What To Look For In A Landscaper
Find out what common services are offered by landscapers, including maintenance and sprinkler installation. Learn how to find a landscaper near you.
For many homeowners, one of the perks of owning a house is having a yard. Decorating your yard is an excellent way to make your house stand out. If you want to make the most out of your yard, consider hiring a landscaper. Landscapers are outdoor experts, performing such tasks as planting flowers and plants, installing elaborate rock gardens and ponds as well as watering systems. Landscapers will also trim and prune your existing plants and check your yard for any potential plant diseases or insect problems.
You can either hire a landscaper for a one-off project or setup scheduled services. With a schedule, your landscaper comes by at the specified times to help with lawn maintenance. Landscapers are also available for more advanced projects, including setting up fences, installing playground equipment or setting up drainage systems. While most landscapers work outside, some landscapers will also work in a greenhouse or similar structure.
Benefits of Hiring a Landscaper
The biggest benefit of hiring a landscaper is experience. Many homeowners underestimate how difficult it is to care for a yard, especially if they are planning large projects. Landscapers not only use their experience to get the job done faster, but they also act as guides. Landscaping companies frequently bring portfolios, showing off previous jobs. This not only serves as an indicator of their quality, but also gives different ideas for what you can do with your yard. Because you are speaking with the landscaper before committing to a project, you also have plenty of time to save up and know exactly what you are getting into. Many solo homeowners end up getting overwhelmed after starting a project, either because of the difficulty or unexpected expenses.
It isn’t only experience that gives landscaper an edge. Landscaping companies have access to high quality tools. While these tools are not necessarily limited to landscapers, they are often too expensive for homeowners to purchase, especially if they are only needed for one or two projects. Some equipment is also bulky and difficult to store at home.
General Lawn Care
Even if you do not have any elaborate projects for your yard, you can hire a landscaping company to help with basic lawn care. The exact services may vary slightly depending on the landscaping company, but in most cases it includes mowing your lawn, trimming and watering your plants and shrubs and removing weeds or dead plants from your property. Shortly before winter, your landscaper will winterize your garden to keep it safe from colder temperatures. General lawncare typically costs between $50 to $100 per hour. If you are also installing new plants as part of the maintenance, there may be an additional $4 to $12 charge per square foot.
Installing a Sprinkler System
Another common service for professional landscapers is installing and maintaining automatic sprinkler systems. Sprinkler systems are great in areas with limited rainfall. Sprinkler systems are also good if you want total control over the irrigation in your yard. A common misconception is sprinklers use more water than traditional watering systems. However, sprinkler systems are highly customizable, giving you greater control over how much water is used in what areas. Thanks to advancements in smart sprinkler technology, there are also sensors to detect whether it has rained recently, allowing the sprinkler to adjust how much water is used.
Sprinkler systems save your time and take away the stress of maintaining a yard. With larger yards especially, it is easy to overlook certain areas. Many homeowners end up watering the sections closest to their homes, but rushing to finish off other areas, leading to irregular watering. A sprinkler system automates the process, ensuring your plants consistently receive all the water they need. It is also convenient if you are ever away from your home for a long period, allowing you to take vacations without having to ask a friend or neighbor to take over watering duties.
The cost of installing a sprinkler system largely depends on the size of the sprinkler and where it is located. Underground systems are typically less expensive upfront, but there may be additional costs to dig a trench during the installation. With services, most landscapers charge between $1,700 to $2,500 for an underground system. An above ground sprinkler is easier to install and typically has more advanced smart options, but has a higher upfront cost. On average, it is between $2,200 and $2,700.
If you only need a sprinkler for a small section of your yard, such as a garden or flowerbeds, the costs are significantly lower. Landscapers refer to these areas as zones. Setting up a small sprinkler in a zone costs closer to $500 or $600 per zone.
If your yard was previously damaged in a storm or you want to start fresh, you can install new grass in your yard. While it is possible to grow your own grass, it is a slow process that makes months to see any results. It is much faster to hire a landscaper to install new sod. Installing sod requires soil preparation, as well as using the correct materials to speed up growth and promote healthier grass.
Selecting a Landscaper
One of the most effective ways to find a landscaper is through word of mouth. If you are happy with the look of a friend or neighbor’s yard, ask if they use a professional service. Many landscapers also advertise their services around the areas they work. If a yard catches your eye, check to see if there are any nearby signs advertising the landscaping service. Even if you are impressed with a landscaper’s portfolio, take the time to speak with the company and explain your needs.
If you are new to the neighborhood or having trouble getting recommendations, there are a number of online sites you can search for local landscaping services. Some of the most popular sites include:
If you find a promising contractor from one of these sites, make sure to do additional research on the company. Look for a company website, which should include a list of reviews and a portfolio of previous projects.