DIY Options vs. Professional Services
You likely have some basic lawn maintenance knowledge, but landscaping requires advanced skills, heavy equipment, and intense labor. Complicated landscaping projects, such as adding an irrigation system or fire pit, also require machinery and construction experience.
Small landscaping projects, such as adding flower beds or removing overgrown plants, can be easy projects to DIY. If you don't have basic lawn expertise or are planning a total yard overhaul, we recommend hiring a professional. Hiring a landscape architect or designer helps you avoid costly mistakes. Professionals have the knowledge and skills to elevate your outdoor living space, recommend cost-effective upgrades, and help you develop a plan for long-term maintenance.
Factors To Consider When Choosing an Baltimore Landscaping Company
Reputation and experience are important considerations when hiring a landscaping company, but you also want to ensure that your provider offers the services you need at a reasonable price. Consider the following factors when hiring a landscaping contractor.
Consider your lawn's needs when choosing a landscaping company. Some companies offer lawn care services—such as fertilizing, mowing, controlling weeds, pruning, and mulching—to help with yard health and maintenance. These companies often also provide pest control and tree removal services. Look for a full-service landscaper if you plan to do a full revamp of your yard or want to install elements such as fire pits, sprinkler or irrigation systems, or retaining walls. These providers specialize in outdoor designs and upgrades, including gardening, adding hardscapes, and landscaping rock projects. Some offer lawn maintenance services in addition to architectural and design services.
Licensing and Experience
Most landscapers have advanced training and certifications in various areas, such as outdoor design, lawn maintenance, and horticulture. Companies should hold the appropriate licensure from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. It may have the following certified staff members:
- 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 an excellent reputation and positive customer reviews. Read both negative and positive reviews on third-party review sites such as the Better Business Bureau to get a feel for how a company treats its customers. You want to avoid providers that have frequent mentions of unreliable customer service, delayed projects, or poor project results, or that have generally poor reviews.
Most landscaping and maintenance companies will have before and after photos of previously completed projects to showcase their work to potential customers. Ask to see the company's portfolio. You can specifically ask for photos of projects similar to yours, so you can see how your yard might look, and even get some inspiration.
Sustainability practices can include eco-friendly material options, waste management, and water conservation, and they're an important consideration when selecting a landscaper. Landscaping work shouldn't impact your existing vegetation. Additionally, your contractor should choose native plants, such as blue vervain, rough-stemmed goldenrod, and cardinal flower. Ask about sustainability practices for your project, and get recommendations for ways to reduce maintenance costs, waste, and water consumption.
You should request quotes from multiple companies to learn about services and pricing. Most companies conduct free consultations to review your outdoor space, offer recommendations, and go over project plans. You’ll receive a detailed quote outlining your project costs, including labor and materials. You may wish to use competing quotes to help negotiate a lower price.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Landscaping in Baltimore
What are warning signs of a bad landscaper?
What are the benefits of landscaping?
Are landscapers the same as gardeners?
What is a landscape designer?
How can I negotiate pricing with a landscaping company?
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