If you’ve ever tried your hand at DIY landscaping projects, you’ll know that even the most simplistic of ideas can become a bit more than you bargained for. You sometimes wind up spending a bit more than you suspected you would, run into some technical hurdles, and don’t always produce the precise results you were intending. There can and likely will be complications.
The other option is to hire a professional landscaper to get your yard looking exactly the way you want it to look. But even going about the hiring process isn’t as easy as you thought it would be either. After all, if you were engaging in DIY projects you were likely doing so because of budget constraints.
The trouble is that there are too many amateur landscapers out there who are unqualified and make promises they can’t deliver on.
Why You Shouldn’t Settle with the Cheapest Quote for Landscaping
So how do you know which company to hire? The first red flag of who not to hire is the company who offers the cheapest services. Hiring cheap will all but ensure under-performing labor and inferior products. Not only will this leave you with a yard you didn’t want, but it will wind up still costing you in the long run.
It’s understandable you want the best possible price when it comes to big projects such as landscaping. But some questions are a matter of quality vs. quantity. As most things are in life: the lower the quantity in price, the lower the quality of service. As the saying goes, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
As one of your property’s most valuable assets, your yard will bear the burden of the expense – on top of your wallet. Not only that, but it makes it more difficult and complex for the professionals like our team at CF Landscaping when having to fix the mistakes and substandard work of unqualified amateurs.
Here are a few reasons why choosing low-cost services may not be wise.
How Cheap Quotes Could Impact Your Landscaping Projects
Hiring cheap labor for interlocking pavers may initially provide visually appealing results, but what might happen in a few years? The possibility of it sinking is high. The pavers will become uneven, fixed edge pavers may disappear, border pavers falling off, and puddles may gather when it’s wet.
Cheap prices means cutbacks on labor, materials, how much is dug out to create a firm base, and lack of compaction. There’s no easy way to solve interlocking issues without digging it all up and starting over.
Amateur sodders are likely to make mistakes as well. The ones who just roll it out and add water obviously don’t know what they’re doing. They also may forget to test the sprinkler system before installing it, because sprinkler issues discovered after sod is laid will prove difficult to manage.
Low-quality installers also mistake timing, waiting too long to install a highly perishable product and even installing it when on a hot day when the temperature heats up the ground. And, again, lowball labor means low-quality sod.
Likewise, if you hire a landscaper to handle snow removal during the winter, you want to make sure they’re insured and certified. If not, you may run into a lousy service that comes poorly equipped. It’s also likely they won’t secure the correct ice-melting products and salts that your safety depends on.
Even if they’ve procured the right salts, are they sustainable? Paying someone to damage the environment is something you’ll be paying to fix later on. And, as with any landscaper, communication is invaluable, especially during heavy snow seasons. Amateurs who can’t communicate properly shouldn’t be trusted.
Shoddy lawn care providers are also likely to scam you. They’ll provide over-the-phone estimates without ever visiting on-site to inspect your lawn. They also might just stick a lawn care treatment stake into your ground and call it a day, billing you later on for unauthorized services like applying fertilizer without a spreader or, worse, misdiagnosing lawn problems altogether.
And, as usual, poor communication, no guarantees or refund policy, nothing in writing, and too many upsells for service should be a warning that you’ll likely wind up with bare spots, weeds, diseases, and pests.
Tree trimming takes skill and dedication. It is no easy task. Amateurs may not know which limbs and branches to prune, how to prune without damaging the health of the tree, using climbing spikes to mount the tree, cutting too close to the trunk, and may wind up over-pruning – even chopping off the tree’s crown, also known as topping.
Timing is also essential with tree trimming. Certified arborists should be consulted to tell you when the timing is right to prune a tree. Believe it or not, certain species are susceptible to seasonal diseases, making them improper for pruning during those times.
This may seem like a relatively simple task, but you’d be surprised about the potential hazards of a low-quality leaf clean-up service. For example, they may not even know that excessive leaf buildup could threaten your lawn’s health, blocking the sunlight it needs.
And while it may seem odd, some amateurs still burn the leaves after pickup. Environmental hazards are one of the biggest issues with amateur leaf removers. They may not use the correct vacuum machines, let alone dispose of them properly.
Pricing and Other Red Flags
Chances are likely that if you compare bids from qualified landscapers, you’ll get estimates around the same ballpark figure. This lets you know three things: 1) what to expect in pricing and 2) that these companies are more likely to know what they’re doing 3) the outliers whose prices are so low they raise a red flag.
Ask yourself why their prices are so low. Or even ask them. Perhaps they cut corners in labor? Perhaps they’re able to save money by not having a trained staff or offering insurance? Do they not provide the general services of a typical professional landscaping company?
You want the best services money can buy. These don’t always go hand-in-hand. But in order to assure you’re getting what you’re paying for, take some actionable steps. A reputable company only uses the correct tools, quality materials, and experienced project managers and laborers. This will cost more, but the jobs will be done right.
Remember, reference pictures can be deceiving – go check out their work for yourself. Talk to those references too; they’ll be able to give you the rundown on what it was like to work with that company. Ask the landscapers about guarantees, warranties, insurance, certifications, and contacts. And most of all, educate yourself on what things generally cost. You’ll have better leverage when determining who to hire.
If you would like more information on services, guarantees, insurance, and certification for a landscaping professional in the Milton area, get in touch with the experts at CF Landscaping and let us make your house a home.