San Francisco – Landscape - Contractor

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(415) 742-1953

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area

Services include landscape design, privacy landscaping, gardens, hillside landscaping, backyard landscapes and commercial landscaping. Brands include Baselite, Unique and Jain...
License 562324 | DCID4153800604
(415) 594-9090

Serving the Bay Area

Services include design/build, landscape/general contractor, carpentry, masonry and stonework, maintenance gardening, water efficient irrigation, hot tubs, repairs, drainage, low voltage LED lighting systems, green walls/green roofs. Brands...
License 738074 |

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Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Landscape Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?
Custom landscaping by a landscape contractor.

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
Locating Trustworthy Landscape Contractors in San Francisco

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?

Good landscape contractors in San Francisco 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?

Good landscape contractors in San Francisco can make all the difference when you are trying to decide how to go about beautifying your outdoor space.

Take a look through the articles below to find practical tips on how to find and hire a San Francisco landscape contractor that you can have complete faith in to make your yard more beautiful and your home a place of peace and contentment.

Researching Suitable San Francisco Landscape Contractors
Now you do have to do a little research and make a few decisions before beginning your search for a San Francisco landscape contractor. First of all, you need to understand the difference between the professionals in the business. A landscape contractor 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 helps you locate, interview and hire a landscape contractor that can get your job done. 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 a San Francisco landscape contractor. Remember, knowing what you want will help you hire the right kind of landscape contractor for your project.

Good San Francisco Landscape Contractors Aren't Hard to Find
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 San Francisco 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.

It is best to look for a licensed 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 San Francisco 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 installs 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: Questions to Consider Before Hiring a San Francisco Landscape Contractor

The first step towards creating a professional landscape in your outdoor space is to clearly understand why you are seeking professional help for 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 a San Francisco landscape contractor....

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The first step towards creating a professional landscape in your outdoor space is to clearly understand why you are seeking professional help for 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 a San Francisco 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. Create a tentative plan and budget by considering the questions below.

If you answer them honestly, you will be well on your way to beginning the real process of hiring a good landscape contractor in San Francisco.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified landscaping company in San Francisco 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, etc.) or do I need professional help with that step as well?
  • What features am I interested in?
  • What materials do I like best?
  • 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 San Francisco Landscape Contractors over the Phone

Before hiring a San Francisco 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 a San Francisco 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 landscaping company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  2. How long has your firm been in business?
  3. How many years of landscaping experience do you have?
  4. Do you have workmen's compensation and liability insurance for your workers and any 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 call the Contractor's State License Board to follow up once you have this.)
  9. Do you provide both services of design and installation? If so, what is the cost of each of these services?
  10. Can you provide me with at least three addresses for landscapes you have completed?
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What to Ask in Person
Questions to Ask a San Francisco Landscape Contractor in a Personal Visit

Once you have completed enough phone interviews to feel confident in narrowing down your choices for a suitable San Francisco landscape contractor, you are now ready to visit some contractors where you live.

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 suitable San Francisco landscape contractor, you are now ready to visit some contractors where you live.

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 classify plants that work well in our San Francisco climate?
  3. How long do you think it will take to finish 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 acquired for my proposed landscaping project, who is responsible for securing those, are you or am I?
  7. Will I be allotted 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 Previous Clients of San Francisco Landscape Contractors

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....

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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 San Francisco, 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 in 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 you're your San Francisco landscape contractor references.

  1. Did this landscaping contractor deliver 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 landscape company clean up the worksite each day?
  4. Did this 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 landscaping 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 SF landscaping contractor again?
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Review Your Options
Hiring a Dependable Landscape Contractor in San Francisco

San Francisco landscaping contractors stand as one of the most complicated pieces of the home improvement industry puzzle. Some contractors work on moderately small tasks like mulch delivery and spreading, seasonal planting, sprinkler systems, etc.

Larger landscaping firms can help clients 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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San Francisco landscaping contractors stand as one of the most complicated pieces of the home improvement industry puzzle. Some contractors work on moderately small tasks like mulch delivery and spreading, seasonal planting, sprinkler systems, etc.

Larger landscaping firms can help clients 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 or around San Francisco, you'll have access to both tyoes of landscaping companies. So it's smart to understand your landscaping needs before making a decision on who to hire.


Once you've chosen 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 well under or well 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 San Francisco 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 Plans for Working with Your San Francisco Landscape Contractor

Now that you've hired a San Francisco landscape contractor, you will want to be prepared for the process of working with them for the best results.

Although each 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 a San Francisco landscape contractor, you will want to be prepared for the process of working with them for the best results.

Although each 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 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 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 confirmed at this step.
  3. In-depth site analysis: The contractor should take photos, completely measure the space, evaluate 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 contain everything from site elements to material specifications, irrigation system determination to plant installation.
  5. Ground-breaking: The start date for the project, usually starting 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 bearing in mind.
  7. Plant installation: This is one of the final steps to finishing 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 approval is met in regards to any contractual elements. 

Remember that your San Francisco 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 Employing San Francisco Landscape Contractors
You may wonder if it is worth all the trouble to look for and hire a San Francisco landscape contractor. Do-it-yourself landscaping can seem like an attractive way to save money.

However, you need to 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 San Francisco 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 San Francisco landscape contractor can save you a lot more time, money and headache in the long run.

Understanding Why You Need a Bond and Knowing How to Ask for One from Your San Francisco Landscape Contractor
Licensed bonds are mandated for San Francisco 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 you can't 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 a San Francisco landscape contractor with more experience is because contractors who are new to landscaping 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 San Francisco landscape contractor should be able to provide you with names of these type of companies.

