Landscaping in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County, California)
8 Steps to Successfully Hiring a Landscaping Contractor
The objective of this guide is simple: To provide you, in a few minutes of reading, the information that will help you ask the right questions and do the proper research before hiring a landscaping company so that you have the best experience possible, and achieve the best possible results for your landscaping project.
The original reason I wrote this is also a simple one: As a fellow Sonoma County resident, I wanted to help others avoid some of the pitfalls that I’ve run into in the past with the landscaping work I’ve had done on my own property. Essentially, I’ve put together the guide I wish had existed when I first started out!
The 8 Steps You Must Take When Working With Santa Rosa Landscaping Contractors
1. Write a description of the work you want the landscaping contractor to perform so that you can effectively communicate the concept behind and details of your project. Be sure to include details such as: preferred kinds of vegetation (plants, flowers, trees), color schemes, rocks, sprinklers, fountains, etc. Make sure you include information about any existing irrigation systems, weed problems, climate issues, and current vegetation, animal and pest issues you have.
2. Determine your budget. As they say, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Therefore, to prevent your project from suffering cost overruns and generally running away with your pocketbook, be sure to have a firm budget in place before you begin interviewing landscapers. This step might seem obvious, but it is amazing how many people go into these types of projects with no idea how much they are willing to spend at the outset.
3. Find out what is and isn’t covered, and how long any guarantees remain in effect. Ask if the company provides any kind of warranties/guarantees on the work they perform (i.e. what if a tree they plant dies a week after being planted, or a rock wall they built falls apart a month later?) and if so, if there are any restrictions or conditions for said guarantee, and what period the guarantee will remain in effect after the work is complete.
4. Ask the company to provide a written plan and/or contract. Prior to making any agreement, have the landscape contractor, designer, and/or architect prepare the details in writing. This plan should include at the very least the overall design, plant material to be used, all costs, a time table and the terms of payment (you have the right to amend the contract later on through change orders).
5. Know which services are provided in ongoing maintenance. Ongoing maintenance is necessary in order to protect your investment. You can do it, or you can ask the company to do the work. Generally, ongoing maintenance involves mowing, fertilizing, pest control, among other services.
6. Tell the company if you want to care for areas of the landscape yourself. Once your new landscape is installed, you may wish to become more involved as a homeowner by maintaining the landscape yourself. If you want to care for certain landscaped areas, tell this to the company in advance and make sure that you get all of the information you need from them to properly maintain the landscape after they’re gone.
7. Look at similarly priced work. Though you may not have the trained eye of an expert, viewing the landscaper’s past work may save you regrets — and money — later on. Ask them to show you what they’ve done for the same price as your estimate. It’s easy for a landscaper to do a poor job, such as with drainage, get paid, and then leave before the home owner realizes his or her property won’t drain properly. Taking a look at the landscaper’s past work will help you assess risk and make the right decision.
8. Don’t pay until the job is done. Some landscapers will ask for a sizable down payment before the job is started, but you should be cautious before handing over any money. I wouldn’t think highly of landscapers who ask for a big down payment, especially on small jobs. Even for larger jobs, you should probably pay no more than 20 percent of the total job. If the company claims they need money to get the job started, then something is probably not right.
In general, it’s important to ask as many questions as you can, and ultimately, that you feel completely comfortable with your landscaper. This is particularly true if you’re planning a big (read: costly) job. So be patient, ask all the questions you need to ask, do your research….and good luck!
Ninja Web Media is a group of web entrepreneurs, video marketing experts, podcasters, and authors who has authored numerous books, magazine articles, audio podcasts, videos, and ebooks designed to help individuals and businesses. Their latest eBook guide, “The 10 Minute Guide to Hiring the Right Landscaper for YOU” is available at: http://www.landscapingsantarosa.com
By Ylliab Photo on 2014-06-28 16:32:37
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How to prepare for laying pavers. Laying pavers preparation.
