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The Ultimate Landscaper Guide

Knowing how important a garden can be, it can get pretty interesting when you are faced with a landscaping project without any expertise whatsoever. Landscaping is an art on its own as there are so many elements to take into account.

What’s more, you might find yourself in a situation where either there are no professional landscape services near you, or you don’t have the budget to pay for those services. Whatever the reasons might be, it is always interesting to learn something new every day, especially something as exciting as landscaping.

That’s why in this article we will broaden your horizons by bringing you the ultimate guide to landscaping. You will know what you need to tackle any landscape project you may have ahead of you. We also guarantee that you will have a lot of fun during the process, so keep on reading.

Back to The Basics

We start by asking what the ultimate purpose of a landscaper is. Basically, a landscaper’s field of action covers up any outside green corner. This means any outdoor place with plants, bushes, trees or any natural element can be a landscaper’s business.

Once you’re clear on what the purpose of a landscaper is, let’s explain some basic things when deciding to take on any landscape project. However, there’s no absolute obligation on following each and every principle, yet these will help you better materialize your unique and creative ideas.

Your design should aim for unity: even though you’re allowed to put notable elements in your landscaping projects, everything should have a certain consistency towards a specific topic or shape. That’s why repeating these elements throughout your landscape will help to give a better global view and understanding of what your project is all about.

The type of elements in your design can add up to create that unity: General characteristics of the elements such as height, texture, color or material can make or break a landscape’s sense of unity. Therefore, those should also be consistent and be repetitive in order to enhance the space as a whole, rather than having just a bunch of senseless stuff put together.

Pick a theme: If you’re not quite sure what the theme should be, you can take a look at your own interests. Find something you’re truly passionate about that can help you determine what the theme should be. This is also key to creating both unity and harmony within the landscape as all the elements will share that theme in common.

Landscaping Vs. Gardening

At this point, you might wonder if there’s any difference between a landscaper and a gardener. I mean both are outdoor workers, both works with natural elements and both seem to have the same knowledge to enhance a garden, a lawn or any kind of place with mother nature elements.

So, in order to clarify that, we are going to start by pointing out the basic definitions that make one different from the other.

In the scope of things, the main difference between a landscaper and a gardener lies in how much work they can actually take. While the gardener is only qualified to work with already built landscape areas, a landscaper has the expertise to start it all from scratch.

In other words, in the qualification part, the gardener in certain cases does not require a license to operate, while the landscaper might need a range of licenses to build up whatever type of landscape. However, there’s no need to worry. As long as your landscaping project doesn’t involve creating a yard from scratch or installing a lawn or a gazebo, you can still materialize your landscaping ideas with no problem.

Pursuing A Certification

In the case that you might be considering pursuing landscaping as a career, it might actually not be a bad idea at all, as there are many programs available out there that teaches you all you need to know to operate and start a landscaping business.

They also offer landscape certification, which enables you to have professional credentials amongst your clients. Moreover, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, landscaping has grown a total of 18% over the past decade, with an average pay of $11.00 per hour.

 

Benefits of Landscaping

Many are the benefits of landscaping, the most obvious being:

  • Environmental cleaners
  • Natural coolants
  • Better air quality
  • Noise reduction

However, there are also not so noticeable elements that get benefited by the presence of natural landscapes such as:

  • Lower crime rate: The presence of mother nature calls us home each time we come across her. This got reflected in a 2010 study of the U.S. Forest Service where neighborhoods with more large trees on them, tend to have reduced crime rates in comparison with places without those kinds of trees.
  • Better health: Not only do our lungs get better but natural landscapes have shown considerate improvements on: headaches, blood pressure, mental health
  • Better concentration: Attention and memory also improve through the presence of nature. A study made by the University of Michigan is there to prove it.
  • Commerce and labor increase: That’s what a research conducted by The University of Washington shows. Not only do more people want to buy in natural landscape areas, but people also prefer to work there as well. The same research shows a 7% increase in rental rates for commercial green offices.
  • Better life quality: Overall, we are happier because we get less stressed out and therefore, we get sick less. This allows us to have a better life quality that in concrete jungles.

Types of Landscaping

First, we need to understand that there are two different kinds of landscapers.

