10 things a El Dorado Hills Landscaper Does NOT want you to know!
1. They just don’t know what they’re doing
Becoming a El Dorado Hills Landscaper is probably one of the easiest trades to enter but, one of the hardiest to master. This often creates a real problem for a family looking for a reliable, professional and knowledgeable landscape contractor. Here’s a sample of questions you should ask when you interview a landscape contractor:
What climate zone is your home in?
What percentage of soil is prepared for the best sod installation?
What typical amount of overspray overlap does he set for the irrigation zones?
How many days do I have to cancel my contract once I’ve signed?
What’s the most appropriate lumber to be used in a raised vegetable garden?
What’s the maximum allowed deposit a contractor can accept when a contract is signed?
Which plant is better in the sun Coleonema or Ajuga?
Which sod is more drought tolerant fescue or bluegrass?
What are some of the problems with a soil set flagstone path?
Integral vs. powder colored stamp concrete. Which is better and why?
What is the max voltage drop on a 100’ low voltage light run?
What’s the difference between a #3 rebar and a #4 rebar?
Pacific Landscapes knows the answers to all of these questions and so much more. Your project should start with a strong foundation of knowledge and quality design. We can begin with beautiful designs and follow that up with quality work. All delivered by a staff with years of experience managed, everyday, by a Job Captain that will assist and work with you on your project from the first to the last handshake.
2. Their cheap price isn’t really that cheap
A low price is always enticing but, we’ve all learned that things aren’t always as they seem. Many times the work has to be done over when it went terribly wrong and your project costs twice as much just to fix it. A low bidder may have misinterpreted your plans, or he may be desperate to land any job to keep his business afloat. He may be planning to pad his bill with change orders once work gets started. All of this leads to extra costs in fixes or hidden costs. In every case a little homework on your part can be the difference between a cheap price and a good value. Many of our customers have asked us do the sleuthing for them to help them find value in comparing our proposal to others. Pacific Landscapes has been providing value to the greater Sacramento area for over 20 years. Over those years hundreds of your neighbors have compared us and happily decided that we offered the best values.
3. Their contract is hiding something
Most contractors will want you to sign a brief letter type agreement they’ve typed up, which includes no specific details about the project. That may be fine for smaller projects, but a standard AIA (American Institute of Architects) contract includes more built-in protections for the homeowner. The less the contractor tells you, the more opportunity to surprise you. Get the specifics in writing. Know what you are agreeing to. The three basic types of contracts are stipulated sum or flat fee, cost-plus, and time and materials:
A FLAT FEE is the best way to control costs, since the price, including all labor and materials, is agreed upon in advance.
COST-PLUS is a bit more risky. It involves a fixed fee plus the cost of labor and materials.
TIME AND MATERIALS is similar to cost-plus, except that the fee is calculated as a percentage of the number of hours worked. For that reason, it can lead to the biggest bills. A standard contract should include the following: a detailed description of the job, a list of all materials and appliances to be used (including brand names, warranties and the like), a rescission clause allowing you 72 hours to cancel, a payment schedule, start and finish dates, and a method of resolving disputes (usually by arbitration). Pacific Landscapes starts every relationship with full disclosure, letting you know what will be done, the specifications of the work and when it will be complete. No hidden costs, no vague promises, everything in writing.
4. They intend to “two-time” you
Virtually everyone who has embarked on a remodeling odyssey has horror stories about how it took twice as long as expected. Some delays like weather are unavoidable but, you shouldn’t have to put up with a skeleton work crew or an irregular work schedule. Those are warning signs that your contractor is being distracted by another job. We’ll always be true to you! Once our team is onsite the focus is all on you, work is done Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm. We know how disruptive construction at your home can be and we want to get the job done with quality and speed.
5. They don’t have enough money
To do your project Sometimes poor workmanship is not the only problem, they also run a poor business. When they don’t have the right resources, they can’t get enough materials to get started or maintain progress on your project. They’ll even ask for advances on the project to pay wages or buy supplies. Don’t pay more than the progress of the project. If the contractor has completed approximately 25% of the work you should NOT pay for more than that. At Pacific Landscapes we outline a specific schedule of payments. We will bill you only when a phase of your project is complete…you don’t pay until you’re satisfied! We have different financing options available. Plans range from no payments for 6 months to payments spread out over 4 years. Pacific Landscapes • 8615 Ridge Road • Newcastle, CA 95658 • 800-958-6322 • www.MyLandscapeTeam.com
6. They’re unlicensed
Landscape contractors must be licensed before working on your home. While having a license is no guarantee of quality, having no license is an invitation to a home improvement nightmare. Working with unlicensed contractors is just inviting disaster. If you do hire unlicensed companies, YOU HAVE NO RECOURSE when the job goes wrong.
7. They’re learning landscaping on your project
A landscape contractors license can be applied to anything from irrigation to patio covers, from concrete walls to water features. In most cases the typical landscape contractor doesn’t have the skilled staff and equipment to meet all possible project requirements. While he may be able to do irrigation, he may just be learning how to lay flagstone. Make sure that your Landscaper can do what he bids. At Pacific Landscapes we provide a one-stop solution for all your needs. We’ve developed, over the past 20 years, the staff and equipment to bring you a single quality solution to your landscaping project. Your home is NOT our training center.
8. Their “employees” come from the local box store parking lot
To keep the absolute lowest costs possible, some landscape contractors hire “day laborers” to work on your home. Often undocumented workers who will work from day-to-day for cash. These people have no specific training to do landscaping projects or any motivation to do a quality job on your project. While many parts of landscaping require a lot of hard work, much of it require skills learned from experience. The team that Pacific Landscapes brings to your project has the experience of hundreds of projects before it. Our Team Captains have been with us for over a decade and their crews are motivated to meet your expectations. They are not waiting for work in parking lots.
9. They subcontract their work
Subcontracting is very popular among landscape contractors. Your contractor hires another contractor to do their work for them, more often at a lower cost and they pocket the difference. If your contractor goes out of business or just refuses to pay the subs, YOU are responsible for that debt….EVEN IF YOU ALREADY PAID THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTOR FOR THE WORK. In addition, subcontractors are not legally responsible to you and when something goes wrong you’re the one left holding the bag. At Pacific Landscapes we believe you should receive the work you pay for. We never subcontract our work so you can be assured when you pay for quality work, you get it along with the assurance that you WON’T be left holding the bag.
10. They’re not insured
The California Contractors State License Board requires all contractors provide proof of bonding, Workers’ Compensation Insurance and General Liability Insurance. This demonstrates the contractor can financially protect the homeowner in the event of an accident. Without this protection, the homeowner is responsible if something were to happen, resulting in major unplanned costs to repair or liability for lawsuits in the event of an injury to staff while at your home. Pacific Landscapes respects your property and protecting it is our priority. That’s why we maintain a $1,000,000 policy to protect you and your home.
Thank you for reading, have a wonderful rest of your day/ night.
4500 Pacific Street
Rocklin, CA 95677
Landscaping Dreams Everyday