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Be a Good Customer
Being a Good Customer for Your San Francisco Landscape Contractors

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 a San Francisco 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 a San Francisco landscape contractor.

  1. Be clear and upfront with the contractor. Let them know what you want, the long-term outcome you're expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
  2. Before you hire a landscape contractor in San Francisco, 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.
  3. Ask your contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he/she will call you with updates.
  4. 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.
  5. When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the landscaping project on schedule.
  6. Pay for the landscaping work promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Landscape contractors in San Francisco 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
Paying for Your Completed Landscaping Services

Most San Francisco contractors do not require a down payment, although they may request their payment in installments over the length of the project....

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Most San Francisco 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 project meets your expectations and the specifications outlined in your contract.

Even small things, such as cleaning up any remaining trash in your yard or clearing away yard construction debris should be the responsibility of your contractor. To protect yourself, it is always best to withhold final payments until you are completely satisfied.

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Written Warranties
Written Contracts and your San Francisco Landscape Contractors

California law states that home improvement projects over $500 must be agreed-upon in writing. It is still in your best interest, even if your landscaping project is under that amount, that you request a written contract.

A contract for landscaping serivces in the San Francisco area 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 still in your best interest, even if your landscaping project is under that amount, that you request a written contract.

A contract for landscaping serivces in the San Francisco area should always include the following:

  • Name, address, contractor's state license number and telephone number of the 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 work and equipment
  • Approximate start and end date
  • A statement holding the 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 the 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 San Francisco landscape contractor, the work has a better chance of progressing without any major problems.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Requests for Landscaping Companies in San Francisco

Landscaping 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 San Francisco landscape contractors usually want when they hire a landscaping firm to help with their outdoor transformation....

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Landscaping 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 San Francisco landscape contractors usually 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 San Francisco landscape contractor, including those in Richmond District, Tenderloin, Excelsior, Nob Hill and Bayview District, to see what they are willing and/or able to accomplish in your outdoor space.

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

Flower and/or plant garden
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.

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.

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 San Francisco 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 San Francisco 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 San Francisco landscape contractor, as it can be extensive.

Natural streams and 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.

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If Things Go Wrong
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

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

Ending Conflict Easily with your San Francisco Landscape Contractor...

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

Ending Conflict Easily with your San Francisco Landscape Contractor
On the whole, San Francisco landscape contractors have your best interests in mind and want a positive outcome 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.

You may also 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 contractor.

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Glossary of Terms
Landscaping Terms Used By San Francisco Landscape Companies

Landscape contractors and the landscaping world 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 San Francisco landscape contractor.

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

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Landscape contractors and the landscaping world 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 San Francisco landscape contractor.

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.

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.

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
San Francisco Area Landscaping Contractor FAQs

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape contractor?...

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Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a landscape contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only 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 landscape contractor.

Q: What services can a 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. 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.

Q: When should I hire a local landscape contractor?
A: 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.

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 contractor will continue to communicate with you throughout the process and be available to lend advice and design suggestions.

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Industry Information
Information About San Francisco Landscape Contractors
Popular Landscape BrandsTypes of Landscaping Services Available in San Francisco Districts Served Zip Codes Served
Kichler Landscape Lightinglandscape designBarbary Coast
Bayview District
Bernal Heights
the Castro
Cole Valley
Cow Hollow
Diamond Heights
Duboce Triangle
Eureka Valley
Excelsior
Financial District
Fisherman's Wharf
Fort Mason
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park
the Haight
Haight-Ashbury
Hayes Valley
Hunters Point
Inner Richmond
Inner Sunset
Jackson Square
Japantown
Laurel Heights
Marina District
Mission District
Nob Hill
Noe Valley
North Beach
Outer Richmond
Outer Sunset
Pacific Heights
Potrero Flats
Potrero Hill
Presidio
Rincon Hill
Russian Hill
San Francisco
Sea Cliff
South of Market Street (SOMA)
Sunset District
Telegraph Hill
the Tenderloin
the Presidio
Treasure Island
Twin Peaks
Union Square
West Portal
Western Addition
94101
94102
94103
94104
94105
94107
94108
94109
94110
94111
94112
94114
94115
94116
94117
94118
94119
94120
94121
94122
94123
94124
94125
94126
94127
94129
94130
94131
94132
94133
94134
94140
94141
94142
94146
94147
94157
94158
94159
94164
94165
94166
94167
94168
94169
94170
94172
94188
Intermatic Landscape Lightinggarden landscaping
Jain Irrigation Systemslandscaping rock installation
Orbit Irrigation Systemslandscape maintenance
Netafim Drip Irrigationbackyard landscaping services
Baselite Outdoor Lightingfront yard landscaping installation
Kim Lightingpool area landscaping
Dixon Landscape Materialscommercial landscaping services
Keystone Retaining Wallsresidential landscaping installations
Unique Outdoor Lightingwater-efficient landscaping
Hunter Irrigationhardscaping / hardscape design
Toro Landscape Equipmentflower garden design & installation
Monrovia Plantspatio landscaping
Irritrol Irrigation Systemshillside landscaping plans
Hampton Bay Landscape Lightingsmall landscape gardens
Hadco Lightingprivacy landscaping design
McNear Brick & Blockxeriscape design & installation
Calstone Landscape Pavingnew landscape installation
FX Luminaire Lightinglandscape lighting installation
Rain Bird Irrigationlandscape supplies
 landscape management
 garden plant selection & installation
 landscape edging design