What Do I Do When My Sprinklers Are Leaking? »
If your sprinklers are geysering or are leaking, there are a few steps to take to mitigate these problems.
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If your sprinklers are geysering or are leaking, there are a few steps to take to mitigate these problems.
Trimming and removing trees can be dangerous, if not deadly. Learn how to stay safe and when to call a professional.
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CAUTION!!! Mr. Joseph Pina is the young owner of this company. Apparently he has a maid service as well. I hired Mr. Pina at the rate of $80/month (he charges an extra $20 if the month has 5 weeks instead of 4). This was much more than the $30/ month I was paying for basic mowing and sprinkler upkeep. Paying more - I expected more. I thought we were off to a good start - hired him to start just before the 4th of July. I let him know right away that I would set him up in my bill-pay for the monthly fees and projects. Although he had promised to send an invoice by mid-month, I went online and found his business address and set him up in my bill-pay. I eventually authorized him to remove some rocks from one area of my backyard to another for $200. That same Saturday, while he was still working - I went online and authorized an additional $20 for the month of July and a $200 payment (sent separately so I could keep track of my expenditures - without an invoice). I also advised that we would be away last week of July. While away, I checked voice messages and was surprised to receive a call from Mr. Pina stating that he had not received full payment and that this was causing him to be unable to pay his workers. Although I could understand anxiety of waiting for a check in the mail - however, I did not expect such a call for a payment that I sent in advance of receiving an invoice for. I thought this to be very poor customer relations and evidence that Mr. Pina and American Landscape are quite cash-poor if he has to rely on 1 customer's payment in order to pay his employee. I said as much in an email to Mr. Pina and canceled any further service based on his message and lack of tact -- but still wished him well with his business endeavor. I felt it was necessary to cancel the service so that he gets the message that he should pause and think before he does and says something to a potential good customer who wanted to give him extra projects including pay $80/$100 for regular yard maintenance in order to assist a young person who seems to be trying to get his act together. The end of story -- well it should have been. I am not glued to my email and so yesterday I had to check email for an expected message and what do I find -- text messages from Mr. Pina threatening that my email to him is proof that I owe him $200 for the rock clearing project and that his worker is a witness to the fact. HUH!!! When was there a dispute about me paying $200 for clearing the rocks? Never, he was just impatient because the bank did not send that payment as quickly as the other 2 payments he received from me. Additionally, Mr. Pina needs to understand that someone with over 15 years experience in civil litigation understands what a witness is and isn't. Mr. Pina -- again needs to learn to PAUSE -- in his youth in years and business and legal experience he is quite immature. I am sure that he means well -- but, he needs to know his customer and respect them appropriately. Although overall he did a good job with the projects I hired and PAID him for -- he needs to understand he is not that skilled in his craft where he can rub people the wrong way and expect to maintain a good rapport and gain new business. Once Again -- I bid Mr. Pina and his family good luck!
Thank you! They showed up on time, gave a very price friendly estimate, and did a professional job! Highly recommend.
Nature's beauty can be seen everywhere through landscape designs. Not everyone has a green thumb or the knowledge to coordinate a landscaping plan that's aesthetically pleasing and meets the unique needs of the property. Landscape contractors can help add curb appeal to the exterior of your home or strategize how plants should be laid out.
Generally, landscape contractors create or refurbish outdoor spaces by planting trees, lawns, shrubs and flowers, and constructing paths, decks and patios. These professionals will generally discuss client requirements, how the landscaped area will be used, and the client's preference for certain styles. After this initial meeting, landscapers will select the materials they need and start carrying out their construction and planting plans.
With the number and variety of properties that need landscaping services, it should come as no surprise that there are many different providers to choose from. In fact, there are nearly 500,000 active landscaping businesses in the U.S. This demand is driven by the continued growth in domestic housing markets. Steady disposable income has also been a major reason for households to outsource their yard care.
Landscaping contractors have a wide variety of techniques that they can use to spruce up your yard. Here are some of the most common landscaping attributes that you can find at most homes:
Homeowners and businesses may stray from annuals and biennials due to planning and costs associated with them - instead, look to fill your garden with perennials. These plants return every year, making them a budget-friendly option. You may choose to do a one-color floral garden or a combination of colorful perennials. Look at plants like allium, buddleia, coneflower, sage and veronica for inspiration when choosing perennials.
Homeowners can mix and match different kinds of trees to enhance their yard. Evergreens like spruce, magnolia, holly and firs keep their leaves year-round. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, have leaves that change color and fall off in colder months. Pair different types of trees together for ample yard coverage.
If you want to guide guests around your yard, try using pathways. You can dig shallow holes to make the stones flush with the ground, providing an appealing walkway. Pavers can also be arranged in geometric patterns to cover unused ground space or bare earth.
