Enhancing Your Landscape
Three signs you should hire a professionalBy Brandpoint
In this age of do-it-yourself (DIY), many outdoor home projects look and seem doable. The truth is, plenty of outdoor projects tackled by homeowners are better left to landscape professionals. When attempting these projects on their own, homeowners find that the jobs require more expertise than they possess.
Fortunately, certified experts are available to help turn your vision into an enjoyable reality. Here are three signs that you need a pro.
1Your lawn looks unhealthy
You see brown grass, patchy growth and weeds. You’ve tried everything from various lawn products to altered watering techniques, but nothing works.
Lawn care professionals have the education to get to the root of your yard problems. He or she can evaluate factors including the pH balance of your soil, the presence of non-native grasses or problems created by over- or under-fertilizing your lawn.
2You want a patio
You’ve viewed online pictures of patios, and think, “How hard can that be?” Hardscaping — installing elements of landscape architecture, from pathways to retaining walls — requires a skilled hand, careful consideration of the best materials, plus knowledge of placement and installation. A professional will know what materials work best for your region and existing landscape and can assess your yard to consider issues that could affect your new feature.
3You want a cohesive design
You want new flowers and lush greenery but don’t know where to start. You’d also like a more comprehensive look to your yard that has features such as lighting or pathways to complement the new plantings.
Landscapers and landscape designers are trained in proper plant selection, understand what grows best in specific soil conditions, and know how to achieve a balance of colors, textures and variety. They can add attractive focal points such as pathways, pergolas, statuary, lighting, fountains, ponds and waterfalls. They also know how to use plantings and other features to change or camouflage any unsightly areas of your yard.
The design process begins with a consultation. Usually it is free, but ask first. A landscaper or landscape designer will walk your property with you, discuss your budget, wishes and needs for your spaces and then present a proposal.
Depending on the scope of your project and your budget, you can elect to install the entire project at once, or install plantings and features in phases.
Experts found through the National Association of Landscape Professionals are among those who can help create and maintain beautiful, healthy green spaces.
To find its members, visit loveyourlandscape.org.
NC license required
To perform work that falls within the category of landscaping, individuals in North Carolina require a license, issued by the NC Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board (NCLCLB). Ask contractors you are considering to show you their license number (usually displayed on business cards, work vehicles and contracts). You can also enter the name of an individual or corporation to verify a current license at the NCLCLB’s license database.
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