The Carlsbad area, and the rest of San Diego, is known for terrific weather year-round, which is great for people as well as the tropical vegetation. If you are a gardener, or just enjoy year-round greenery, then Carlsbad is a great area to be.
But what to do about all those flowers, palm trees, and grass that grow most of the year?
As a Carlsbad homeowner the choice is to maintain it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you, or to at least help with regular maintenance and projects you don’t, perhaps, want to contend with.
Keep in mind that removal of brush from around your home is a smart fire-retardation method, and in some areas is required by local regulations.
Landscaping and grounds keeping is a huge industry in our area, for obvious reasons, and finding the right people to help with your yard is important. Just because someone can push a lawnmower or handle a pair of shears to clip plants does not necessarily qualify them to do the right job.
There are many folks out there willing to work in your yard for a fee – I probably get 2 dozen business cards dropped off at my home each summer. Prices vary, as do the services offered, and the skills of the service provider. So how do you decide? And what issues are important to consider?
- References and referrals – first and foremost I would try to solicit referrals from people you trust. And a reputable firm will be able to provide references. I would not just hire anyone who walks up to your door and solicits your business…and that is not uncommon.
- Understand the services that will be provided and at what cost. Some folks charge by the hour, others by the job, some will simply do general yard maintenance (e.g., weekly) for a fixed rate, and so on. Understand whether you will need to pay by cash, check or credit card, and how and when you will be billed (at the completion of the work, monthly, etc.). Do you want someone who will just come in and take care of what needs to be done, from their perspective, or do you want more control over what gets done?
- Whoever is providing the services should know about the grass, trees, shrubs and plants they are caring for. Inappropriate trimming, the wrong fertilizer and other careless actions can ruin your plants. Tools that are not cleaned can carry molds, fungus, and other diseases from one yard to another. If you just have basic grass that needs care that is one thing, but fine specimen plantings require a knowledgeable person. And if you want a major landscaping project done, you will surely want to get estimates and designs from several reputable companies before proceeding.
- Communication – how will you communicate your needs to the folks working on your yard? In person? By a note? Do you just let them decide what they think needs to be cared for and how? The industry here in Southern California employs a large number of workers who speak Spanish so you will want to make sure you and those working on your property can understand each other well enough to share information, questions and so on
- Special Projects – taking care of trees, such as tall palms (which are common in our area), or removing them, requires more than person who cuts your lawn. You need someone who knows about the different types of trees, how to trim them, how to deal with roots, diseases, unnecessary branches, and so one, and especially someone who knows how to deal with tall trees and has the right equipment (and who has the necessary insurance and workman’s compensation coverage).
Don’t take the care and maintenance of your yard for granted. It can be a costly part of home maintenance, and added value for your home. If I can help in terms of finding local services to assist you, please feel free to ask.
If you need additional information or have questions about the housing market in general, please contact me by phone or text message at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.