plus, you and your landscaper can use the list to build a timetable for completion of the project.
Even when the project is finished, work isn’t done. Part of picking a good landscaper is knowing that the cleanup and maintenance is taken care of. Make sure to find someone who can dispose of removed trees and old landscaping debris if necessary, as well as yard waste like clippings and dirt.
Be sure to ask your landscaper about the best maintenance routine for your new yard. Maintenance goes well beyond sprinklers on the lawn and dragging out the mower every two weeks. Your landscaper can best advise fertilization schedules, when to re-mulch, tree care, handling weeds and getting the best blooms from your flowers. If you plan to perform the upkeep yourself, ask for a detailed list of maintenance routines. Or if dirt and worms aren’t your thing, see if the company does maintenance landscaping as well. Hiring maintenance is the easiest way to keep your landscape looking pristine all year long.
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