Best Machinery for Efficient Lot Clearing

Lot clearing is not for sissy’s. Contractors run into bee hives, snakes, ticks and skunks. If you have an area that is overgrown and it’s bigger than one man can handle, consider the capabilities of an experienced landscaping crew with the right machinery. Eliminate unwanted vegetation in a matter of hours or days with a forestry mulcher and chippers.

Mulching Head Attachment for Lot Clearing
When big jobs are encountered, the forces are brought in. The vegetation that is advantageous to the environment and that lot clearing-forestry mulcher-wood chipperwill give the overall property an aesthetic appeal is preserved. These specimens are marked to preserve them from harm. We then, start to eliminate the vegetation and trees that are in danger of falling or invasive. Lot clearing is done with our Terex mulching head specifically for the CAT 299D XHP. This CAT 299D XHP is the most powerful skid loader in its class at 110 HP and a hydraulic flow of 40 gallons per minute!  The machine weighs 12,000 lbs. and the head itself weighs 2500 lbs.  It is capable of taking down and mulching up to 10″ diameter soft wood trees such as pine and poplar.  The machine can clear between 1-3 acres in a day depending on terrain and thickness.  Brush, bramble, briars, small saplings and such on flat ground it could do 3 acres in 8 hours pretty easy.  But burning 6 gallons of fuel per hour, and touting 34 carbide teeth that cost $120 each to replace. This forestry mulching machine has a price tag of $130,000. It operates at $300 per hour but is well worth it for the right project!

Lot Clearing Made Easy
This forestry mulching machine can eliminate a lot of man-power in a single day by being done by one person operating it. This CAT 299D XHP can clear more acreage than a five-man crew can using hand tools and a chipper. This machine is flexible enough to move around preserved specimens and eliminate undesirable underbrush and debris. Not only is it lot clearing-mulching-land clearing-forestry mulchernibble, it carries a low ground pressure, creating less ground disturbance for sensitive areas. With the stick-arm, it can attack vegetation from higher areas.

And bonus! The mulched materials are left on-site to create a mulch material, help eliminate more weed growth and add nutrients as it decomposes back into the soil.

Eliminate Disposal Concerns

When felling trees, a wood chipper can reduce the brush, limbs and disposal concerns by chipping the unwanted and cleared vegetation into smaller pieces that will deteriorate faster. This chipped debris can be dumped in a compost to deteriorate and later be used for soil regeneration.


The overall low impact to the environment by using forestry mulching machinery will create a healthier and sustainable property.

If you are considering clearing the view, give us a call for a consultation today.

Stormwater Runoff and Soil Erosion

stormwater runoff-soil erosion-drainage-Asheville-landscape ideas

Stormwater runoff is an ongoing problem in the mountains. The heavy pelting of raindrops causes compaction in the soil thereby causing more stormwater runoff not to be able to absorb into the ground. Taking measures to help the soil to be more permeable will prevent soil erosion. Let’s keep our natural resources in our yard and not migrating to the neighbors!

Add Organic Matter & Mulch

First, the soil must be aerated and conditioned to absorb the water and retain it. In WNC, most of the soil is clay. While clay contains rich nutrients, it may be too acidic or too alkaline. Working in organic matter and aged manure to the top 3 inches of the soil will lighten the heavy clay and enable the plants to absorb the nutrients they need. Clay holds water and drains slowly. Too much water on the roots of your plants can cause wet-logged roots and rot. Oxygen-poor soils will also contribute to plant decline. To prevent stormwater runoff and erosion, also add mulch to the beds to prevent soil from being impacted by strong downpours. The slow breakdown of mulch will also feed organic matter into the soil and help with water absorption.

Redirect Stormwater Runoff: Gutters, Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens

stormwater runoff-french drains-drainage-AshevilleCapturing stormwater runoff and redirecting starts often with the roof and gutters of the home or building. An adequate guttering system that holds the amount of water coming off the roof and directing it into the gutters and downspouts is the first step. Rain barrels can be set up at the exits of downspouts for later use in the garden. If working in clay soils, rain gardens can be installed and be amended with sand, topsoil, and organic compost to help with adequate permeability.

