Alameda – Landscape - Contractor

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(877) 312-4128

Serving the Bay Area

Services include Fire Pits & Fireplaces; BBQ Islands & Outdoor Kitchens; Paver & Concrete Sealing & Cleaning, Landscape Design & Installation; Pavers: Driveways, Patios & Pool Decks; Synthetic & Natural Lawns;...
License 841042 | DCID8009421955
(510) 394-5923
(925) 679-5920

Serving the East Bay and Tri-Valley Areas

Services include landscape consultation, design and landscape installation. Brands include Toro, Irritrol, ForeverLawn, Hunter...
License 440372 | DCID5105370464
(925) 567-3965
(510) 371-5940

Serving Alameda and Contra Costa Counties including Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro, Alameda, Hayward and Danville

Services include Brick, Concrete, Full-Service Design & Construction, Innovative Lighting, Outdoor Kitchens & BBQs, Professional Carpentry, StoneMakers Dealer, Stonework, Synthetic Turf, Water Features. Brands include Basalite, Calstone,...
License 663424 | DCID9254434408

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Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Landscape Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?
Landscaping services in Alameda County by Diamond Certified landscapers.

New front yard landscaping by a Diamond Certified landscape contractor. Each landscaping company listed above has been rated Highest in Quality and has earned Diamond Certified, so you'll feel confident choosing among them. For more information on how best to hire and work with a landscaping contractor in Alameda County, read the following articles. Photo: Kerri Landscape Services (2012)

By DIAMOND CERTIFIED PROGRAM STAFF WRITERS
Topic: Finding High Quality Landscapers in Alameda County

OAKLAND — You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a landscape contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified landscaper. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated landscaping contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
How to Find the Best Landscape Contractors in Alameda County For You
Professional landscaping services in Alameda County, including Oakland, CA.
An English garden-themed yard created by an Alameda County landscaper. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2012)

Professional landscapes can bring beauty to your home and peace to your soul. But there are so many decisions to make about what you want your yard to represent, to embody, to showcase. Who can you turn to when all you have are questions and the answers seem to be written in a different language?

Trustworthy landscape contractors in Alameda County, including those that serve customers in the larger cities of Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro, Union City and Newark, can make all the difference when you are trying to decide how to go about beautifying your outdoor space....

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Professional landscapes can bring beauty to your home and peace to your soul. But there are so many decisions to make about what you want your yard to represent, to embody, to showcase. Who can you turn to when all you have are questions and the answers seem to be written in a different language?

Trustworthy landscape contractors in Alameda County, including those that serve customers in the larger cities of Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro, Union City and Newark, can make all the difference when you are trying to decide how to go about beautifying your outdoor space.

The first question you may be asking yourself is, "How do I find a landscape contractor in Alameda County that I can trust?"

You've come to the right place. Diamond Certified is committed to helping you hire a landscape contractor who fits your needs, budget and personality.


Take a look through the articles below to find practical tips on how to find and hire an Alameda County landscape contractor, even from the smaller cities of Albany, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Mount Eden, Piedmont and Sunol, that you can have complete faith in to make your yard more beautiful and your home a place of peace and contentment.

Prior Research: Your Role in Finding a Suitable Alameda County Landscape Contractor
Now you do have to do a little research and make a few decisions before beginning your search for an Alameda County landscape contractor. First of all, you need to understand the difference between the professionals in the landscaping business.

Good landscaping contractors in Alameda County can provide the service of designing outdoor spaces and then doing the labor to bring them to fruition or they can simply take the design of a landscape architect and make it a reality. Both landscape contractors and architects are licensed by the state of California, whereas a landscape designer is an unlicensed person who can provide you with ideas as well as plans for planting and the look of a yard.

If you decide that a landscape contractor is the right choice for you, Diamond Certified can help you locate, interview and hire a landscape contractor that can get your job done. Once again, it's going to take a little prior effort on your part to get the ball rolling. You'll need to know a basic idea of what kind of design you are looking for, be honest with yourself about the shape of your outdoor space at the present moment and become attuned with what design styles work with your personality and space.

But don't worry! We'll give you lots of questions to ask yourself that will help you shape your own answers before you get started on hiring an Alameda County landscape contractor. Remember, knowing what you want will help you hire the right kind of landscape contractor for your project.

What to Look for in a Good Alameda County Landscape Contractor
You are not really in the market for a landscape. You are actually looking for the services of a landscape contractor who can bring the landscape you have in your head into your outdoor space. A good relationship with a trustworthy Alameda County landscape contractor can last as little time as it take for your initial project to be completed or as long as your tastes keep changing and with them your yard.