Landscape contractors can also build a structure that will enhance your yard. Perhaps you decide to put in a koi pond, or that you want to build out your patio. Landscape contractors have the knowledge, tools and design expertise to carry out these construction projects.
Homeowners and business managers should call landscaping contractors as these professionals have the tools and expertise to carry out jobs such as:
Planting Trees and Flowers
Landscapers are often called out to roll out sod as well as plant trees and flowers. These contractors have the design aesthetic to help you plan the best layout for your particular space. Landscapers can also tell you if certain plants aren't cut out for your climate. Not only will you get a beautiful yard, but you'll also have foliage that will last over the years.
Sprinkler systems are beneficial for a variety of locations, but many DIY irrigation projects can lead to incorrect installations. Some problems include poor-quality components, improper pipe sizing, too many sprinkler-heads per zone, and inadequate head spacing. These systems are difficult to install, and a DIYer can easily make mistakes. Landscape contractors can situate sprinklers methodically to maintain your plants and ensure that the irrigation system is set up correctly.
Building Retaining Walls
If you have a retaining wall or are putting one in, proper installation is crucial. Landscapers see issues like lack of proper base preparation, unattractive wall blocks, mitered cuts at corners and no drainage chimney installed behind the wall. To prevent your wall from crumbling, call a landscape contractor to construct one.
Besides putting in plants and trees, building decks and patios are the most common jobs for a landscape contractor. These professionals have the best materials and tools available to create the look that you desire. DIY projects can end with structurally unsound builds, requiring additional time and money to fix the issues. Good landscapers will ensure a solid result that melds with the rest of your landscape design.
Homeowners and contractors can draw a lot of inspiration from landscaping styles used all over the world. There are some limitations to your options, such as what plants you can use based on the climate you live in, how much space you have to work with and any homeowners-association compliance regulations. However, once you address these main areas, landscaping design is only as restricted as your imagination.
Many homeowners are starting to use the Mediterranean design style for their landscapes. This option is becoming popular around the world because it takes advantage of new varieties of palm trees and plants that conform to different climates. The diversity of this flora is what makes this approach so appealing.
Southwest Landscape Design
If you live in an arid region, this style is likely going to be the best choice for your landscaping. Using a mix of garden decor and plants, Southwest design aims to make the most of plants that retain water well and can handle dry, warm climates. Pathways, patios and lawn ornaments can help cover the space and complement available flora.
Japanese Garden Style
Japanese-style landscapes are known for providing a serene space. This design uses a number of techniques to make the area look bigger than it is and to create a calm, beautiful atmosphere.
No matter which style you choose, there are some main considerations that should go into your design. Homeowners need to anticipate equipment access needed to create a deck or patio, as some tools may be too big for the space. They will also want to start by choosing a focal point. It should stand out but still be connected to the rest of the landscape. Accenting your home with thoughtful plantings to highlight its features will add curb appeal and enhance its characteristics.
Landscape work is not cheap, so it's in your best interest to make sure that it's done to your requirements and that you get the best contractor to do the job. Consider these factors before hiring a contractor:
Every good contractor should have a list of recently completed jobs that you can see in their portfolio. They should also have a list of references that you can contact, or properties that you can see in person. Feedback from these sources can reveal necessary information about the quality of the contractor's work, dependability, responsiveness and capacity to carry out your particular project.
Certification and Memberships
Landscape contractors also should have relevant certifications from reputable programs, like Certified Landscape Technician. You should also ask for a list of professional activities, affiliations and awards to gauge interest in professional growth and commitment to excellence. Contractors may be part of the International Society of Arboriculture, The Irrigation Association and numerous other organizations that are committed to providing better training and education in the industry.
Homeowners should require that the contractor submit certificates verifying compliance with safety, insurance, workers' compensation and drug and alcohol testing programs. This will give you peace of mind that the contractor has gone through all the steps under industry regulations.
Pricing and Billing
Homeowners should know how much they'll need to pay for the contractor's service as well as how they will be billed for this work. Ask about any design fees, if quoted prices are fixed or estimates, and what the payment process will be. Clarifying these items in the beginning will prevent any surprise expenses.
States have different requirements regarding landscape-contractor operations. Check the specific regulations for your area, and verify that your contractor has the necessary licenses. These may include a state contractor's license, pesticide license, CDL driver's license and license to sell and purchase nursery stock. It's important to ensure that your landscape contractor complies with established rules before beginning your project.
When it comes to working with landscaping materials, safety must be the top priority. There is a wide range of services within the industry, many of which come with a risk of injury. Employers must conduct all required training in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand. Training must demonstrate the hazards of operating certain machinery, like stone cutters and splitters, as well as how to use them appropriately. It's important to verify that your landscape contractor has taken the necessary steps to fully train its personnel and that the appropriate safety precautions are in place.