Redirect Stormwater Runoff: Swales, French Drains, Catch Basins

Filtering the stormwater runoff before it moves downhill is advantageous to neighbor properties and the health of rivers and streams. To do this, create broad, shallow swales that water can run over while soaking into the grassy surface. If water is moving at a faster speed and erosion is a problem, install a French drain below the surface. A French drain is lined with landscape fabric, dug 18-24 inches deep and wide with 6 inches of a gravel base. A 4-6 inch perforated socked pipe will sit on this surface, and backfill of gravel surrounds the pipe diameter and provides support against lateral pipe deformation under heavy loads above the surface. The surface will be lined with landscape fabric to prevent silt buildup, and topsoil and turf applied or a decorative rock placed on the surface to mimic a dry river rock bed. Transits are used to drop the pipe 3 inches every 10 feet. Measurements will ensure the water exits at the proper flow.

A catch basin has up to three inlets. This collection box redirects surface runoff and directs water to pass through to a solid, buried drainpipe. It is buried at the lowest point so that the rainwater can naturally route into it. The exiting drainpipe under the surface would deposit the water to another location or outlet that carries the water to rivers and streams.

These are some of the ways stormwater runoff can be captured and filtered, leaving the best assets of Mother Nature in your garden and lawn. If you need help identifying what you may need in your landscape, give us a call. We are a Certified Stormwater BMP Inspector and will give you the best possible solution.

How much does drainage repair cost?

No one likes to put money into the ground to get drainage fixed and most are looking for the most inexpensive way to do it. There are a few things to consider when you are pricing out a drainage job. The following is a list of steps and the pricing to be aware of and the process involved.

Consider the cost of NOT doing the drainage repair

The cost of an eroded foundation is quite expensive. Just to have a structural engineer give a written report is $500-700.   If water is eroding your foundation, the longer it goes neglected, the worse it gets and the more it costs. Time equals money in more ways that one.

drainage repair

Drainage issues can arise along the foundation of your home can create mold and mildew in the basement or crawlspace of your home lending itself to hazardous health conditions for the air quality.

For instance, if moisture is collecting in the basement, the humidity level will increase causing mold and mildew. If a home goes on the market, the inspector will find a mold problem and remediation will be required. That comes at a $10,000 price tag.

Drainage Installation costs

Various scenarios will determine the actual cost for drainage installations but to save a headache, here is an idea of what can be expected.

Labor Costs:

For a full man crew, it is an approximately $2400-3200 per day for laborer costs (depending on the size job and men required).

Drainage repair material costs:

Add onto that price the cost of landscape fabric, staples, 10 tons of gravel to line the bed, 4-6” perforated socked piping, more gravel to fill in, haul away fee for soil debris and it’s an additional $775. If a machine is required to dig out wider and deeper, there are additional charges for the machinery of $450-575. As a result of obvious lawn damage (if the French drain is passing through the yard to exit), we would restore the lawn and re-sow with turf grass, fertilizer and straw the surface for better germination ($55 for this job). If an aesthetic look is desired at the top of the drain surface, more decorative rock (large, medium and small river rock) can be arranged to look like a dry stone riverbed with plantings tucked in around the rock. ($475 for this job) It can end up being functional and aesthetically pleasing. We’ve even decorated the top with flat flagstone for steppers. The total for this particular drain job would run between $3680-5080.

Every scenario is different and unique. If you would like to ensure the health of your family and stop the deterioration of your foundation, give us a Certified Stormwater BMP Inspector a call and schedule a consultation today.


My Basement Leaks When it Rains! Help!

Does your basement leak when it rains? Approximately 934.5 gallons of stormwater will fall from a 1500 sq. ft. roof in a 1-inch accumulation. If the water is not moving away fast enough from a foundation, water will seep down in around the foundation.  Stormwater will penetrate down to the lowest point where it will pool causing basement leaks. Water works with gravity and finds a low point. But how is water getting in?

drainage-wet basement

Replacing old drainage pipes that have been crushed and clogged.