Whatever the time frame, when you initially attempt to hire a landscape contractor, the first item you'll want to be aware of is the contractor's license. You can contact the California Landscape Contractors Association for a complete list of licensed landscape professionals in your area, whether that is in the larger cities of Fremont, Berkeley, Alameda, Pleasanton and Dublin or the smaller cities of Ashland, Cherryland, Livermore, Russell City and San Lorenzo.

It is best to look for a licensed landscaping contractor because they are regulated by laws that protect you; they are bonded; and they must complete four years of apprenticeship in the field before they can apply for a license. Each of these aspects will give the licensed landscape contractor a leg up on the competition; otherwise you might be left liable for anything that might go wrong during a landscaping project.

Landscape contracting in Alameda County is definitely an area of expertise where actions speak louder than words, and you should get out in your community and ask neighbors, friends and businesses with outdoor spaces you love who does their landscaping.

A lot of designs may look fantastic on paper, but you'll want to know what you like the look of in real life in order to hire a landscape contractor who can help you bring that look to your own home.

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Know What You Want
Clarifying Your Needs: What to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Alameda County Landscape Contractor

The first step towards creating a professional landscape in your outdoor space is to clearly understand exactly why you are seeking professional help with your yard. You have to know why you want to change the look of your landscape before a professional landscaper can begin the process of transformation.
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The first step towards creating a professional landscape in your outdoor space is to clearly understand exactly why you are seeking professional help with your yard. You have to know why you want to change the look of your landscape before a professional landscaper can begin the process of transformation.

Being honest with yourself about the state of your budget for any outdoor project will also be very helpful in starting a defined search for an Alameda County landscape contractor. As with any home-improvement project, a budget must be tentative and allow for setbacks or complications, but you must have a number in mind before you begin.

To truly be ready to answer the question of "how much," you will need to clarify what exactly needs to happen with your space, how much of your landscape you are going to tackle and the basic idea of what you want the transformation to look like. You don't have to come up with a design (that is why you are hiring a professional), but you do need to have some small idea as to what you are looking for so that you know how to plan, especially when it comes to creating a budget.

In order to help you create a tentative plan and budget, take a look at the questions below. Answer them honestly for yourself, and you will be well on your way to beginning the real process of hiring a good landscape contractor in Alameda County, including those that serve the cities of Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro, Union City and Newark and beyond.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified landscaping company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Am I looking for a landscape contractor to increase the value of my property?
  • Do I want to increase my enjoyment with my outdoor space?
  • Do I have water and/or energy concerns that are prompting my need for a landscape contractor?
  • Am I attempting to create a safe environment for children and/or pets with a new landscape?
  • What outdoor activities does my current landscape allow for? What would I like a professional landscape to support?
  • Do I have any idea what style I am looking for (English garden, new age tranquility garden, etc.) or do I need professional help with that step as well?
  • What features am I interested in (water fountains, rock gardens, waterfalls, built-in barbecuing space, etc.)?
  • What materials do I like best (granite, stone, wood, etc.)?
  • How big of an area (in square feet) am I looking to revamp?
  • What is the current state of my outdoor space (rough dirt and rock, basic grass, terraced, etc.)?
  • How much am I willing and/or able to spend on this landscaping project?
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What to Ask on the Phone
Questions to Ask Alameda Landscape Contractors on the Phone

Before hiring an Alameda County landscape contractor, it is a good idea to shop around for a landscaping firm that fits your needs and personality. While not every question can be addressed over the phone, having a basic list to ask each landscaping company can help you efficiently determine who would be the right fit for your organizational needs.

Use the following questions as a guide and write down the contractors' answers for future comparison:...

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Before hiring an Alameda County landscape contractor, it is a good idea to shop around for a landscaping firm that fits your needs and personality. While not every question can be addressed over the phone, having a basic list to ask each landscaping company can help you efficiently determine who would be the right fit for your organizational needs.

