by Kathleen Wells, Owner, Foghara Advertising & Public Relations
Prescott’s glorious weather means you can enjoy being outside at least eight months out of the year, exercising your prerogative to hike, fish, golf or barbecue in the backyard. For those who lean toward backyard activities, outdoor living spaces are becoming larger and more sophisticated in aesthetics, design and function, all of which require the skills of a professional.
Even with more disposable income at their fingertips, many homeowners are exercising discretion in spending and looking at ways in which they can improve the home they’ve come to love. Investment of that disposable income comes with more stringent requirements – requisites like higher quality products and workmanship that when applied to their home’s landscaping, ultimately results in greater value, both in leisurely enjoyment and monetary appreciation.
Landscape design and installation is a complex endeavor, one that should be accomplished by a professional contractor who has the knowledge and experience to do it right. So how do you know which landscape company to hire?
First, it’s important to consider what you want. Your property’s landscape is as much an extension of yourself as is your home and should express your taste and lifestyle choices. Once you’ve given thought to what you want – paver driveway and walkway, new irrigation/sprinkler system and grassy area complemented by subtle lighting in front or rear paver patio with firepit, new water feature and more lighting – call a licensed contractor to visit and give you a price for the project, not an estimate.
A ballpark estimate is defined as “an approximation, made with a degree of knowledge and confidence that the estimated figure falls within a reasonable range of values.” Say what? Guardian Landscape’s owner Matt Keppel provides potential customers with a project PRICE. Period. “I’ve been asked many times for clarification,” says Keppel.
“While unfortunate, it seems some companies provide a baseline or ballpark ‘estimate’ and then, when they get the job, they start adding costs that should have been part of the original price provided.” The result is the homeowner pays a good deal more than anticipated.
When it comes to hardscapes, there are a few important considerations. While the cost of pavers may be relatively close from one company to another, the labor is where you’ll see a huge difference
Keppel explains, “The foundation of any paver or stone installation is the most important part, and the most labor intensive. I watched another company installing a paver driveway next door to a house I was working on. They laid two inches of decomposed granite then followed with just the pavers and regular sand – no excavation at all. A good foundation should be dug at least 8 inches down and leveled before adding granite and so on. The neighbor’s driveway looked good when finished. However, it won’t last for more than probably two years before it starts breaking down. The paver driveway I installed will last at least 10 years, likely more.”
There are other factors that influence the quality and cost of hardscape installations, from the kind of sand used to fill the gaps in pavers to equipment access to the job location (can trucks and equipment back up to the job or does everything have to be hauled in by hand?). Keppel’s advice is to learn as much as possible about why there may be cost differences from one company to another. Learning about quality products as well as craftsmanship is the best way to ensure you spend your money wisely and get the results you desire.
“I take pride in the quality of all Guardian Landscape’s projects. It’s important to me that our customers enjoy a beautiful property for many years,” said Keppel. “Guardian Landscape is not the cheapest contractor, but we have an excellent reputation for superior quality work that lasts.”
Guardian Landscape is at 1032 E. Fair St., Unit B in Prescott. For more information or a free project quote, call 928-379-0063.