The hydrostatic pressure against the walls often compromises concrete or cinder block walls. The soil becomes saturated with water.  Drainage can become inefficient due to a number of reasons. Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot. Multiply that by your foundation square footage. The result is a lot of hydrostatic pressure against the foundation. This pressure against a wall can compromise the mortar between each block allowing penetration of moisture. With enough water pressure, your basement leaks when it rains because the hollow cores of the blocks will fill with water. Days after a big rain, your basement will still be damp because the water underneath the surface of your lawn is still draining. Cracks and leaking can occur along the floor and wall joints.  This pressure must be alleviated.

basement leaks-drainage solutions-dry river bed-riverstone-stormwater runoff

River stone dry beds route water away from foundations.

Basement Leaks & Solutions—

Before a plan is tackled from the inside, consider the exterior remedy. Providing sufficient drainage solutions such as proper grading or correct size gutter systems. Often times the gutter systems on houses aren’t adequate to hold the flow of water. Stormwater will spill over the sides of the gutter system onto the edge of the foundation below.  Water basins for routing water away from the foundation can be installed to keep your basement dry and free from further compromise. Old drain pipes need to be evaluated and replaced with current standards and sizes to accommodate stormwater drainage. A sump pump may need to be installed if the home is on level ground. Sump pumps give the extra energy to exit the water away from the basement foundation.

We have installed several drainage systems in Western North Carolina and the Asheville area and have a solution that will meet your needs and eliminate your basement leaks. We are a Certified Stormwater BMP Inspector. Call us today for a consultation.

A Wet Basement and The Causes

Are you wearing rain boots to the basement and in need of wet basement repair? If you’re under water or have been mopping up water in your basement, we can help alleviate the aggravation.  We will secure your foundation against more erosion and hydrostatic pressure against basement walls. Wet basements can be a sign of cracks in the foundation. Don’t wait until cracks show up in your basement. Follow these steps to ensure a dry basement and kick those boots off! 

A Wet basement and the Causes—

Grading towards the house can give concern to any homeowner and wreck havoc on the drainage. Some builders don’t take into consideration the flow of water off the roof and away from the foundation. For instance, this February mid-month (2016) we have already had an accumulation of rainfall measuring 3.52 inches. On a roof that covers an area 1500 sq.ft. multiply that number by 0.623 to find the quantity of wet basement repairswater in gallons for a one-inch depth and in a one square foot space.) The gallon total is 3289.44 gallons fallen on the roof since the beginning of February. That much water is falling down and into and around your foundation or out your gutter system. If the ground isn’t sloped correctly, it could be seeping into your crawlspaces or basement. Hence, wearing rain boots in the basement!

Downspouts that are filled with last year’s leaves and debris will certainly hold up the water flow. Bi-annual cleanouts are a must for checking good water flow and protecting your foundation and preventing wet basement repairs. After neglect, your underground water pipes could be clogged or crushed from improper installation. When installing drainage pipes, we assure initial haunching backfill by surrounding the pipes diameter. This provides primary support against lateral pipe deformation from the weight on the surface of the lawn.

We will examine the areas around your house to evaluate where the leakage is coming in and discuss a plan with you.  Be it grading away from the foundation or installing a French drain, we do it all. With the rains like we’ve had lately, many are in line for basement repairs. Call us for a consultation today! 828.774.1590.

How to Choose a Landscape Contractor and Work Together

Adding value to your landscape through hardscaping, drainage work or adding plant material is usually a significant addition that you will live with for years. So it’s imperative to get the right design as well as choose the right contractor for the job. What do you look for in a contractor and how do you know you get what you’re paying for? We want to offer some suggestions on finding the right contractor for your work and how to work with the contractor once you’ve signed the contract.

Research and Reviews:

Looking for a contractor that specializes in the particular job that’s being requested by the homeowner has gotten easier with Angie’s List reviews, Google+ reviews and a plethora of other online resources to check the landscape contractor’s references. Local agencies are beneficial to homeowners such as your local Better Business Bureau.

Pick a landscape contractorResearching the number of years experience and qualifications. Your contractor should hold a landscape contractor’s license in the state of North Carolina. This license takes years of experience documented; recommendations from homeowners combined with hours of study and days of classroom time to complete, test on and submit for review.  Therefore, you are guaranteed that the contractor has been through the rigorous testing by professionals in the field of work you are employing them to do.

When interviewing the landscape contractor, get to know them by asking questions during the interview process. Ask for pictures, references and the quality of materials that will be used for the project. After you have reviewed the estimate and discussed details with the contractor there should be confidence established on the landscape contractor’s knowledge and skill level.

