I want to tell you about what prompted this new blog. I had done a landscape design for a client that lives here only part time. They have a maintenance company taking care of the property when they are away. When we settled on the finale design and were ready to get started having the project bid out to a few different contractors, the homeowner suggested that that I include his landscaper in the bidding process. Adding someone’s landscape to my referral network is never a problem, however I sent him an email explaining not all landscapers are created equal. There is a difference between a landscape design and build company and a landscape maintenance company.
Landscape design and build companies are familiar with reading blueprints and actual construction. When I say construction I am referring to masonry, flat work, laying of pavers among other types of construction that are included in many landscape designs.
Now that is not to say that a maintenance company could not handle the project. All I am saying is that you should not assume that they are able to perform all the aspects in building a landscape project. You need to ask if landscape construction is part of their scope of work. Landscape design goes much further then irrigation repair and planting shrubs. In fact some landscape maintenance companies sub out the irrigation repair part of their work and concentrate solely on pruning, trimming and planting. I actually believe we should have a separate license for landscape maintenance companies and another for landscape design and build companies which would be similar to a general contractor’s license. Landscape design and build companies need to be able to handle everything from electrical to retaining walls to A Ramada. They need to be able to correct drainage issues.
I would expect a landscape maintenance company to be up on the latest chemical treatments and the most efficient power equipment. I would think they would be able to look at a property and figure out a plan to get them off the property quickly and leaving the job site looking pristine. These would be just a few of the reasons to pursue a landscape maintenance company.
I was recently speaking with my friend, Murray, about building a small retaining wall in his backyard. His wife, Sharron, is looking to dress up the yard a bit. Anyway, I suggested that he look into using Weston Wall that is manufactured by Belgard. I explained he would not need to build footer only level the area where the block would be placed. He also would not need to paint and stucco the wall. There would virtually be no maintenance once the wall was built. The worst case scenario is that he may need to burry one course. His first thought was to call the landscape maintenance company to have them build it. I told him that just because someone works for a company that the first word of the company name is “landscape” does not mean that they have the ability or experience to do this. I told him a residential landscape license does not permit a landscape contractor to build walls higher than three feet tall. That in itself should give you some insight into the knowledge needed in landscape construction. Even if you are going less than three feet tall I would want want to be sure the maintenance company is comfortable doing this and truly understand the building concept when using this type of material,