Hansen Landscape Contractor Industry Info

(510) 394-5923

Steve Hansen, owner of Hansen Landscape Contractor
When taking on a landscaping project, it’s essential to synchronize design and installation.

Landscaping can be divided into three broad categories: design, installation and maintenance. If your project requires all three, it’s best to choose a company that can handle everything under one roof instead of a solo designer that has to use subcontractors. “That way, the installation work is in line with the spirit of the design, and the plan can be tweaked to meet the realities on the ground without incurring additional design costs,” explains Steve Hansen, owner of Hansen Landscape Contractor in Castro Valley.

Mr. Hansen says it’s also important to get two separate price quotes, one for the design work and one for the installation and ground work. “A good designer can give you a rough idea of the total cost very early on, but no one can provide a firm quote on the actual installation costs until the design is complete.” Mr. Hansen suggests dividing the project into phases if cost becomes an issue. “The great thing about landscaping is you can usually break the project into pieces and execute it over time. It’s not like building a house, where everything basically has to be done at once.”

When it comes to creating a written contract for your landscaping project, make sure you clearly state your expectations and leave no room for confusion. Your final contract should include the following:

• Detailed plans and a description of all work to be done by the contractor, including provisions for who will clear debris from the site
• Type and quality of materials to be used
• Total cost of work to be completed
• A detailed payment schedule
• A retention clause, which requires a certain percentage of the total cost (usually 10 percent) to be held back until satisfactory completion
• A schedule of approximate dates when work is to start and be completed
• A completion clause penalty, which protects you if the contractor doesn’t meet the start and stop dates
• A close-out clause, which shows how the contract may be terminated if things don’t work out between you and the contractor
• Property lien provisions, which make the contractor responsible for obtaining lien releases from subcontractors and suppliers so you don’t end up with liens against your property or have to pay for things twice