DIY Options vs. Professional Services
Most homeowners have a basic level of lawn maintenance knowledge. However, landscaping necessitates more advanced skills. Large projects may require heavy equipment and intense labor. Complicated projects such as fire pits or irrigation systems need additional machinery and construction expertise.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) landscaping can be good for smaller projects, such as removing overgrown plants or adding a flower bed. However, you should hire a professional landscaper if you’re doing a total yard overhaul or don’t have basic lawn expertise. Professional landscape designers and architects have the proper knowledge and skill set to elevate your outdoor space. They help you choose the most cost-effective upgrades and create long-term plans for landscape maintenance. Contractors that offer lawn care services can help you improve your yard health, and you'll avoid making costly mistakes doing it on your own.
Factors To Consider When Choosing an Portland Landscaping Company
Selecting the right landscaper depends on several factors, such as your service needs, your budget, and the company’s experience. Keep the following considerations in mind when hiring a landscaping contractor.
Have an idea of what services you need before choosing a company. Some companies provide lawn care services that focus on yard health and maintenance. These services may include pruning, mulching, mowing, controlling weeds, and fertilizing. Many also offer 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 sprinkler or irrigation systems, fire pits, or retaining walls. These providers specialize in outdoor designs and upgrades, including landscaping rock projects, adding hardscapes, and gardening. Some offer lawn maintenance services in addition to architectural and design services.
Licensing and Experience
Most landscapers are trained and certified in various areas, such as lawn maintenance, outdoor design, and horticulture. Your provider should hold the appropriate licensure from the Oregon Landscape Contractors 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 with good customer reviews. You can check third-party review sites like the Better Business Bureau to verify that a company has a good reputation and provides a positive customer experience. Try to avoid companies with largely negative reviews, including reviews that frequently mention unreliable customer service, delayed projects, or poor project results.
Most landscaping and maintenance contractors proudly share their completed projects with potential customers. Ask the company for its portfolio of landscaping projects and designs. They may also provide before and after pictures to show the quality of their work. Ask about finished landscape designs similar to your project to get an idea of how it will look.
Sustainability is an important consideration both during and after a landscaping project. Ask your landscaper about its best practices for water conservation, waste management, and eco-friendly material options; you can also ask for maintenance recommendations. Landscapers should choose native plant life (such as evening primrose, red columbine, and beach strawberry) when planting new vegetation, and they shouldn't allow their work to affect your existing vegetation.
Homeowners should request quotes from multiple companies to learn about pricing and services. 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 materials and labor. You may wish to use competing quotes to help negotiate a lower price.
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Portland Lawn Care FAQ
What are some warning signs of a bad landscaping company?
Some warning signs of a bad landscaping company include no formal contract, lack of proper licensing, numerous negative reviews, and lack of professionalism. Homeowners should also question companies that use high-pressure sales tactics or have poor communication. In addition, avoid companies that request payment up front before completing the work.
What are the benefits of landscaping?
Some benefits of landscaping include improving your home's curb appeal and increasing your property value. Landscaping can also enhance your quality of life by adding more natural beauty to your home.
Are landscapers the same as gardeners?
No, landscapers are not the same as gardeners. Landscapers improve the look of your yard by incorporating architectural elements, outdoor features, and plant life to create an outdoor living space. Gardeners focus only on maintaining your garden or plants.
What is a landscape designer?
Landscaper designers review, plan, and design outdoor living spaces that enhance your property both functionally and aesthetically. These designs may include garden plants, hardscape elements (such as walksways), or decorative upgrades. A landscape designer collaborates with a landscape artist to construct the final design.
How can I negotiate a price with a landscaping company?
Be sure to get quotes from multiple companies before negotiating a better price. Detailed quotes should include breakdowns of materials, labor, and fees. Lay out your budget during your initial consultation and be prepared to compromise on certain aspects if financially necessary. If you can’t negotiate a lower price, ask about payment plans to make your project more affordable.
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