Use the following questions as a guide and write down the contractors' answers for future comparison:

  1. Has your Alameda County landscaping company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  2. How long has your local landscaping firm been in business?
  3. How many years of landscaping experience do you have personally?
  4. Do you have workmen's compensation and liability insurance for your workers and any landscaping projects you take on?
  5. How do you charge for landscaping design and maintenance?
  6. Do you provide any sort of warranty for your landscaping work?
  7. Do you visit my home initially to assess the work that needs to be done? Is this home visit included in the overall price?
  8. Can you provide your state license number? (Be sure to check the Contractor's State License Board to follow up once you have this.)
  9. Do you provide both landscape design and installation? If so, what is the cost breakdown between these services?
  10. Can you provide me with at least three addresses for local landscapes you have completed?
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What to Ask in Person
Questions to Ask Local Landscaping Contractors in Person
A manicured lawn and covered patio installation.
A custom covered patio and lawn with a view. Photo: Pacheco Brothers Gardening Inc. (2012)

Once you have completed enough phone interviews to feel confident in narrowing down your choices for a good Alameda County landscaping company, you are now ready to invite some local landscapers to visit your home or business to answer some questions and provide an in-person estimate.

Use the following questions to help you hire the right landscape contractor for you once you have visited some select firms....

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Once you have completed enough phone interviews to feel confident in narrowing down your choices for a good Alameda County landscaping company, you are now ready to invite some local landscapers to visit your home or business to answer some questions and provide an in-person estimate.

Use the following questions to help you hire the right landscape contractor for you once you have visited some select firms.

  1. Do you specialize in the sort of landscaping design and/or installation I am looking for?
  2. Can you help me identify plants that work well in our Alameda County climate?
  3. How long do you think it will take to complete my proposed project?
  4. Is it your policy to provide a written contract for all new landscaping?
  5. Do you provide landscaping maintenance? Are there any discounts for customers who have you design and/or do the initial installation?
  6. If permits have to be obtained for my proposed project, who is responsible for securing those, are you or am I?
  7. Will I be assigned one designer and/or contractor to work with throughout my project, or does your company float designers and/or contractors?
  8. Can you provide me with ten new addresses and contacts for landscaping installations you have done recently and (if you provide maintenance) five new addresses for landscaping maintenance that you are working on currently?
  9. Can I see certified proof of your contractor's license, liability insurance and workmen's compensation?
  10. Do you hold any other professional credentials or belong to any associations?
  11. May I review your portfolio?
  12. How quickly after we solidify my landscaping plan can I expect a contract?
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What to Ask References
Questions to Ask References of Alameda County Landscape Contractors

It is difficult to be sure that the Alameda County landscape company you choose is the best fit for you. But with Diamond Certified on your side, you can have confidence in your choice.
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It is difficult to be sure that the Alameda County landscape company you choose is the best fit for you. But with Diamond Certified on your side, you can have confidence in your choice.

It's best to choose a Diamond Certified landscape contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can't pass. If you want quality from a landscape contractor in Alameda County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies.

And you'll never be fooled by fake reviews. That's because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.


If you can't find a Diamond Certified landscape contractor that serves your area, you'll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it's wise to call some references provided by your contractor.

Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the landscaping firm are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That's because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company's 10 most recent customers with projects similar to yours. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

Use the following questions to learn all you can from the references you receive from your Alameda County landscaping contractor.

  1. Did this landscaping contractor provide open and timely communication throughout your project?
  2. Did this landscape contractor ensure that he/she left your outdoor space safe for your family and pets during the project's completion?
  3. Did this Alameda landscaping contractor clean up the worksite each day?
  4. Did this landscape contractor keep ahead of delays as much as possible and give good warning if a delay was unavoidable?
  5. Was the project completed within the time frame and your agreed-upon budget?
  6. Did this contractor keep current with all building codes and permits?
  7. If this contractor is providing landscaping maintenance, are you happy with their response time and maintenance service?
  8. Were you satisfied with their service? Would you/have you recommended this contractor?
  9. Would you hire this local landscaping contractor again?
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Review Your Options
Hiring a Good Landscape Contractor in Alameda County
The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

Alameda County Landscaping contractors stand as one of the most complicated pieces of the home improvement industry puzzle. Some contractors work on relatively small tasks like mulch delivery and installation, seasonal planting, sprinkler systems, etc. Larger landscaping firms help clients draft a plan for their outdoor space that will have the neighbors heads turning and fingers dialing a landscape professional of their own....

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Alameda County Landscaping contractors stand as one of the most complicated pieces of the home improvement industry puzzle. Some contractors work on relatively small tasks like mulch delivery and installation, seasonal planting, sprinkler systems, etc. Larger landscaping firms help clients draft a plan for their outdoor space that will have the neighbors heads turning and fingers dialing a landscape professional of their own.

