What Makes for a Strong Landscaping Team
December 23, 2020
The Phoenix, Arizona landscape design is challenging, to say the least. It’s an arid climate with long, hot, dry summers creating an environment that only specific plants can withstand. Add in alkaline soil and you’ll soon understand why many homes have dirt instead of grass. Even materials common in other locations, such as bare wood, will crumble fast if not selected and treated specifically for the Phoenix climate. But, this doesn’t have to be you.
It’s time to stop fighting the dust clouds. It’s possible to have a flourishing landscape that looks like it belongs on the cover of Home and Garden. How, you ask?
It all starts with expertise and hiring the right landscaping team!
Must-Have Qualities of the Right Landscaping Team
Anyone can look up a landscaping company online and hire them, but it’s important not to pick the first and only company you see. Sure, they may talk the talk, but when all is said and done, will you really have the yard of your dreams?
Here are some other elements to consider.
#1 Proactive Design Process
When considering a company, you want a landscaping team that can bring your vision to life. This means working with you from start to finish, planning out the landscape, evaluating your options and doing everything possible to make your vision come true. In this initial stage, a thorough design process is critical to success. You want to feel confident that you’re in sync before the team breaks ground. Using CAD, 3D renders, and visualizations of landscape plans help everyone involved and should be a matter of course.
#2 Knowledge of Options
Will there be exceptions to catering to your own choices? Plants, materials, and structures that you want but can’t use? Absolutely. But that doesn’t need to deter from your vision. A true expert will guide you through your options and not only offer you a substitute but one that you’ll love even more than your original choice.
#3 Attentive Listening
You hear it often — landscaping teams forcing their opinions on the homeowners. As a result, the final project looks nothing like the homeowner envisioned and everything like what the landscaping team thought would be better. Now, the homeowner has two choices: live with it or hire someone else to fix it. Option one means money spent without a satisfying result. Option two means spending even more money and going over budget.
Choose a team that listens to what you want and shows you a concrete plan to bring it to life. If the team members refuse to listen to you — or worse, argue — move on. This is beyond a red flag.
#4 Focus on Longevity
In Phoenix, AZ, it’s critical to not only know the climate, but know how it affects plants, irrigation and hardscape materials. With the unique challenges Phoenix has, knowing the landscape and how to properly implement various plants from grass to trees and even building structures that can withstand the elements separates the amateurs from the pros.
Talk to the team, learn what their methods are. How do they approach irrigation, for example? How do they address plant care? How do they enable you to easily maintain the water features? Do they use fire pits with low maintenance needs?
Every project should be delivered with clear expectations from the beginning about how long your features will last, and a statement of how to care for your landscape upon completion.
An experienced landscaping team will deliver on budget and on completion. It is important that each week yields the planned results. It is equally important to have access to a communication portal where you can view your documentation and receive updates on the variety of aspects of your project. In times such as those when we haven’t been able to freely meet people in person, it is also important to be able to pay online.
When selecting your landscape company, ask about the communication and planning systems they use in all their projects. Also check if you can easily get a hold of the team members. Once the project starts, pay attention to whether the teams show up on time, every time.
#6 Attention to Detail
Details are what makes the design. Details are what you’ll indulge in, and what will make your landscape your own, different from your neighbor’s. Pay attention to how detail-oriented the team will be during the initial communication — we guarantee you this will show in the landscape execution.
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The Ideal Composition of a Landscaping Team
The combined expertise of a landscaping team is what makes for the beautiful execution of your landscape. At our landscape company, we employ the following types of professionals:
Design / Sales
The job of the design and sales team is to take the client’s vision and bring it to life. They do this by taking the ideas and elements from the existing property to create a drawing using 3D or CAD software. The design and sales team also helps the client arrange features in a functional design that fits the client’s budget. The sales team will then present and explain the proposal, make sure all is good and then work with the client to sign the contract.
The project manager’s job is to ensure that everything goes smoothly. They handle the schedules for the landscaping team, including the foreman and subcontractors, to ensure work is completed in a timely manner. The project manager also orders the materials to complete the landscaping design. They communicate with the client, keeping them up to date on every aspect of the project as well as addressing any issues that may arise. Finally, this position manages the Foreman, with his crew and subcontractors.
The foreman on your project is the one who runs the physical end. They’re responsible for keeping his/her team on task and on deadline. They communicate with the project manager about all project-related progress and any issues that may arise.
The landscaping team is who is responsible for doing the work. They follow direction from the foreman and tasks include digging, planting and laying down materials (pavers, block, stone, etc). The size of the team depends on the scope of the project. It could be as little as three workers or a large team.
Specialty subcontractors are those that Straight Line Landscaping hires out to do specific tasks. They may be used for:
- Artificial Turf
- Pool Construction
Pretty much any specialized task that Straight Line doesn’t have direct staff for, we hire out. However, our standards for partnering up with these contractors are extremely high. They must meet our quality requirements and adhere to all of the criteria that make our company reputable and coveted in the northern Phoenix, Arizona area.
The accounting team keeps all of the financials in order. They handle receivables, payables, insurance, licenses, taxes and payroll. The client will deal with the accounting team for payments and all financial inquiries.
Customer Service Manager
Our customer service manager has quite the job, but they’re up to the task. They ensure quality control, checking that the landscaping team meets the criteria Straight Line lives by. They also handle warranty work and service requests that come in from the client. Basically, anything that involves keeping the client happy falls under the customer service manager’s scope of work.
You (the Client)
Your job, as the client, is to make all decisions and choices before construction starts. Construction requires many moving parts, most of which are out of the contractor’s control. This can include permits, inspections, trucking, deliveries and supplies. It’s important to have open lines of communication to help ease the stress of any delays that could come up.
Here at Straight Line Landscape, the above list shapes up several field crews. We love to provide our clients with highly-skilled people and their variety of expert knowledge. The crews then receive logistical support from several people at the back office who ensure the show runs smoothly.
In the end, all of these moving parts and crews work together to ensure the end product not only meets, but exceeds what you dreamed up.
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You dream it. We design and construct it. You enjoy it.
Here at Straight Line Landscape we are experts in custom landscape design and construction. From the creative design and selection of materials to installation and construction, you’ll recognize quality and attention to detail from start to finish.