Getting a proposal for landscape services can be confusing if it’s hard to read and follow. Landscape contractors use different techniques and language to describe services they provide and prices can vary from one proposal to another. If you’re thinking about landscape services for your home, your proposal needs to be clear so you can accurately assess landscape prices in Bergen County.
If you’re considering landscaping services, you may want to get at least three proposals before you decide on a landscaping company. However, it is important to hire a professional service with someone who is knowledgeable, reputable, dependable and available to perform the work you need done for your home.
To get individual proposals that are easier to compare to each other, each company should be quoting on the same services. If you get three proposals back with a multitude of different services, there’s no way you will be able to compare services and prices. It will make your job of hiring the best landscape contractor nearly impossible. When you discuss your landscape needs with contractors, make sure you give each one the same set of needs to ensure comparable landscape prices in Bergen County.
Clarifying Landscape Services
A professional landscape contractor can handle a variety of jobs related to your landscape needs. They provide basic landscape maintenance services as well as design/build services. When you talk to landscaping contractors, clarify the services they offer and the services you need so you can understand and compare the proposals you receive.
- Design Concepts – A landscape contractor can create a design concept for your entire property and provide free-hand drawings or computer-generated images for design layouts. They can make recommendations based on your existing lawn conditions, soil, grass, drainage, sun and shade exposure, existing plants and any existing landscape problems.
- Budgets – A professional landscape contractor can help you develop a budget that meets you landscape needs. He can recommend ideas based on your budget. When you agree on the final design concept and budget, he can provide more accurate landscape prices in Bergen County.
- Materials – Professional landscape contractors have extensive knowledge of horticulture and landscaping costs. They understand necessary growth requirements and planting conditions for different landscapes and climates. This knowledge is extremely valuable in determining accurate landscape prices in Bergen County for your home.
- Design/Build Services – A full-service landscape contractor can design and build various home features to enhance your home and property. With design/build services, they are knowledgeable about building materials like stones, pavers, brick, tiles, woods and metals used for outdoor landscaping features, such as:
- Swimming pools, outdoor spas and hot tubs.
- Backyard ponds.
- Outdoor fountains and waterfalls.
- Outdoor patios and terraces.
- Outdoor kitchens.
- Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits.
- Outdoor walkways and pathways.
- Outdoor privacy fences.
- Outdoor landscape lighting.
- Retaining walls.
- French drains.
- Landscape Maintenance – If your existing landscape is beautiful as is, you may just need basic landscape maintenance services. The landscape prices in Bergen County will be much less for basic maintenance services alone. Typical maintenance services can include:
- Spring and fall yard cleanups.
- Lawn mowing and edging.
- Getting rid of weeds.
- Cleaning driveways and walkways.
- New planting and mulching.
- Pruning trees and shrubs.
- Organic lawn care.
- Lawn renovations.
- Irrigation systems.
Your proposals for landscape prices in Bergen County will vary based on the services you need for your home. It’s important to clarify the services that are offered by each contractor to make sure they can provide the services you need for your northern New Jersey home.
Determine the services you need and discuss them with your contractor. Be specific with your needs to eliminate confusion on your proposals. If you accurately state your needs, proposals should come back to you outlining specific services and prices. This will make the proposals much easier to read, understand and compare.
Ask your contractor to break the proposal down with separate costs for materials, labor and installation. With basic landscape maintenance services, your proposal should be quite simple to read. If you plan to add design/build features, make sure costs are clearly defined. If you want to do several projects, ask your contractor to give you a separate proposal for each project.
Reading Your Proposal
If your proposal is broken down, it will be easier to understand and compare services and prices to other proposals.
- Materials – Materials for landscaping can include new sod or seed, new trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, mulch, bark, fertilizer, potting soil and plant nutrients. If you’re adding design/build features, materials can include building materials like stone, wood, tile, brick, metal, lumber and nails, sand, grout and any other materials needed to complete the project. Landscaping prices in Bergen County will vary based on the building materials used.
- Labor – Labor costs are costs based on the amount of time necessary to complete the work. Labor costs can be quoted in hourly charges per worker or in a lump sum charge for the entire job. If labor costs in your proposal are broken down into hourly charges per worker, be clear on how many workers and the total number of hours necessary to complete the job.
- Installation – Some contractors combine labor and installation charges, so ask them to separate them if possible. There could be additional charges for installation that don’t relate to labor costs. This could include special equipment, utility lines or hauling services.
Common Landscape Terms
When you read your proposal, you may see common landscape terms included within services or prices. Here’s a quick guide:
- Sod – Small squares or rolls of grass that’s ready to transplant to start a new lawn.
- Compost – A soil product created from decomposed garden material, used in flower beds to add nutrients and encourage good growth.
- Mulch – A material that’s used to cover the soil to preserve moisture and suppress weed growth.
- Annuals – Plants that bloom and grow to maturity, then die within one season.
- Perennials – Plants that bloom and grown to maturity in one season, but bloom again each following year.
- Evergreen – A plant whose leaves or needles stay green year-round.
- Dethatching – Removing thatches or dead grass with a large rake or dethatching machine.
- Aeration – A method of increasing water and oxygen into compact soil by creating small holes.
- Fungicides – Chemicals that are used to control fungus-related disease in landscaping.
- Herbicides – Chemicals that are used to control weeds in landscaping.
- Pesticides – Chemicals that are used to control living organisms that thrive on plants.
If you have any questions about landscaping terms that show up on your proposal, talk to your contractor for clarification. These items can impact your landscape prices in Bergen County, so make sure you know what you’re paying for.