Whether you live in the larger cities of Fremont, Berkeley, Alameda, Pleasanton and Dublin or the smaller cities of Albany, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Mount Eden, Piedmont and Sunol, both types of landscaping companies can be found. You should understand your needs before making a final decision on who to hire.

Once you've decided on the kind of landscaping project you have on your hands and the type of company you want to hire, you'll need to be aware that landscaping can get expensive. According to commercial data, the average cost to install landscaping for residential properties is $4,000.

Your project may fall under or over the national average, but there are ways to get good value for whatever monetary amount you decide to spend.


Of course, your choice of a landscaping contractor is one of the biggest factors in gaining value for the money you spend on your outdoor oasis. So before deciding on the best landscaping contractor in Alameda County for you, it's important to consider the following questions.

  1. Have I carefully assessed my needs, measured my property and done appropriate prior research to understand the type of landscaping firm I need to hire?
  2. Do I have an idea of the design I am looking to implement, or do I need help with that initial step?
  3. What is my budget for this project?
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How to Work With
Step by Step: What to Expect When Working with Landscaping Companies

Now that you've hired an Alameda County landscape company, you will want to be prepared for the process of working with them for the best results.

Although each landscaping contractor works in their own way, the following steps are a generalized plan for the process of working with your landscape contractor....

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Now that you've hired an Alameda County landscape company, you will want to be prepared for the process of working with them for the best results.

Although each landscaping contractor works in their own way, the following steps are a generalized plan for the process of working with your landscape contractor.

  1. Initial consultation interview: This will happen at your outdoor site. The contractor should ask to hear your version of the transformation that will take place, review the property, discuss initial design plans and discuss your options according to your budget and needs. From this interview, a tentative design and contract can be built.
  2. Questionnaire or review interview: Synthesis of every wish and option talked about during the first consultation. This can also include an actual questionnaire complete with pictures of other designs to review and give comments on. Your color palette for the project should be finalized at this step.
  3. In-depth site analysis: The contractor should take photos, completely measure the space, analyze your soil, look into any building codes or permits needed, note weather patterns and drainage issues as well as slate any existing plant material for relocation or removal.
  4. Concept sketching and plan development: Once there is an agreed-upon base plan, your contractor should offer other ideas and options for your space. After these have been discussed, the final design can be approved. Final design needs to include everything from site elements to material specifications, irrigation system determination to plant installation.
  5. Ground-breaking: The start date for the project, usually beginning with the removal and rearrangement any existing landscape.
  6. Site observation: Your contractor should visit your project periodically to monitor installation and answer any questions or concerns that may have arisen. This is the time to bring up any changes to the design that you are considering.
  7. Plant installation: This is one of the final steps to completing your landscaping project and your contractor needs to ensure that you are an integral part of the process. You need to understand the plants that are going to be part of your outdoor life for years to come.
  8. Final on-site interview: Your contractor should take a walk-through your project with you upon completion to review any last instructions and to answer any last questions you might have. This is the time to make sure your satisfaction is met in regards to any contractual elements.

Remember that your Alameda County landscape contractor may work a little differently through these steps, but the process should look similar and the main details should still be included, even if they happen at differing times.

Benefits of Working with Alameda County Landscape Contractors
You may wonder if it is worth all the trouble to look for and hire an Alameda County landscape contractor. Do-it-yourself landscaping can seem like an attractive way to save money.

But consider these factors: do you have the knowledge of what plants work for your yard, your climate, your commitment to outdoor life? Do you understand how to irrigate so that you are not wasting money on plants that won't survive? Do you have the expertise to install any high-end features you may be considering such as an outdoor kitchen or waterfall?

Professional landscapers in Alameda County can provide you with all the knowledge, expertise and experience it will take to turn your bland yard into an outdoor oasis. Benefits of working with a trustworthy landscape contractor include:

  • Increase your property value (in some cases, by as much as 15 percent)
  • Enhance your outdoor space with their specialized knowledge of the land and climate
  • Bring focus to your vision for transforming your outdoor space and a design that incorporates energy (and therefore money) saving tips
  • Installation of irrigation, sprinkler, lighting systems, etc. that take special know-how and improve your project to a new level

Doing landscaping projects by yourself may seem to save you costs up front, but hiring a knowledgeable Alameda County landscape contractor can save you a lot more time, money and headache in the long run.

Understanding Bonds: Working with Your Alameda County Landscape Contractor
Licensed bonds are mandated for Alameda County landscape contractors, but this doesn't necessarily mean your job will be completed in the way or in the timeframe that you were hoping for.

