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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


San Diego Landscaping FAQ

At this point you probably have several questions. At Bradley Landscape we're here to address all questions and concerns and provide all necessary information. There are a number of inquiries which are common to so many clients, especially those who may be working with us for the first time. Here are a number ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ often encountered:

Q. What is “design/build?”

A. A design/build company has the resources necessary to complete a landscape project from the earliest concept to final installation as a sort of “one-stop shop,” if you will. As a landscape design/build and construction company, we’re all part of a team for your complete project satisfaction. Unlike some companies which may contract design work or services like irrigation out separately, our design, construction, and installation experts are here readily available to work with you throughout the entire project process.

Q. Is there a fee for the initial consultation?

A. No - We do not charge for the initial site visit. This is your opportunity to share your ideas and vision for your landscape project, start the process of design by discussing initial ideas, pin-point any landscape problems you are having, and get a scope of the overall size of scope. Plus this gives you the opportunity to meet us, learn more about our company, and ask questions.

Q. Can you give me an estimate for my project during the initial consultation?

A. No – Too often a landscape contractor will come to a site and immediately give a potential client a price without first knowing all the details of that project. Our first question is always, “What is this estimate based on?” Before making out a bid of any sort, we must first discuss all the work to be done, the planting and construction materials necessary, and the labor involved. After which we do a breakdown and present to you a complete and itemized preliminary estimate. As our client you will be able to see, not only how much your project will cost, but also where every dollar will go.

Q. Why do I need to hire a licensed contractor when an unlicensed one may be cheaper?

A. There is always a price. Working with a licensed contractor is highly recommended for many reasons: A licensed and insured contractor offers many protections to the property owner, especially regarding residential properties. A contractor cannot obtain a State Contractors License without first possessing a minimum amount of experience. In addition, the contractor must pass a business management test. The applicant also may be subject to a criminal history background check, and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints outstanding. Here in California, if a contractor has employees, they're required to carry workers compensation insurance. The importance of this alone cannot be overstated. If a worker is injured on your property and the contractor doesn't have insurance, you could be legally liable to pay for injuries and rehabilitation. Your homeowner's insurance may not cover those costs.

Q. What phases of landscaping should be done first, and last?

A. What we call 'hardscape' should be installed first – such as walkways, walls, stonework, patios, and such. Then will come all of the irrigation and electrical installation work, to be followed finally with landscape plantings, or ‘softscape.’

Q. How can we plan a low-maintenance landscape?

A. There are several ways to create a lush and lasting low maintenance landscape. Such as: installing smaller planting beds, filling the property with hardy plants and border color (such as perennials), applying a 3” layer of mulch to retain moisture, picking correct plants for the existing sun exposure, soil conditions, and water availability.

Q. How long does a project usually take?

A. Every property and client is different and therefore there is no set standard. The time required to complete a project relies completely on the amount of work which will be necessary. And the size of a property is not always a guide. For instance; a large property requiring minimal landscaping and irrigation installation will most likely be completed in a shorter amount of time than a small property requiring landscaping, a patio, spa, and a custom water fountain. Once a preliminary estimate is prepared, we will have a realistic estimate for project completion.

Q. Can landscaping really add value to my home?

A. Yes, absolutely - In recent years, there have been quite a few studies on this very subject. *Here are just a few examples:

  • Money Magazine determined that landscaping offers an excellent return on investment and ranked top out of any home improvements. In addition, there was a study done by the American Society of Landscape Architects in conjunction with Money Magazine finding a recovery value of 100% to 200% of landscaping costs which can be gained when selling your home.
  • Clemson University of Clemson, SC, stated that homes with excellent landscaping will sell for 6% to 7% more than comparable homes with just good landscaping.
  • Michigan State University found similar results, but gives good landscaping even more value. They state that the perceived value of a home which is landscaped nicely is improved by as much as 12%.
  • The Society of Real Estate Appraisers also feels a nicely landscaped home adds value and actually causes homes to sell more quickly.
  • The U.S. Forest Service found that just trees alone can add 3% to 7% to the value of a home.

Q. Can you maintain my landscape after the final installation?

A. Yes – We have a complete team of highly trained and award winning maintenance professionals to provide weekly service for your property. While a growing number of people have become dissatisfied with the poor quality of the typical ‘mow, blow, and go’ service, we take the time to maintain your property to perfection while providing a reliable service you can trust.

Q. Do you use a lot of harsh chemicals and pesticides in your landscape maintenance service?

A. No – We prefer a more naturalistic approach to practices of fertilization, pest problems, and weed control. While uses of chemicals are at times necessary, they should always be used minimally and in the recommended application.

Q. Are San Diego building permits needed for landscaping?

A. Most landscape projects do not require permits. But some projects involving construction will require building permits. Projects involving such elements as permanent structures (like large detached patios and outdoor fireplaces), swimming pools, and retaining walls are some examples. Bradley Landscape Development conforms to all Federal, State, and Local building codes.

Q. Will you work with my HOA?

A. Yes - While individual requirements of HOAs can be as diverse of the properties they represent, a set of established and agreed upon standards must be maintained. We will work closely with your HOA to conform to all specifications and approval processes while bringing out your property's absolute best.

Q. Can you draw me up a landscape plan?

A. Yes – we have our own Design Department who can draw up anything from basic hand-drawn layouts and sketches, highly detailed concept plans, or a complete set of working construction drawings. Clients will often call upon us to provide this service as a first step to their overall project.

Q. We want a lot done, but cannot afford to do it all now. Can you still work with us?

A. Yes – it is not uncommon to do a project in phases, especially when there are such constraints as budget and time. Because we draw up our own plans, we can design a project to be installed in phases. Once the complete plan is established, the property owner can easily pick and choose which parts to be completed now and in the future.

Q. What if I’m not ready for an installation and only need a landscape design or site consultation?

A. We can provide anything from a complete on-site consultation to a complete landscape design and plan. Many people will use this as a reliable and cost-effective solution when exploring options and ideas before investing a large amount of time and expense into a project they might not be happy with in the end.

Q. What if I already have a design or plan?

A. Not a problem at all. We will gladly review your design at the initial consultation and discuss the best way to proceed and achieve the very best finished product.

Q. If I already know exactly what I want, why do I even need design services or consultation?

A. This is a very good question. Creating a pleasing and lasting landscape project is more than simply digging holes, laying sod, and stacking stones. Every site has its own unique set of issues which need to be addressed. Items such as sun exposures, site drainage, grading, and a number of other conditions can have a dramatic impact on whether or not the finished project will stand the test of time and function as it was intended. During the course of preparing your landscape design and planning of each project, we record and analyze all the issues which will affect the final results, including follow up maintenance. With this information, we can proceed with a game plan which, in the end, will add to your complete satisfaction, as well as saving you money by addressing these issues before the project begins.


"Your crews proved to be excellent at both hardscape and softscape elements of the overall design; resulting in a stunning final product."
Ron and Nancy - Fairbanks Ranch, CA
"My wife and I were both very pleased with the work of your company throughout the project."
Robert - San Diego, CA
"Your weekly crew is prompt, courteous and professional. They provide complete "hassle free' care of our landscaping."
Annie and Eric – La Jolla, CA
"I would hire them again in a minute, I can honestly say I can’t find anything negative about the experience, they were amazing!"
Pam – Poway, CA

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