Landscape architect: Creates the landscape from scratch and supervises the landscape construction

Landscape builder: Builds the landscape and gets supervised by the landscape architect

From there, there are different styles of landscaping projects a landscaper can take that depends on the type of work, material, and efficiency. Those landscaping types can be:

  • Traditional landscaping
  • Sustainable landscaping
  • Lawn Mowing Maintenance
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Sod installation
  • Hydroseeding
  • Weeding, fertilizer
  • Pest control
  • Interiorscaping
  • Subcontract design work

So, if you’re the owner who is looking for some landscaping work on your garden or lawn, find out what kind of work you want.
How to Choose the Perfect Landscaper

If you have decided that the landscape project you want to do is way beyond your level of expertise, you can hire a landscape contractor.

There are many landscape agencies out there in North America like St. Albert in Canada which offers a top-quality service in any landscaping task you choose to take on.

However, the process on how to select the best landscape contractor for you starts with:

  1. Define your goals: Write them down or draw them on a piece of paper. This way you’ll better know what kind of expert you’ll need to get the job done.
  2. Check the professional: This means to be sure the contractors are properly licensed, in case you live in a place where being legal truly matters. If not, ask for credentials that justifies their professionalism and the ability to perform well.

The hiring process starts: This will be discussed in the following section.

  1. Hiring a Professional Landscaper: Once you’ve decided which kind of landscaper you want for your project, you start looking for them. First, start asking for referrals. Call your friends or neighbors in order to ask for a reliable landscaper, or look for local contractors in the following places:
    1. Craigslist
    2. Local nurseries
    3. Hunt for new landscape venues
  2. Start the interview process: make sure to ask questions related to the following topics:
    • . Experience in Landscaping
  1. Experience in Project Managing
  2. Working Style
  3. Third parties (subcontractors)
  4. “Know-How” Knowledge
  5. Warranties
  6. Maintenance
  1. Hold a discussion: talk more in depth with the professional about the kind of work you’re looking for, how long and the final price. This way you have a better notion of the level of expertise these landscapers hold as well as their values and ethics.
  2. Select the right professional: take your time to scroll down every candidate response and also use your intuition in order to know which one of them you trust more, and you would feel more comfortable working with.

Once the selection is done, proceed to establish the agreements. In this stage, you’re still on time to back out before the hiring process comes full-circle. So, take a last look at the landscaper’s portfolio and see if it is really the person you want on board with you to finalize your house.

Knowing the Costs

The cost of a landscape project will vary from one place to another and it will depend on how complex and large your project is going to be. According to the site homeadvisor.com, here are the general prices of the most solicited landscaping projects.

An average homeowner spends between $1,427.00 to 5,307.00 USD on landscaping projects.

Now here is a list of the estimated costs per project. We did not include all the projects listed, however, we show you the most expensive ones, so you get an estimate of how much is invested in these particular projects.

  • Project: Build a Patio Enclosure
  • Price: $16,187.00 USD

 

  • Project: Landscape Installation
  • Price: $3,261.00 USD

 

  • Project: Deck Building
  • Price: $7,116.000 USD

 

  • Project: Deck Repairing
  • Price: $1,597 USD

 

  • Project: Sod Installation
  • Price: $1,817.00 USD

 

  • Project: Patio/ Pathway Installation
  • Price: $3,688.00 USD

 

  • Project: Build a Gazebo
  • Price: $6,466.00 USD

Starting Your Own Landscaping Business

If you happen to be a licensed landscaper yourself, you might be considering taking the next step in your career. You might consider starting your own landscaping business, which might be a great idea if you take into account the following principles:

The business runs by seasons: Yes, we are talking about the four seasons, this means that you need to save and get as much work done before winter time. In winter you can be offering services like snow plumbing or gutter cleaning, so you keep your earnings going.

Take extra care of your equipment: Without it, you will get into serious trouble to get the job done. Avoid that by giving your tools proper cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis.

Fix your prices: Know how much you should charge by square foot before even going into detail with estimates. Take your time on this as the landscaping industry might be heavily competitive in your area and being overpriced on your services can knock you out of the game immediately. So, price carefully.

Get good at estimating your works worth: Clients want to be certain on how much money it is going to cost paying you. That’s why you should have pre-fixed estimates on your lists that can help the clients to better estimate that, before even going on a more detailed budget. The combination of certainty and speed is what eventually keeps you on top.

Landscape Evaluation

This is basically the final, yet one of the most important parts of the process. Once the landscape has been built, a visual assessment must be set, in order to check that the whole unity is in harmony.

However, being the icing on the cake, sometimes the process can be confusing, as these assessments often rely on the subjective vision of the perceiver rather than in more objective measurable ways.

Nonetheless, it is important to find an evaluation process that is non-bureaucratic in order to properly assess and deliver real value to the construction.

This is a guest post from https://terranovaalberta.ca/

About the Author Sarah Fahnest

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