Payment and performance bonds are the next best thing to helping you make sure you get the work you pay for. Although nothing can really ensure that your project will be completed, these bonds give a financial guarantee against mechanics' liens; these can be filed against you if your landscape contractor does not pay subcontractors or suppliers that they use. Payment and performance bonds also provide a certain amount of money to finish a project if your contractor will not do it.

Remember that this bond should include the total estimated cost, to fully cover any expenses you may be left with. You should know that these bonds can cost one to five percent over the total price, but you have to weigh how much it will gain you in the end if something goes wrong.

Another reason to look for an Alameda County landscape contractor with more experience, whether you live in the larger cities of Fremont, Berkeley, Alameda, Pleasanton and Dublin or the smaller cities of Ashland, Cherryland, Livermore, Russell City and San Lorenzo, is because contractors who are new to the landscaping world may not be able to obtain these payment and performance bonds.

There is one other option to give your project a sense of security, especially if your contractor is unable to obtain a bond. Joint control companies specialize in construction, both building and landscaping. These companies receive your payment and then distribute it to your contractor and its suppliers, subcontractors, etc.

A joint control company should take a look at the final project before paying out your money and also provide a warranty against any mechanics' liens. Your Alameda County landscape contractor should be able to provide you with names of these type of companies.

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Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good Customer When Dealing with Landscaping Companies?

It's the landscape contractor's responsibility to put in quality landscapes using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your landscape contractor, too.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County landscape contractor....

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It's the landscape contractor's responsibility to put in quality landscapes using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your landscape contractor, too.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County landscape contractor.

  • Be clear and upfront with the landscape contractor. Let them know what you want, the long-term outcome you're expecting and specific ways your landscaping company can satisfy your expectations.
  • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way in earning and maintaining trust.
  • Before you hire a landscape contractor in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the firm's representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local landscape contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your landscaping contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he/she will call you with updates.
  • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they're working on your yard. The work will move along more smoothly if your contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
  • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the landscaping project on schedule.
  • Pay for the landscaping work promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Landscape contractors in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check the Work
Check the Landscaping Services Before Settling Your Invoice

You'll want to be careful about how and when you make payments to your Alameda County landscape contractor. If it is your first time working with the company, you want to make sure that the job will get done before you put money into it. Be especially guarded against contractors who ask for any amount before starting your project....

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You'll want to be careful about how and when you make payments to your Alameda County landscape contractor. If it is your first time working with the company, you want to make sure that the job will get done before you put money into it. Be especially guarded against contractors who ask for any amount before starting your project.

Most Alameda County contractors do not require a down payment, although they may request their payment in installments over the length of the project. If a down payment is expected, remember that the legal limit for home improvement projects is only 10 percent of the total estimated cost of the job or $1,000, whichever comes out to less.


If you have requested a payment and performance bond or are using a joint control company, this down payment cap does not count. You'll need to make sure that any down payment or payment schedule is written in your contract and always make payments by money order or check, never cash.

Finally, do not pay your last installment until the landscaping project meets your expectations and the specifications outlined in your contract. Even small things, such as cleaning up any remaining trash or yard construction debris in your yard should be the responsibility of your landscaping contractor, and to protect yourself, it is always best to withhold final payments until you are completely satisfied.

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Written Warranties
Request Written Contracts from Alameda County Landscape Contractors
A natural stone patio seating area by an Alameda County landscape company.
A stone patio seating area installed by a Diamond Certified landscaper. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2012)

California law states that home improvement projects over $500 must be agreed upon in writing. It is in your best interest, even if your landscaping project is under that amount, that you request a written contract from the landscaping company you are about to hire.

Valid landscaping services contracts should always include the following:...

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California law states that home improvement projects over $500 must be agreed upon in writing. It is in your best interest, even if your landscaping project is under that amount, that you request a written contract from the landscaping company you are about to hire.

Valid landscaping services contracts should always include the following:

  • The legal name, address, contractor's state license number and telephone number of the landscaping contractor
  • Registration number of any employee involved on the project
  • A detailed description of the work to be completed and materials list (including quantity and type of plants and irrigation equipment)
  • Any warrantees or guarantees (including verbal contracts) on landscaping work, equipment and materials
  • Approximate start and end date
  • A statement holding the landscape contractor to clean up and removal of all job-related detritus after the completion of the project
  • A statement explaining any building permits needed or codes to be followed and the ways to protect yourself and your property
  • A statement that the contractor will uphold his/her bond, if one exists

After signing the contract, changes that you and/or your landscape contractor make in the work or materials to be use must be added in writing. The change order must also include any increases or reductions in the total job price.

