DIY Options vs. Professional Services
Many homeowners have basic lawn maintenance knowledge, but landscaping needs more advanced skills. Completing a full-scale landscaping project requires heavy equipment and intense labor. More complex elements, such as irrigation systems or fire pits, require construction and machinery expertise.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) landscaping works for smaller projects, such as adding a flower bed or removing overgrown plants. However, you should hire a professional landscaping contractor if you’re doing a total yard overhaul or lack basic lawn expertise.
Professional landscape architects and designers have the skills to elevate your outdoor space and the knowledge to create a long-term maintenance plan. A local professional can explain the most cost-effective upgrades, and one who offers lawn care services can enhance your yard health. Hiring a professional also prevents costly DIY mistakes.
Factors To Consider When Choosing an Santa Cruz Landscaping Company
Reputation and experience are important considerations for selecting a landscaper, but you also want to ensure that your provider offers the services you need at a reasonable price. Consider the following factors when shopping for landscaping contractors.
You should assess your landscaping needs before selecting a company. If you want assistance with yard health and maintenance, look for one that offers lawn care services. These services may include mowing, controlling weeds, mulching, pruning, and fertilizing. Some companies offer additional pest control and tree removal services.
Plan to hire a full-service landscaping company if you're adding new outdoor elements (such as a fire pit) or planning a revamp of your entire yard. These providers specialize in outdoor designs and upgrades, such as landscaping rock projects, gardening, and adding hardscapes. They can also help install retaining walls, sprinkler or irrigation systems, fire pits, and other architectural elements. Some even offer lawn maintenance services.
Licensing and Experience
Most landscapers are trained and certified in areas like horticulture, lawn maintenance, and outdoor design. Your provider should hold the appropriate licensure from the California Contractors State Licensing Board. It might also employ the following certified professionals:
- Certified fertilization or pesticide specialists
- Licensed arborists
- Licensed horticulture specialists
- Licensed or certified landscaping designers or architects
Reputation and Reviews
Look for a contractor who has a good reputation and positive customer reviews. Check both positive and negative reviews on third-party review sites such as the Better Business Bureau in order to get a feel for how a company treats its customers. Avoid companies that have frequent mentions of unreliable customer service, poor project results, or delayed projects, or that have overall poor reviews.
Most landscaping and maintenance companies are happy to share their completed projects with potential customers. Ask to see a portfolio of your provider's landscaping designs and projects. They might also have before and after pictures to show off their quality work. Request finished landscape designs similar to your planned project to get an idea of how it will look.
Ask your landscaping contractor about their sustainability practices, such as water conservation, eco-friendly material options, and waste management. Your provider should be able to explain its own sustainability practices and give you recommendations for sustainable maintenance, such as how to reduce cost, water consumption, and waste. When planting vegetation, your landscaper should select plants native to your area, such as evening primrose, red columbine, and beach strawberry. Any work they complete shouldn't impact your existing vegetation.
You should request quotes from multiple companies to learn about pricing and services. Most companies offer free consultations to review your outdoor space, offer recommendations, and discuss project plans. You’ll receive a detailed quote outlining your project costs, including labor and materials. You may wish to use competing quotes to negotiate a lower price.
Landscaping Costs in Santa Cruz
Landscaping typically costs $36–$54 per hour in Santa Cruz, depending on project type and size. Simple tasks, such as mowing or gardening, are less expensive than major yard work, such as resodding. Pricing can depend on your chosen materials. For a bigger yard, your provider might charge by the acre. Large or complex projects require more labor, which will increase the total price. Here's the average cost of different landscaping services:
|$12,847 - $17,130
|$2,716 - $3,621
|$461 - $2,766
|$28 - $138
|$92 - $1,844
|$242 - $403
|$46 - $55
|$35,032 - $92,188
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Frequently Asked Questions About Landscaping in Santa Cruz
What are some warning signs of a bad landscaping company?
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Is a landscaper the same as a gardener?
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How do I negotiate pricing with a landscaping company?
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