According to Zippia, 649,131 landscaping companies in the U.S. are competing to offer you the best backyard landscape deals to keep your home looking fresh and inviting. Yet how do you know which deal is from the pros and which is from wannabes? How do you look for a landscaping partnership that’s affordable and sustainable? Discover eight things you should look for in backyard landscape packages.
1. Safety and Accessibility
On the top of your list of things to look for in backyard landscape packages is safety and accessibility. Prioritizing safety ensures you have an enjoyable outdoor space where all people of varying abilities, including children and seniors, can relax without restrictions. It also helps prevent accidents such as slips, falls, and cuts. For example, installing efficient lighting enables people to use the outdoors even during evening hours. Besides, investing in a safe and accessible backyard will add value to your property and make it attractive to potential buyers.
What does a safe and accessible backyard look like? It will depend on residents using your home and the nature of your landscape, yet some features are standard. A standard landscape has wide, well-maintained, and well-lit pathways that are leveled, smooth, and slip-proof to allow easy movement of pedestrians and wheelchairs. In areas with slopes, consider adding ramps to allow individuals with mobility devices to move around easily. You may also have a study stair climber for easy maintenance without jeopardizing safety.
Most people invest in the backyard for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. However, without safety concerns, the outdoor space can be a source of accidents and injuries. Bending trees, forgotten sign stands, and other clutter can cause cuts, bruises, and other serious injuries. If you don’t pay concern to accessibility, the backyard may prevent some individuals from fully participating in activities.
2. Safe Environment for Pets
If you’re a dog or cat owner, consider their well-being when choosing a backyard landscaping deal. According to Pet Honesty, an average pet needs between 30 and 120 minutes of play and exercise outdoors daily. A pet-friendly landscape protects your pets from poisoning, injuries, and accidents.When developing a plan, you can talk with your landscape designer to consider the pet’s needs. Knowing your pets are safe in the backyard will help you relax your mind and enjoy play time without worry.
Without a safe environment for your pets, you’ll have multiple concerns whenever they’re outdoors. The most obvious ones are health risks. For instance, if you plant toxic plants or use materials that emit toxic chemicals, your pets may develop health issues. Your pet may escape, get lost, or be injured in unknown territories without a safe play area and boundary. You may notice that the pet is distressed and generally uncomfortable outdoors. All these issues lead to costly pet and dog care vet bills that are avoidable.
What do backyard landscape packages with pet safety have in common? One is pet-friendly plants that allow the pets to explore the outdoors, play, and take shelter without risk of poisoning. You can work with a veterinarian to check your list of plants for toxic foliage. You can also consider secure fencing that’s sturdy but unobstructed to provide a safe boundary. Lastly, use safe pest-control measures to prevent pet poisoning.
3. Experience With Equipment
Is the company selling you backyard landscaping packages experienced with equipment? Do they have technicians who can expertly handle a new forklift? The answers to these questions matter because you want an efficient, safe process for everyone. According to the CDC, the fatality rate in the landscape industry is 25 workers per 100,000, which is considered high risk. The most obvious way to minimize this risk is to ensure adequate training and experience.
An experienced landscaper can work comfortably with an equipment trailer, ensuring they can efficiently handle landscaping tasks. Thus, you can expect quality outcomes such as a well-leveled pathway and well-mowed lawns. Further, if a problem such as equipment failure arises, you don’t have to worry that work will stop because experienced professionals can handle unexpected events. But mostly, you’ll be at peace that the company has taken all precautionary measures to keep all workers safe. You’ll also avoid personal liability legal suits that could place responsibility on you for workers’ injuries.
So, how will you know that the landscaping company is experienced in handling equipment if you’ve never seen them work? A good place to start is their portfolio of past projects. Were there projects that required heavy equipment, such as grading or hardscape installation? You can also rely on client testimonials because positive reviews indicate experience. Ask the person who recommended the company about their delivery and safety protocols.
4. Irrigation Efforts
Most landscaping companies craft backyard landscaping packages to ensure you get comprehensive services for the value of your money. That’s why you should ensure irrigation efforts are part of the package. Proper irrigation plans allow plants to receive the right amount of watering that promotes healthy growth without underwatering or overwatering. Water sanitizing removes toxins from the irrigation water that could harm the plants or animals. The company will consider where you’re sourcing the water and make necessary arrangements.
Efficient irrigation systems also help reduce water wastage, promoting sustainability and lowering water bills. Automated systems can detect temperature and moisture levels and thus make adjustments as needed. Hence, you would save time since you don’t have to check if the plants need water or do manual irrigation. You also won’t waste water on overwatering, which could hike your bills. When irrigation is reliable, the plants are less stressed, thus promoting a uniform landscape that’s fresh and attractive.