If you have carefully planned the job and selected a licensed Alameda County landscape contractor, the job should progress without any major problems.

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Top 10 Requests
Common Requests Made of Landscaping Companies in Alameda County

Landscaping ideas can be as varied as the number of people who own homes and want to beautify their outdoor spaces. It is difficult to narrow down what clients of Alameda County landscape contractors generally want when they hire a landscaping firm to help with their outdoor transformation....

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Landscaping ideas can be as varied as the number of people who own homes and want to beautify their outdoor spaces. It is difficult to narrow down what clients of Alameda County landscape contractors generally want when they hire a landscaping firm to help with their outdoor transformation.

However, the following 10 elements of landscaping design are some of the most commonly requested features for outdoor installation. Talk with your Alameda County landscape contractor, including those in Fremont, Berkeley, Alameda, Pleasanton and Dublin, to see what they are willing and/or able to accomplish in your outdoor space.

Flower gardens and/or plant gardens
Most commonly thought of as landscaping, flowers and plants are just one of the many ways landscape contractors improve the beauty and value of your home. Their expertise can help you choose the right flowers and plants to flourish in your yard.

Outdoor lighting
Not often associated with the landscape, outdoor lighting is actually an integral part of providing beauty and safety to your outdoor space. Landscape contractors will either be trained to do this part themselves or hire a subcontractor who specializes in lighting to accomplish your design.

Stone walkways
The more natural choice for walkways in your outdoor space, stone can enhance the look of your yard without adding a lot of man-made material. Stone walkways also help showcase any spaces that have been landscaped without a lot of traffic to ruin planted areas.

Patios
Your Alameda County landscape contractor can help you decide on the material best suited to your outdoor space for installing a patio. Adding a patio can enhance not only the beauty of your yard, but also the usability.

Fountains
Water features are a fantastic way to bring interest and depth to your landscape. Fountains help contain the water to a smaller, more manageable space and you can work with your Alameda County landscape contractor to find one that fits your style and budget.

Outdoor kitchens and fire pits
Like adding another room to your house, the outdoor kitchen and fire pit truly adds measureable value to your property. While this can be a costly element to landscaping, your contractor can work with you to find an outdoor kitchen and/or fire pit that scales to meet your needs.

Koi ponds
Fish add an instant sense of true nature to your outdoor space not accomplished by any other feature. Koi ponds are popular for those homeowners who are willing to keep up the effort it takes to maintain them. Discuss maintenance with your Alameda County landscape contractor, as it can be extensive.

Natural streams and custom waterfalls
Another water feature with a little more natural credibility than a fountain, the stream and/or waterfall can immediately transform an outdoor space into a magical oasis. This feature also changes the types of plants that can be introduced into your yard, as it adds natural irrigation and watering capabilities.

Brick paver walkways
Similar to a stone walkway, the brick paver walkway enables you to direct outdoor traffic in your landscaped space and keep trampling to a minimum. Brick pavers are much more uniform and suited to a design that incorporates more rigid lines between naturally occurring landscapes and man-made features.

Terracing
Helpful with erosion control and drainage issues, terracing can be a lovely way to address difficulties with your outdoor space. Your Alameda County landscape contractor can provide many options for accomplishing this look while incorporating your other design wants and needs.

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If Things Go Wrong
Landscaping Contractors Backed By the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

Diamond Certified landscape contractors are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the landscaping company is Diamond Certified and you can't resolve the issue by talking with the Alameda landscape company owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138....

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Diamond Certified landscape contractors are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the landscaping company is Diamond Certified and you can't resolve the issue by talking with the Alameda landscape company owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Easy Ways to End Conflict with your Alameda County Landscape Contractor
Alameda County landscape contractors, for the most part, have your best interests in mind and want a positive outcome for your outdoor space as much as you do. But in some cases, despite your best efforts, problems can occur. Remember that communication is key -always attempt to clarify any questions or concerns you have along the way.

Of course, problems can sometimes arise no matter how much you try to stop them, but you can sometimes stop a problem from developing by remembering the following pointers:

  • Stay calm, rational and polite.
  • If it is a larger company and there is a supervisor to speak with, request a meeting between you, your representative and that person.
  • Have a detailed outline of your complaint and expectations ready to present.
  • Be willing to compromise to a mutually agreed upon outcome and let the company know it.

