Landscaping

How Can You Have Safe Stormwater Management?

Stormwater management is the process or the act of dealing with the quantity and condition of storm water. This includes structural and manufactured control devices and systems (e.g. retention ponds) for treating dirty water, as well as functional or procedural routines. Management of storm water is really important, particularly in cities where storm water runoff is an issue.

7 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring A Landscape Service Contractor

WARNING! Never hire any landscaper to care for your lawn without asking these seven questions.

These questions will help protect your and your property.

1.      Who pays for injuries or damages?

Many “companies carry no licensing or Insurance. If any of these companies damages anything, or they are injured, you the homeowner can find yourself financially responsible, including if one of the workers falls and breaks a leg. Another tactic of fraudulent businesses is to start an insurance policy and not pay their premiums. They carry an evidence of insurance form that is not valid.

Our Difference: Crider Landscaping is both licensed and insured. Our $2,000,000 Commercial Liability policy gives you and us protection for your home or business. Once we provide you with our evidence of insurance, we also provide the contact information where you can verify coverage. This is what every reputable company should provide.

2.      Where do you get your employees?

A secret fact is many landscape companies hire felons or illegals, those who cannot get jobs “anywhere” else. It is possible for homeowners to be penalized for allowing illegals to perform work on their property. In addition, with the close proximity to your property and family, felons may not be whom you want around your loved ones.

Our Difference: Crider Landscaping only employs individuals who are licensed to work in the United States. Before hiring, our employees get a background check and have to be able to pass a drug test. We want to ensure that we can trust our employees and more importantly that you can trust us. We want responsible workers.

3.      How long have you been doing this type of work?

Someone can claim to be a landscaper with only a truck and shovels and possibly a push mower. Meaning year to year there are new “landscapers” that are in their first year of business with little to no experience and are learning on your property. We hear many stories of homeowners paying good money to someone who absolutely ruins their yard.

Our Difference: At Crider Landscaping, our new staff is trained by our veteran staffers to ensure the best possible service. We have several staff members that have been working in landscaping since their teens. Therefore, Crider Landscaping staff and employees have many years of experience in Landscaping.

4.      Will you take care of my yard after improvements?

Some installation companies are just that, landscape installation companies. They install your landscape and that is the last you hear from them. If your plants die – oh well. They have finished their part and been paid. Besides, they will claim you are the reason the plants died and you did not properly maintain the plants.

Our Difference: At Crider Landscaping, we are capable of maintaining your landscape after installation to ensure that it is always looking its best and your plants are cared for properly.

5.      Will you give me a written contract and guarantee?

Many companies do not offer any contracts therefore leaving a lot of gray area when it comes to your landscape maintenance and installation services. Without contracts, you are not completely protected in what services you will receive.

Our Difference: At Crider Landscaping, we offer maintenance agreements and Installation contracts outlining exactly what services you can expect from us. With these agreements in place, you can be assured you are receiving exactly the services you are paying for. You might also want to check out our guarantee!

6.      How much of a down payment do you require?

Many companies require deposits of 50% or more, and you hear many stories about the contractors that took deposits and never showed up. Do not be one of those stories. Companies that operate with sound business practices should not need deposits of 50% or more.

Our Difference: Many times, we do not require any prepayments. Reputable landscapers have relationships with vendors, allowing us to purchase materials on our accounts. However, at times, we may require deposits for certain projects or portions, but our required deposits will never exceed 33% of the project.

7.      Why are you so expensive? OR Why are you so cheap?

Many companies have to charge much more than us because most if not all of their equipment is financed, they work out of high profile offices with higher rents and are trying to act as if “corporate executives” while you the client pays for the additional costs.

Our Difference: We operate our company on minimal debt; we rent equipment when necessary and work diligently on keeping our operating costs low. We do not have monthly debt payments that lead to higher operating costs, costs that are passed on to you. We also purchase equipment used when possible in order to lower equipment cost. However, we are a professional company who invests in quality equipment and employees to ensure a great job and a good experience for our clients. We also provide insurance, and worker’s comp.

7 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring a Tree Service

WARNING! Never hire any tree service company to remove or trim your trees without asking these 7 questions.

These questions will help protect your and your property.

1.      Who pays for injuries or damages?

Many “companies carry no licensing or Insurance. If any of these companies damages anything, or they are injured, you the homeowner can find yourself financially responsible, including if one of the workers falls and breaks a leg. Another tactic of fraudulent businesses is to start an insurance policy and not pay their premiums. They carry an evidence of insurance form that is not valid.

Our Difference: Crider Landscaping is both licensed and insured. Our $2,000,000 Commercial Liability policy gives you and us protection for your home or business. Once we provide you with our evidence of insurance, we also provide the contact information where you can verify coverage. This is what every reputable company should provide.