Day of Service:

Once the contract is signed, and the foreman and crew arrive on the day of the job, let them get organized. The foreman’s first priority will be to brief his crew on the scope of the job and assign the crew to different tasks to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Some homeowners try to take over and manage the crew or proceed to go over all the details of the project once again with the foreman. Micromanaging the job, by a homeowner only causes havoc for the foreman. If you are confident in the reputation of the contractor then allowing them to do the job will permit the landscape project to go smoother and be more efficient. Extra costs may be entailed if a homeowner does not let the landscape contractor proceed with the job as detailed in the estimate.

In building construction there may arise variables that are found underneath the surface that are not anticipated prior for lack of the obvious (they can’t be seen on the surface). At this point, it is the contractor’s job to inform the homeowner of substantial changes in the bid cost that may not have been anticipated. Work with your landscape contractor on these unforeseen circumstances. They can guide you in the best direction to eliminate the issues in the most effective manner. You can stand behind the reputation of a good landscape contractor, which is why you would hire them during the bidding process. Trust your contractor to give you the best advice for the job at hand. No one likes surprises, not even the contractor. Extra jobs unanticipated can be fixed but it takes the cooperation of both parties to fix the problem and remedy the situation.

Keep Your Lawn Off the Neighborhood Watch List


lawn care-maintenance-yard-Weaverville-Asheville

Lawn-N-Order Landscaping is expanding and has added another dedicated crew specializing in lawn care and maintenance. We have assigned a dedicated crew for all your lawn care needs. If you want to be on a regular schedule, please send us an email on our contact form and we will meet and give you an estimate for an annual contract. Annual contracts cover a variety of tasks including fertilization, overseeding and renovations, soil tests, thatching, aeration, cut, trim, edging, weeding, leaf removal, mulching beds, pruning shrubbery and deadheading perennials, fertilizing shrubs and trees, garden bed clean-up seasonally, and monitoring pests with IPM standards.


All Points Bulletin (a.k.a. Deluxe Package)

Weekly cut, trim, edge
Early Spring Fertilize and Crabgrass control
Late Spring Broadleaf weed control and fertilizerpruning-trees-shrubs
Seasonal lawn fertilization
Soil testing 1x
Leaf removal
Pruning shrubbery
Fertilizing beds
Mulching beds
Garden bed cleanup
Weeding/Herbicide Apps
Lawn Insect Control Apps
Pest and Fungus monitoring and control

Safe House Package (a.k.a. Middle package)

Weekly cut, trim, edge
Seasonal fertilization of lawn in Spring and Fall
Soil testing 1x
Leaf removal

Undercover Operation (a.k.a. Basic)

Weekly cut, trim, edge

At Large Package (aka Custom)

Custom order from our vast variety of services.

We have deluxe, middle and basic packages or can customize a package for your individual needs. Contact us today to get on our weekly schedule and get your lawn ready for spring and summer activities with the family!

The Truth about Weed Barrier Mats

weeds-crabgrassWeed barrier mats are made of porous, plastic, woven sheeting to allow penetration of water to plant roots and prevent weeds from germinating. The idea behind weed matting is to suffocate the weeds and keep them from coming up through the mulch by applying this woven fabric on your garden beds. The fallacy is weeds still grow on top of the surface over time. The roots of the weeds extend down through the woven fabric and make them even more difficult to eradicate. When a weed is pulled in conjunction with this matting, the roots are locked into this blanket. Roots break off and the same problem exists.

Our solution is to eliminate weeds by carefully applying herbicide in accordance with the directions at the recommended rates. This will get to the roots, killing the plant and preventing propagation. If you prefer more organic methods, then pull the weeds (refer to Farmer’s Almanac for best days), after which apply a 3-4” base of mulch in landscape beds to hold in moisture and prevent weed seeds from seeing light and germinating. If you see patches of dirt in your beds, then weeds have a safe haven to grow. Applying fertilizer and organic matter will also present an unfavorable haven for weeds (as they prefer more compact, unhealthy soils).

If you need garden maintenance, please contact us and we’ll take care of the dirty work!