What will you specifically look for in the package? First, it should have customized solutions because no one backyard is the same, and thus, your water needs will be different depending on the landscape and plant types. Some plants require regular watering, while other types of shrubs can thrive without constant attention. The sprinklers should be efficient, too, so they can cover your entire backyard evenly without overspray or dry spots. An experienced landscaper will also consider zoning the landscape depending on plant water requirements for efficient distribution.
Privacy is one of the factors that can make you feel at home away from the prying eyes. Which is why it’s a must-be on backyard landscape packages. Fencing your home gives you a personal space to unwind, relax, and enjoy outdoor activities without feeling exposed to your neighbors or passersby. Thus, you’ll have enhanced comfort and enjoyment because you’re less self-conscious. Besides, you can enjoy uninterrupted activities such as family gatherings and sunbathing.
If you don’t want to go for a fence, you can use other efficient methods to promote privacy in your home. To create natural visual barriers, you can plant dense shrubs and trees along the property lines. Plants are also good sound absorbers, so no more eavesdropping neighbors. You can also strategically position hardscape features like gazebos and pergolas to create a secluded space within your yard where you can have conversations. Alternatively, you can ask a patio company to supply outdoor curtains that provide an extra layer of privacy.
Mist people focus on privacy measures along property lines, especially those facing neighbors or public spaces, but you can also consider other areas. By creating intimate spaces, you can ask the landscaper to focus on seating areas like the patios and decks. The pool is another area where you want privacy, so your kids can enjoy sunbathing comfortably. If you have an outdoor hot tub or spa, ask the landscaping company to keep privacy in mind during the design process.
6. Attraction for Local Wildlife
You can go a little extra with your checklist for backyard landscaping packages by insisting on support for diverse ecosystems. You may feel your role will be too small, but pollinator studies often quote that 75% of our crops depend on pollinators. By making your landscape friendly for bees, butterflies, and local wildlife, you contribute to preserving biodiversity. Besides, local wildlife helps create natural balance by controlling pests. Others, like butterflies, add to the beauty and offer a chance to teach flora and fauna to kids.
There are certain practices you must implement if you want to attract local wildlife. Start by planting native plants that provide food, shelter, and a home for local wildlife, such as birds. For water, add bird baths, ponds, and other small water features that birds can use to hydrate and bathe. The result will be happy creatures that wake you up with their melody and beauty. If you want to attract pollinators, plant pollinator gardens with flowering plants.
You may be concerned about the potential downsides of making your backyard wildlife-friendly. The trick is to research and know your local wildlife—their behaviors and potential risks. For example, providing water for birds may attract mosquitoes that spoil all the fun during summer camps. Some species may bring diseases, nuisance, or damage to your garden, so be selective about what you allow. Work with the landscaping company for solutions that only attract the wildlife you’re comfortable with while deterring invasive species.
7. Design Expertise
One of the most obvious elements you should look for in backyard landscape packages is design expertise. After all, that’s one of the main reasons you’re hiring the company in the first place. An expert landscaper will use design principles to create a truly outstanding landscape that transforms your space. Not only will they bring your vision to life, but they’ll bring in their expertise to add aesthetic and functional value to your space. They’ll also select plants that complement the overall design theme.
What does design expertise look like in real life? It starts with a thorough yard analysis, considering factors like topography and soil drainage to set the right foundation. An expert landscape designer will use your preferences and needs to create a conceptual plan outlining the layout and plant selection. Next, the designer will choose plants that thrive in your local climate while adding beauty and functionality. An expert designer will also use color theory to select a color palette that creates your desired atmosphere.
Once you’ve settled on a designer, the process will begin with a consultation in which you discuss your vision, preferences, and functional needs. You’ll then work closely with the designer to incorporate your input while benefiting from their creative insights. After assessing the site’s unique characteristics, they’ll start site planning by creating an efficient layout that optimizes space. The designers may provide 2D, 3D, and virtual reality models for visual representation.
8. Cost Transparency
Ultimately, good backyard landscape packages are fairly priced and offer value for money. The company should be upfront about costs, including everything that might arise during the process. It would not be good faith for a designer to do everything without consulting you on a budget and handing you an overpriced invoice at the end of the project. When the company is transparent from the beginning, you can make informed choices such as materials selection.
Cost transparency would look like detailed estimates that break down the costs of materials, labor, equipment, and other charges. It means no hidden fees and unexpected charges could impact your budget. The designer should present optional upgrades and costs to help you make an informed choice. The payment terms are also clear, including deposit requirements, milestones, and final payment. Transparency enables you to get the best value for your money because you can make informed choices.
To bring it all together, backyard landscape packages offer a wide selection of services to leave your backyard looking fresh and inviting. However, not all packages are created the same, so you should look for certain aspects such as expertise and transparency. Using this elaborate guide, you can make an informed choice about the package you pick. Ensure to read customer reviews and check their portfolio projects to get a feel of what services they offer.