2.      Where do you get your employees?

A secret fact is many landscape companies hire felons or illegals, those who cannot get jobs “anywhere” else. It is possible for homeowners to be penalized for allowing illegals to perform work on their property. In addition, with the close proximity to your property and family, felons may not be whom you want around your loved ones.

Our Difference: Crider Landscaping only employs individuals who are licensed to work in the United States. Before hiring, our employees get a background check and have to be able to pass a drug test. We want to ensure that we can trust our employees and more importantly that you can trust us. We want responsible workers.

3.      How long have you been doing this type of work?

One can claim to be a tree company with only a truck and couple of ropes and saws. They are typically going to “climb everything” rent a chipper and have little or no access to other equipment such as bucket trucks and cranes. Meaning year to year there are new “tree companies” that are in their first year of business with little to no experience and are learning on your property.

Our Difference: At Crider Landscaping, our new staff is trained by our veteran staffers to ensure the best possible service. We have several staff members that have been working in tree care since their teens. Therefore, Crider Landscaping staff and employees have many years of experience in tree service.

4.      Will you leave my yard in a mess?

Many companies say they will clean up but actually leave the brush for city clean up. This is an illegal practice and if the city believes that, a contractor did the work they will not haul it off. This will become another expense that can cost more than just having the mess removed in the first place. If the mess is taken care of in this “city” manner, then you get to spend an hour or two raking your lawn after this is finished.

Our Difference:  At Crider Landscaping, we chip all brush, then blow and rake the area so your lawn is actually cleaner than before we arrived to do the work.

5.      How do you ensure my satisfaction, will you put it in writing?

Many companies do not offer any contracts therefore leaving a lot of gray area when it comes to your tree removal and trimming services. Without contracts, you are not completely protected in what services you are supposed to be receiving and could end up dealing with a mess.

Our Difference: At Crider Landscaping, we use carbon-copied quotes and contracts outlining exactly what services you can expect from us. With these agreements in place, you can be assured that you are receiving exactly the services you are paying for.

6.      How much of a down payment do you require?

Many companies require deposits of 50% or more, and you hear many stories about the contractors that took deposits and never showed up. Do not be one of those stories. Companies that operate with sound business practices should not need any deposit, unless it involves an insurance claim and that should be no more than your deductible. Our Difference: Many times, we do not require any prepayments, because of our sound business practices and relationships with insurance companies that allow us to bill them directly.

7.      Why are you so expensive? OR Why are you so cheap?

Many companies have to charge much more than us because most if not all of their equipment is financed, they work out of high profile offices with higher rents and are trying to act as if “corporate executives” while you the client pays for the additional costs.

Our Difference: We operate our company on minimal debt; we rent equipment when necessary and work diligently on keeping our operating costs low. We do not have monthly debt payments that lead to higher operating costs, costs that are passed on to you. We also purchase equipment used when possible in order to lower equipment cost. However, we are a professional company who invests in quality equipment and employees to ensure a great job and a good experience for our clients. We also provide insurance, and worker’s comp.

Doing What You Love for a Living

There is a joy to lawn care that is hard for some people to appreciate.  To be able to work out in nature and enjoy the breeze on your cheek, the sound of birds as you work and the fresh air is just abouthealthy a lifestyle as you can imagine.  And to be able to take a yard and turn it into a beautiful and sculpted work of art is a singular joy that is one of the reasons you may have decided to start your own lawn care company.

When you do for a living what is your passion in life, you really never do go to work (blah,blah,blah).  Every day going out there to dive into the craft of taking care of lawns is a joy of life that to you is fun and not work at all (At some point it will be).  Sure, there will be physical fatigue that comes with working with your hands and body all day long.  But that is the good kind of tired because you did something good with your time and you made the world a more beautiful place.

Many lawn care businesses are started by people who simply love to garden and work with lawns.  So they decided to take what is a passion and a hobby on the weekend and make it their way of earning a living.  One reason this is a natural next step for you may be that you have reached the limits of your creative expression simply working on your own lawn.  If you have more desire to work on crafting a beautiful lawn than you can use on your own home, its a natural next step to take your skill for lawn care and turn it into a business.

You may run a different kind of lawn care business than the big commercial operations.  There is nothing written in stone that you have to start a lawn care business that exists to become a corporate giant employing thousands of people.  Perhaps you want to just own a very small lawn care operation that lets you make your full time job out of a passion you have for lawn care and working with plants.  It doesn’t take that much to support that kind of lawn care business.  If you get just enough customers to give you 4-5 yards to do each day, that is sufficient.

Your passion for what you do will come through when you are talking to perspective customers.  But what will really make you a sought after craftsman of lawn care will be the immaculate job you will do on every lawn that is put in your care.   That is because you don’t come to the job with the objective of getting it done as fast as possible so you can make a lot of money.  If you created this lawn care business to give you a vehicle to do what you love to do and get paid for it, you can dawdle over each lawn and not quit until it is absolutely perfect.

