If you’re considering professional lawn care services for your Bergen County, NJ home, it’s important to find the right company for the job. You want to look for a lawn care specialist that can provide routine maintenance as well as special care and services for your property. You need a qualified, landscape contractor with extensive knowledge and experience in the field.
Where Do You Start?
First, you need to investigate a few landscape companies that provide work in your area. There may be a lot of them around, so you need to qualify them before you make a decision to hire someone. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
- Do a website search: Go online and look for landscape companies in your area. Take a look at the company’s website to gather information, review services, see photos of their work and read client testimonials.
- Get referrals: Get referrals from friends, relatives or neighbors in your area who use professional landscape services. Find out if they are satisfied with the quality of work and service commitments.
- Visit the premises: Some landscape companies have a showroom or nursery, so you can stop by for a visit to get an idea of the work and the services they provide. It’s also a good opportunity to meet the owner and landscape crew you may be dealing with.
- Schedule a site visit: After you narrow down your choices, schedule a site visit at your home. This will give the lawn care specialist an opportunity to see your property size, layout and landscape needs. Make a list of questions you want to ask during the visit.
Schedule a Site Visit
The site visit will give you an opportunity to talk to your professional lawn care specialist about your landscape needs and ideas, as well as any concerns you have about schedules, prices, services and contract specifics. You can walk around your property and point out landscape concerns, problems and special requests you may have for your home. The landscape contractor will get a good feel for your property layout and landscape needs to work up a proposal for services.
If you have never worked with a professional landscape company, you may not know what to discuss. It’s helpful to make out a list of questions before the site visit and have them handy to discuss with your lawn care specialist.
Here’s a list of 10 questions that you may want to ask:
1. What do you think of my current lawn condition?
The site visit will provide a good overview of your landscape and lawn condition. Based on the results, the landscape contractor can inform you of any immediate problems that are visible. Overgrown trees and shrubs, weeds, unhealthy grass and disease and insect problems may be visible right away. If so, you will be advised of recommended solutions or treatments to fix the problems. If your current lawn looks lush and green, you may just need basic landscape maintenance services.
2. What services do you think I need?
Suggested services will depend on the current condition of your lawn and landscape. Every property is different in size, layout and lawn care needs, so services may vary from home to home, even in your immediate neighborhood. If your lawn is healthy and well-maintained, basic landscape services may be enough. If you have evidence of a damaged lawn or diseases, insects and pests, special services may be required. Your lawn care specialist can give you a better idea of the exact services you need after seeing your property.
3. What services do you provide?
Professional landscape companies provide a variety of lawn services. These include regular lawn maintenance and special services outside the basic maintenance plan.
Weekly lawn maintenance services typically include:
- Weekly or bi-weekly lawn mowing
- Border edging for sidewalks, walkways and driveways
- Regular weeding
- Hard surface cleaning of pathways, walkways and driveways
- Spring yard cleanup of dead winter growth and debris
- Fall yard cleanup of summer debris and preparation for winter
Special services outside the weekly maintenance plan often include:
- Planting of small plants and foliage
- Pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs
- Lawn renovation
- Irrigation system repairs
- Organic lawn care
4. How often will you care for my lawn?
Most routine lawn maintenance services are scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. To keep your lawn looking its best year-round, most landscape professionals will suggest a weekly maintenance plan. In the heavy growth periods of spring, summer and fall, it’s easy for your lawn, shrubs and trees to become overgrown quickly. A weekly lawn maintenance plan will keep things under control. Special services, outside the weekly maintenance plan, will be scheduled less frequently as needed.
5. How much will services cost?
The cost of your landscape services will be based on your property needs and your personal requests. Since each property is different, there is no one answer for every homeowner. After reviewing your property needs and discussing any special needs and wants you may have for your Bergen County home, your professional lawn care specialist will give you an estimate of services and prices.
6. Do you offer chemical-free lawn care?
Since many Northern NJ homeowners promote green living, most qualified landscape companies now offer organic lawn and tree care. It’s a safe, healthy way to care for your lawn without the side effects of harmful chemicals often found in traditional fertilizers and pesticides.
Organic lawn products promote green living and protect the environment from toxic chemicals and fumes given off by over-the-counter products. Organic lawn care not only protects your family and pets from hazardous materials, but it promotes root growth and plant stability for a healthy lawn.
Healthy grass, plants and trees will tolerate environmental stresses like heat, drought, freezing temperatures and ice and snow. They will also be less susceptible to fungal diseases and insects. Organic lawn care usually includes spring, summer and fall applications.
7. Do you provide any design/build services?
Many homeowners in Bergen County and Passaic County, NJ are interested in adding outdoor features to their homes. Special features add outdoor ambiance, extra space for entertaining add value to any home. A professional landscape company can help you with great outdoor features such as:
- Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas
- Waterfalls, fountains and ponds
- Irrigation systems and French drains
- Patios and terraces
- Walkways, pathways and driveways
- Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits
- Fully-equipped outdoor kitchens
- Privacy fences and retaining walls
- Outdoor lighting
8. Do I need to be home when you come?
Since the majority of homeowners work, your lawn care specialist will make arrangements with you on scheduled service days to access your property. If you live in a gated community or have privacy gates around your home, you can work out the details before your lawn service begins. If you have pets that stay outdoors while you’re at work, you need to discuss that with the landscape company. You’ll want to make sure your pets are safely secured on lawn care days, but it isn’t necessary for you to be at home.
9. Do I need to sign a contract?
Most professional landscape companies do have a contract for services. Before you sign it, make sure you fully understand the services and costs that are outlined in your contract. Review scheduling, services, products and labor that’s included in the costs. Check to see if the contract has a cancelation clause and how problems will be resolved if they should occur. Carefully review the contract terms and the length of the contract and scheduled services.
10. Do I need to pay a deposit or retainer?
Services and contract terms can vary between landscape providers, but most companies will require some sort of deposit or retainer. Talk to your lawn care specialist in Bergen County about the required deposit and any financial concerns you may have. Some landscape companies offer payment options for services.