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.

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.

Winter Garden Protection

storm winter-damage-evergreensThe weatherman was correct in forecasting a freeze warning this recent weekend and continuing. This means temperatures are likely to get down into the single digits. With that in mind, let’s talk about your plants in the winter garden landscape. Winter weather may play havoc causing winter damage in your garden and we want to give you some tips on how to manage.

Your root hardy perennials in the winter garden should be fine. Foliage should already be killed back by the cold weather thus far and plants are in dormancy until spring. Hardy perennials, shrubs and trees are still in dormancy, which decrease their likelihood of damage due to the reduced sap content in their branches. With our recent rains, we should be in good shape since a little drink from Mother Nature insures against drying out or desiccation. If recent rains haven’t adequately watered your plants and the rain clouds passed you by, then there’s need to be concerned. Thoroughly water your winter container gardens that may have plantings or particular shrubs or trees that get a lot of wind. The freeze plus wind will increase the likelihood of desiccation. Most landscape plants can recover from a brief dip below freezing. When temperatures plummet below 28 degrees F., then cellular damage can take place. On top of that, if your garden suffers wind along with low temperatures, you may not be as lucky. Wind can plummet the feel like temperatures thus your plant will feel the same exposure. Wind damage is another leading cause of desiccation other than lack of watering.

During a seasonal change when plants are waking up from their long winter naps. If you, however, have some marginally zoned plants in your yard, take special actions to prevent loss by covering with fabric, old sheets, frost cloths (except plastic). They can be uncovered as soon as the temperatures rise above 32 degrees F. Small plants can be covered with a bucket or mulch.If you see browning leaves after the freeze, leave it until spring and then remove. The extra coverage will protect the undergrowth from getting hit if another freeze pops in on us.

If you have suffered winter damage, we can help with diagnosis and replace your plants with recommendations for your landscape.