That perfection will be admired by your customers and by his or her neighbors as well. Before long you will have more requests for your services than you know what to do with.  Then you can pick and choose who you wish to work for.  You might choose based on the whether the home owner has that same passion for a beautiful lawn that you do. Or you might select clients that can accommodate your meticulous insistence on perfection and don’t mind giving you the time to create a masterpiece out of their yards.

By approaching your working this way, you will never lack for income. You may even find yourself wooed by hotels or golf courses to bring your special vision for a truly great lawn to their environment.  

That is up to you as to whether you want to take on that kind of challenge.  It could be your master work to create something magnificent from a larger setting like that.   But as long as you are true to your vision for what you want to do with your time and you are doing what you love to do for a living, the details will fall into place.  And you will never regret your decision to make a living with your own lawn care business living for the joy of your work rather than just working for a living.

Retaining Wall in Hixson TN | Case Study

Retaining Wall Project

This particular Retaining Wall project came from an existing client. We originally did a little landscaping and yard clean up for the client. The client purchased this house in Hixson as a foreclosure and the property required a lot of work in order to get the property to the clients expectations. After having problems with the original wall we received the request for a consultation.

About the Retaining Wall

Originally the Retaining Wall was cinder block covered with a concrete stucco type finish.  When we arrived for the first consultation the wall was beginning to fall and crumble, it was a sealed wall with no drainage and therefore after about 40 years the wall was no longer holding up. From the time we first visited to the time we scheduled the rebuild a portion of the wall had already fallen.

The New Wall

There was no question as to whether or not the retaining was needing replaced, the question was how to meet the clients budget while also providing the best aesthetics. The client wanted a natural looking color in the wall and wanted a wall that would last at least another 30 years. We chose an engineered block by Keystone that secured with fiberglass pins so we could build the wall completely vertical.

Challenges in the Wall

The original Retaining Wall was built sometime before the concrete driveway was poured as well as before the sidewalk had been poured as well. This presented a rather unique challenge in the tear out and construction of the new walls. When the foundation of the original wall was encountered we had to break the wall out by hand with breaker bars and hammers in a manner not to damage the existing driveway. Once we got to the sidewalk the foundation went under the walk so we cut the foundation out flush at that point.

Satisfied Retaining wall Customer

The client admired the new wall and we were later requested to veneer the entrance porch with matching pavers to make the porch appear to be a hardscaped patio. Increasing the curb appeal of their home once again getting them closer to their long term goals.

For a consultation on your next retaining wall project contact us, and we will be glad to help you achieve your dreams.

How to take care of your lawn yourself

How to take care of your lawn yourself

There are many people out there who do not even think of having a lawn because they feel that a lawn can only be maintained with the help of professionals. This is far from the truth. All you need for taking care of a lawn is a vague idea of the various issues that matter in lawn care and health. If you have a basic education in this area, you can save money and time by DIY lawn care.

Landscaping Companies That You can Hire

You hire an interior designer to work on the internal aspects of your home. But for the exterior, you will need to call someone else and that is where landscaping companies come in.

Landscaping companies can do a better job than you because they are the experts in this field. But since there are so many out there and you don’t know who to choose, here are a few points that you should remember.

First, you have to know what you want in your garden. It is best to put this on paper so when you talk to a representative of a landscaping company, they have an idea what you want done and offer suggestions and comments.

When you go looking for landscaping companies, see what services they have to offer by calling them up or visiting their website. It will also be a good idea to get referrals from friends and family who have used similar services before so you know what to expect from them.

The only time that you should set up a meeting is if you feel that the landscaping company is able to undertake the project. The first meeting is free. Here you will discuss with them what you want. Don’t forget to ask them questions like what are their credentials and if their certificates and licenses are still valid.

The landscaping company should also have insurance so if anything happens, they will be the ones liable to pay for any damages incurred.

If they have been doing this for many years, you can ask them for a list of their previous clients so you can call them up and see the landscaping work they did before. You should talk to the owner of the property to see if there were any problems and get their opinion if they would hire them again.

Should everything check out, you can then invite them to your home to conduct an ocular inspection of the garden and give you a quote which will tell you how much they will be charging for the whole project.

For those who are still unsure, arrange a meeting with another landscaping company. Do a similar background check and then compare their rates. Naturally you want to get the best services that will give you good value for your money so don’t think that going for someone that is expensive or much cheaper is always the best way to go.

From here on end, it is now up to you do decide whether or not you will avail of their services or not. For your safety, the contract should state that the agreed upon price should be followed and that no additional charges will be added in the future. It should also contain the plants to be used, the design system, terms of payment, length of project, maintenance terms and a guarantee.

Those who follow what was agreed upon strictly to the letter won’t have any problems later should something go wrong since this is a binding contract that must be followed.

Landscaping companies who are able to do a good job are able to get repeat business and more clients in the long term. Those who fail to live up to their standards will fold.

If you don’t want to be a victim of negligent landscape companies, do a background check so you know that you are getting your money’s worth.

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