If none of these measures work, file a complaint with the Contractor's State License Board. They will answer any questions you have, investigate valid complaints and work to find a solution with your landscaping contractor.

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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Landscaping Companies
Natural stone landscaping including flower beds, patio and seating areas.
Stone flowerbeds and a natural stone patio complete this spacious yard. Photo: Pacheco Brothers Gardening Inc. (2012)

Landscape contracting and the landscaping business in general have a specific language that may sometimes feel like a code that needs cracking. The following list of terms and definitions should help you navigate your way when hiring and working with your Alameda County landscape contractor.

air rights
A type of easement which allows a contractor to build over a street or structure....

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Landscape contracting and the landscaping business in general have a specific language that may sometimes feel like a code that needs cracking. The following list of terms and definitions should help you navigate your way when hiring and working with your Alameda County landscape contractor.

air rights
A type of easement which allows a contractor to build over a street or structure.

American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
A professional society that represents landscape architects betters their practice and understanding through education, research, state registration, etc.

base plan
A plan showing site boundaries and features, used as a basis for further development.

building codes
Regulations that specify the type of methods and materials allowed on a project.

building permit
An authorization dispensed by a government agency which permits construction of a project according to agreed-upon specifications.

built environment
A man-made creation or alterations to an outdoor space, including its natural resources.

Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)
A digital design program that produces precise plans for landscaping projects.

Also known as: CAD, computer aided design
contour
The form of the land. Contour lines are map lines which are used to show and measure slope and drainage.

conservation
The safeguard, improvement and use of natural resources according to principles that will guarantee economic or social benefits for our environment now and in the future.

conservation plan
A plan for protecting natural or manufactured resources. Used as a tool in making decisions regarding soil, water, vegetation, manufactured objects and other resources.

design
The creative illustration, planning and specification of outdoor space for utility, value and beauty.

drainage
Where water escapes from a land surface or subsurface, through sewers or natural means.

easement
The legal grant to use an area of designated property.

grade
How the land slopes. Grading is the process of changing the degree of the slope in order to promote drainage and landscape design.

hardscape
Things that are added to a landscape, such as paving stones, gravel, walkways, irrigation systems, roads, retaining walls, sculpture, street amenities, fountains, etc.

International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)
A multinational organization of landscapers whose purpose is the advancement of landscape design.

landscape
The amount of land that can be seen at a glance.

landscape architect
A professional who designs outdoor spaces from whole ecosystems to residential sites

Also known as: designer, planner, consultant

landscape architecture
The science and art of design of the land involving natural and built elements and concern for resource conservation to improve outdoor spaces. Effective landscape architecture makes the most of the land, adds value to a project and minimizes costs, all while minimizing negative effects to nature.

landscape contractor
A trained installer of landscapes who implements the plans of landscape architects.

manipulation of space
The organization of land for aesthetic or functional design. Refers to the building of small backyard patios to huge urban plazas.

master plan
An initial plan showing proposed development. Master plans show phases of work needing to be completed and are therefore subject to changes over time.

natural resources
Elements naturally occurring in an area that can be used to fulfill human needs, including air, soil, water, native vegetation, etc.

site plan
A drawing including dimensions that indicates the form and physical objects existing in an outdoor space and those still to be built.

softscape
The naturally occurring elements landscape architects work with, such as plant materials.

zoning
Legal land-use control and building regulations usually implemented by a municipality, involving the designation of land areas for specific purposes.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Alameda County Landscape Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape contractor in Alameda County?A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a landscape contractor in Alameda County with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only Alameda landscape contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can't pass the ratings....

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Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape contractor in Alameda County?A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a landscape contractor in Alameda County with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only Alameda landscape contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can't pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you'll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified landscaping company.

Q: What services can an Alameda County landscape contractor provide?
A: A good landscape contractor will be able to hear your vision and provide insight on what can work with your space and the local climate. They will start by crafting a plan that fits your specific needs and vision. Your contractor will manage the people, materials and equipment needed to produce the transformation to your outdoor space. They are also in charge of any building permits and your safety during the project's completion. A really good landscape contractor will give you a final product that maintains itself as much as possible and performs as good as it looks.

