It’s estimated that homeowners can recover 150% and more of the money they invest into well planned landscaping when they sell their residences. Landscaping includes softscaping (i.e. plantings), hardscaping (outdoor construction projects such as decks, patios, walls, walkways, etc.) and maintenance services such as pruning, mowing, mulching, etc. Hiring a professional to assist you with your landscaping will help you avoid mistakes and problems that may actually lower your property’s value!

The following are some points to consider on hiring a reputable and knowledgeable landscape professional.

Know What You Want

Every home-owner’s needs are unique, so think carefully about how you want to use your outdoor living space before you call in a professional. Write down the questions this process raises. For example you may have softscape questions such as:

a) Do you want the entire landscape cleared and redone?

b) Will you need a place for the kids to play?

c) Do you need plants that are not hazardous to children and/or pets?

d) Do you need plants and trees which are low maintenance?

e) Sod or seed?

Or your needs may involve hardscaping issues which raise questions such as:

a) What size of patio or deck do I need?

b) Is my yard so steep that I need to terrace it and build retaining walls?

c) Do I want an outdoor kitchen?

With respect to maintenance ask:

a) When is the best time to prune my trees and shrubs?

b) How often should my lawn be mowed? Every week? More than that or less than that? When should the grass be cut?

c) How much and what kind of mulch should I use? When should it be applied?

Keep in mind that not all landscapers are knowledgeable in the installation all three aspects of landscaping; softscaping, hardscaping and maintenance. A landscaper who has the training, experience and knowledge of all three aspects will be better able to help you to obtain the most out of your outdoor living space. Most of all, select a landscaper who not only encourages your input but also actively listens to what you are saying and replies with well reasoned responses.