When You Hire a Landscaper; From Aftercare to ROI
Landscaping isn’t “over” once you hire a landscaper and have the job installed. Read on to learn about aftercare, aftercosts and ROI considerations.
Before You Hire a Landscaper, Consider Grow-in Time, Aftercosts and Aftercare
Once you have your landscaping plan, being aware of what comes next will prepare you for post-installation. Don’t forget that softscaping materials are an ever-evolving part of your landscape. Consider asking your landscaper:
- How long it will take to “grow in” this new landscape? Remember that new plantings don’t always look quite like what you’d expect; they need a little time to fill in.
- What do you need to know about maintenance and aftercare in order to keep your new landscape thriving and in great condition?
- How might caring for this landscape affect water bills; should you consider an irrigation system if you don’t already have one?
While you are designing, keep in mind that the strategic placement of hardscaping materials can reduce water consumption. Installing a good irrigation system—or fixing or improving your current one—can positively affect your water bills (and even your water softening bills; if you are watering from a faucet that is tied into your water softener).
If you don’t have the time or interest to maintain your landscape yourself, look for a landscaper who can help you by offering maintenance services. You can sign up for services like:
• Spring & Fall Clean-up
• Pest & Disease Control
• Winter protection
Cost and ROI (Return on Investment)
1. Discuss Your Budget Upfront
One of the best things you can do is discuss your budget up front to help the landscaper help you get the most “bang for your buck.”
When you’re ready to landscape, your budget will determine which priorities you can afford for your project. After you have defined your budget, you could consider asking several companies how they would use the budget on your project. With that information, you would be in a position to choose the company that offers a plan that most satisfies you, given that the landscaper meets your additional criteria (such as a sense of good rapport, sufficient years in business and a solid reputation).
Consider that as with any interior home project, the lowest bid may not be (and probably isn’t) the best buy. Work that is safe and efficient delivered by knowledgeable, trained, bonded and insured professionals can save you headaches down the road and may offer a better return on your investment.
Find out if you can expect a detailed estimate from your landscaping company. That way, if you cannot afford part of the plan now, you can decide which items you’d like to install now and which you’d like to budget for in the future. Likewise, if you receive a plan that you love but can’t afford, ask if there are ways to reduce the cost somehow, such as by substituting materials, doing some of the work yourself or opting for a payment plan.
2. Figure Out Real Return, But Consider What It’s Worth to You
Determining how much of a percentage of a home’s value can be increased with an outdoor renovation could be figured by talking to a real estate expert.
Don’t be afraid to call your agent and ask if he or she might be able to offer insight into how your investment might affect your home’s value—or if he or she can recommend someone who would be willing to do this.
As a rule of thumb, it has been recommended that you consider capping outdoor spending at 28% of the value of your home unless you are doing the renovations for your own personal pleasure.
Keep in mind that overspending can be as detrimental to your bottom line as underspending. Landscaping adds real value along with emotional appeal to a property. And don’t forget this: Great landscaping can make your home extremely desirable in a competitive market.
Creating your outdoor space takes some time, patience, vision and creativity, whether you are landscaping a whole yard or just landscaping small areas. When you’re ready to move ahead, our team is highly experienced in all facets of landscape design. We’ll be happy to talk with you in person or over the phone to discuss how we can help you with your planning and outdoor overhaul. Feel free to call us or contact us online to get started with a discussion about your Chicago landscaping ideas and needs.