Q: When should we hire an Alameda County landscape contractor?
A: There is not a point too soon at which you should look for a licensed contractor. As soon as you are dedicated to landscaping your space, which means you need to know what you don't like about your current yard and what you would want installed to make it more enjoyable, then you are ready to begin your search. Hiring a licensed contractor early in the process can help you keep from making costly mistakes and heightens the chances that you will be pleased with the final outcome.

Q: How can I make sure I am hiring the best possible landscape contractor?
A: Seeking out a Diamond Certified landscape contractor is always the best place to begin. Beyond that you should ask around to see if any family, friends, neighbors or co-workers have hired contractors that they would recommend. It is essential to hire a contractor who is familiar with the type of project you are looking to complete. Pay attention to the services and experience of every company you interview.

Q: What is the best indicator that I have hired the right landscape contractor?
A: Research indicates that the number one way people can tell they will be satisfied with the final results of their landscaping project is whether or not they were able to communicate effectively with the landscape contractor from the beginning of their professional relationship. Your contractor should make you feel comfortable to bring up any questions or concerns that arise along the way. In addition, you should be confident that your landscape contractor understands from the outset what you believe your transformation should look like. Ask many clarifying questions as you work on a plan together to make sure that you are on the same wavelength as your contractor.

Q: Why should I look for a licensed landscape contractor?
A: Licensed contractors are bonded against negligent work and any breaches of contract. In addition, licensed contractors in the state of California are required to serve in the field for at least four years before applying for a license. Hiring a licensed contractor ensures that the company working on your outdoor space has professional experience and has passed an exam that tests their knowledge of the field extensively.

Q: How much expense will hiring a landscape contractor add to my project?
A: You will pay for the expertise of a landscape contractor, but hiring the right one can in fact save you a lot of money. The expertise you pay for will let you know exactly what features your outdoor space is suited for and what can be installed with ease and less expense. You won't waste nearly as much money and they can also help you seriously reduce maintenance costs following the installation of a well-planned landscape. In addition, because of the man and machine power at their disposal, they can complete projects in much less time than it would take you to do the same thing.

Q: How do landscape contractors charge?
A: Landscape contractors can charge based on time it takes to complete a project, an agreed-upon project fee, a percentage of the cost of the total work done or by the square foot area of the project. You should be clear on how a contractor charges before you enter into a professional relationship with them, ask for a detailed estimate and always work under a specified contract.

Q: What is my role in the process of landscaping my space?
A: You will need to clearly share your design wants, decide on a workable budget and provide insight into how the design will affect the livability and enjoyment of your space. A trustworthy landscaping contractor from Alameda County will continue to communicate with you throughout the process and be available to lend advice and design suggestions. You need to feel like a partner in the process and informed along the way.

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Industry Information
Information About Alameda County Landscape Contractors
Popular Landscape BrandsTypes of Landscaping Services Available in Alameda County Cities Served Zip Codes Served
Kichler Landscape Lightinglandscape designAlameda
Albany
Ashland
Berkeley
Castro Valley
Cherryland
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Komandorski Village
Livermore
Mount Eden
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Sunol
Union City
94501
94502
94536
94537
94538
94539
94540
94541
94542
94543
94544
94545
94546
94550
94551
94552
94555
94557
94560
94566
94568
94577
94578
94579
94580
94586
94587
94588
94601
94602
94603
94604
94605
94606
94607
94608
94609
94610
94611
94612
94613
94614
94615
94617
94618
94619
94620
94621
94623
94624
94661
94662
94701
94702
94703
94704
94705
94706
94707
94708
94709
94710
94712
Intermatic Landscape Lightingnew landscape installation
Hampton Bay Landscape Lightinglandscape lighting installation
Hadco Lightinglandscape supplies
McNear Brick & Blockbackyard landscaping services
Baselite Outdoor Lightingfront yard landscaping installation
Calstone Landscape Pavinggarden landscaping
FX Luminaire Lightinglandscaping rock installation
Rain Bird Irrigationlandscape maintenance
Unique Outdoor Lightingpool area landscaping
Hunter Irrigationcommercial landscaping services
Toro Landscape Equipmentresidential landscaping installations
Monrovia Plantspatio landscaping
Irritrol Irrigation Systemshillside landscaping plans
Kim Lightingsmall landscape gardens
Dixon Landscape Materialsprivacy landscaping design
Keystone Retaining Wallsxeriscape design & installation
Jain Irrigation Systemswater-efficient landscaping
Orbit Irrigation Systemshardscaping / hardscape design
Netafim Drip Irrigationflower garden design & installation
 landscape management
 garden plant selection & installation
 landscape edging design