2014 Super Service Award from Angie’s List

Lawn-N-Order Landscaping Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Lawn-N-Order Landscaping, serving the Asheville and surrounding area has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

Ryan Houston: “We accomplished this award in seven categories by keeping our Angie's List-Super Service Award-Asheville landscaperservices focused on quality, and by dealing with each property individually with focus on the end result.  We work with each client one on one, to come to the end result, being a property transformation that they are happy to pay for.  We do this by giving the customer a turnkey operation with attention to detail, and better than what was expected.”

Founded in 2000 as Houston Landscaping, Lawn-N-Order Landscaping gives low maintenance landscape solutions in Western North Carolina

The business originated in 2000 under the owner’s name “Houston’s Landscaping.” With some flyers and a borrowed weed-eater, Ryan Houston began his business on a song and a prayer. One job lead to another one and his American dream was born founded from his love and interest of the outdoors. In 2003 the business name was changed to Lawn-N-Order Landscaping. Since the businesses inception, LNO works locally as well as in surrounding states (Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida) and the Cayman Islands. We are passionate about our service and love to maintain the artistic attributes of nature through landscaping. Education is part of our life long commitment to excellence in our field to develop, expand and educate ourselves on improved techniques and thus improving our service to clients. Experienced, uniformed and qualified team members perform all of our work with a job supervisor on each project site.

The owner, Ryan Houston will personally consult, plan, propose and oversee most of the larger jobs. He is a WNC native and has twenty-four years experience with WNC plants and wildlife. Ryan is an accredited NC Licensed Landscape Contractor certificate #1933, one of less than 2000 ever in the history of North Carolina with only approximately 1000 of who are still active. He is also a Certified Plant Professional as well as completing rigorous testing from the State of North Carolina to achieve this certification. Ryan Houston and staff are also NC State Certified in the knowledge and application of pesticide and herbicide application making them knowledgeable about plant pests and diseases. This contributes to his overall knowledge of how to plant hardy and low maintenance landscapes that will thrive in the mountains of WNC. He specializes in dealing with sloping properties and hillside problems such as erosion, water runoff, and planting on steep slopes. Ryan and his crewmembers were awarded the ICPI Certification. They participated in two days of extensive training and review on interlocking concrete pavers. Lawn-N-Order holds the title of “ICPI Certified Installer’ and has met all the nationally recognized guidelines for interlocking concrete pavement installations. With Ryan’s client testimonials, you will see that he has excellently handled large projects and has several long-term fans for his rewards.

“Only about 5 percent of the landscape companies in Asheville/Buncombe County have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

Lot and Land Clearing Bidding Process and Questions to Consider

Before land clearing, some considerations have to be in place before a contractor and crew start clearing. When hiring a landscape contractor ask yourself these questions in order to clarify what exactly you want them to do. You will be better prepared to compare apples with apples in the lot and land clearing and bidding process. Each landscape contractor may have a different vision for what a lot should look like afterwards but may not measure up to your expectations. Consider these factors in the bidding process:

  1.  What do you want the lot to look like when it’s cleared? (Having photos of
    299 d CAT-grapple bucket-land clearing

    The grapple bucket attachment mounted to our 299D CAT xhp devised to lift trees, rocks, logs, brush, culverts and more up to 4500 lbs.

    other cleared lots will help explain your vision.)

  2.  Do you have valuable timber on your property and do you need to contact a lumber broker for resale?
  3.  What happens with the trees, debris and large stone after clearing? Is it hauled away, piled out of site or burned?
  4.  What about drainage on the site? Do you have any or anticipate any potential drainage issues?
  5.  Are there zoning, HOA covenants, restrictions or permits required before the job can start?
  6.  What areas do you want to be cleared and preserved?
  7.  Are there view scapes to consider and how will they be cut out?

We are equipped to handle the production of lot and land clearing with our machinery for this type of work. Our equipment includes a 299D CATxhp mulcher with clearing head on skid steer loader, a Woodsman 18x Chipper with winch and drag loader equipped with a rolling wheel, a grapple bucket attachment to lift and maneuver weighty, awkward size materials, a Kubota track hoe with thumb and Kubota BX-24 tractor with backhoe. You are guaranteed a fast, efficient thorough job leaving your property clear, clean and void of mess and debris ready to build, plant or develop.

If you’re ready to discuss your property needs with a professional, call our office at 828-712-1590 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.