Started on a concrete paver project you want to carefully lay out an area to
0:03excavate the six inches larger in each direction when you’re finished patio or
0:07sidewalk to check the corners Foursquare we measured diagonally across the space
0:13if the two diagonals of the same four corners are square and before we do any
0:18digging we have the utility companies to mark the locations of any underground
0:22pipes are wires once everything is staked out we begin to dig we’re using a
0:27sod cutter to give a nice clean edge that we need to go down at least seven
0:31inches this leaves right in my room for the four inch base away or sand in the
0:37papers themselves the most important thing about the digging we’re doing here
0:40is that we’re trying not to disturb the dirt at the bottom of the hole this is
0:44called skimming in other words what we don’t want to do is to have loose dirt
0:49at the bottom is after the patio was built up a little and we might end up
0:53with a dick in the patio the patio of this size we could dig the whole thing
0:58out by hand but we’ve decided to bring a contractor for the real heavy digging if
1:03your ex career doesn’t deal much with paper installations you’ll want to be
1:07real specific about what you want probably the most important thing just
1:11like when we were handing it to scrape all the dirt without disturbing the
1:15ground underneath if he goes to deep don’t let them try to fill it back in
1:18and smooth it out however morning into a typical problem here at Spring and it’s
1:23been kind of rainy here for the past couple of days so the soil is soft and
1:27spongy and the bottom excavations getting kinda messy make up for this
1:32ongoing start bringing some the base material into the area the base material
1:36will start to solidify the soft wet soil this way you’ll be able to drive the
1:40Bobcats through the area without leaving big trucks
1:44the base material doesn’t start being effective until spent compacted so I’m
1:50running the compactor over it now hopefully what this is doing is compact
1:54and the base material and helping the soil underneath to settle you see the
1:58house is only about four years old and that there were working on may not have
2:01had enough time to sell any time you uncovered you run the risk it suddenly
2:05decide it’s time to settle that’s why we’re come packing it now it’s
2:10especially important to compact the soil along the side of the house what happens
2:13next to the house is that the overhang of the roof has kept the ground they’re
2:17getting what satellite also in this part of the country the ground right next to
2:21the house may never freeze up during the winner that’s because it’s being kept
2:25warm by the heat from the basement and its freezing and thawing that helps
2:28underground went to the compactor for three days and it’s costing us about a
2:32hundred thirty bucks will use this to contact the base material and to set the
2:37papers your last step make sure you get 425 horsepower compactor
2:42smaller just isn’t going to cut it this compact vibrates to frequencies the
2:46low-frequency high for setting impacting the base material later switched over to
2:52the high frequency low for setting the compact in the papers in the sand now we
2:57check the area for two things
2:59flatness and slope we’ve got a long straight to buy stakes we slide this
3:03around to find any hopes or deaths
3:07if we scrape off or fill any areas we make sure to contact them before we move
3:12on to the next step to check for the rights law grade we put a two inch leg
3:19on the end of it
3:20eight-foot to buy six this is the great we want the bottom one inch drop for a
3:25restore see the greatest right on the top of the board will be level
3:40stabilized but before we do that we should add so we snapped a chalk line
3:50here along the foundation for news magic marker make a little bit more permits it
3:54one of these for letting me when the base material covers the line you can
3:58see how much we’ve got a contact hitter or break it up sometime this one last
4:05thing we want to do before we spread out the main lode of base material this is
4:09called geotextile fabric if there’s any movement in the soil under the patio the
4:15fabric will actually help hold up the base and the patio so once this is in
4:20will start putting in the base material on top of the fabric should go up the
4:25side of the excavation you’ll need to slice it to get to lay flat at the
4:29corners also run a little bit up the side of the house in taking place this
4:34will help protect the sighting in places where you may need to make a scene make
4:38sure you overlap the pieces by at least
4:44this material probably has to be just a little bit WEP sometimes it’ll come off
4:49the truck just fine
4:50other times will be a little bit too what are the times will be to dry a good