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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Landscape Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

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

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.

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Vic Cvijanovic is a 32-year veteran of the landscaping industry and owner of Pacific Landscaping, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 526-5983 or by email.

Vic Cvijanovic

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Vic Cvijanovic: Landscape of Opportunity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

WALNUT CREEK — Originally from the former Yugoslavia, Vic Cvijanovic brought his family to the United States because he was lured by the prospect of a better life. He found the “Land of Opportunity” to be true to its namesake, but it was ultimately his own work ethic and determination that earned him the prosperity he sought. “After coming here with my wife and two children, I needed a way to support my family, so I took a job doing landscaping,” he recounts. “As time went on, I found I didn’t agree with the way the company did things—particularly their low standard of quality. To carve my own professional niche, I started doing small jobs on the side, and eventually I was able to start my own business.”

Today, as owner of Pacific Landscaping, Vic says he continues to appreciate the same attributes that initially attracted him to the landscaping field. “When I first started in this industry, I really liked the creativity involved, and I still have a passion for it today. I find it very fulfilling to work with my customers and help them achieve their dreams and expectations for their landscapes.”

As a resident of Walnut Creek (where he lives with his wife, Tinka), Vic expresses his appreciation for life in the Bay Area. “If there is paradise on this Earth, this is the closest thing to it,” he says. “The weather is wonderful, the people are great and there are almost unlimited opportunities to make something of your life.”

Outside of work, Vic engages in a variety of pastimes, from skiing at Lake Tahoe to vising family in Europe. He also enjoys spending time with his immediate family, particularly since he recently became a grandfather. “My kids are both grown up, but we still do lots of family activities together,” he affirms. “My wife and I now have a beautiful baby granddaughter, so that’s been a real joy for us.” Vic also likes reading, attending church and working on his business. “I’m very passionate about my work, so I invest a lot of time into developing my company.”

In his life and career, Vic espouses the importance of doing what you love, as well as the value of self-sovereignty. “I work hard, sometimes 14 or more hours a day, but at the same time, I also enjoy life,” he says. “After all, this is something I choose to do. Since I create my own schedule, I’m able to run my business and live my life how I want to. It’s a good feeling to have that kind of control over things.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Vic says he would continue to stay involved with his profession. “I don’t think much about retirement because I enjoy what I do. Even if I sold my company, I would still want to do something in the field of landscaping, like consulting or design.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I think few authors were able to penetrate the human soul like Dostoyevsky.

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee.

Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Fall—it reminds me of my childhood and the beginning of the school year. Plus, I like the smell of the air, the changing weather and the rain.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird. I love to wake up early and get a lot accomplished.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Little mortadella and salami sandwiches—I used to eat them a lot as a child.

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Winter Drainage Tips


WALNUT CREEK — Due to the rainy weather, one of the biggest concerns during the winter is proper drainage. To prevent water and/or structural damage to your home, you should inspect two key areas before the season begins: Gutters The single most… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Addressing Drainage Concerns

Complete Video Transcription:

WALNUT CREEK — Host, Sarah Rutan: To avoid a drainage disaster, you’ll need to inspect some key areas of your home before the rainy season sets in. Today… Read more

Paul Singh is a lifetime veteran of the landscaping industry and owner of Natural Landscaping Contractors, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 201-6127 or by email.

Paul Singh

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Paul Singh: A Natural Move

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — Paul Singh was raised in the landscaping industry, so it was only natural for him to combine his experiential background with his entrepreneurial drive. “My father was a landscape contractor, so I got involved with the field at a fairly young age,” he recounts. “Growing up, my goal was always to own a business one day, and since I already had knowledge and experience with landscaping, I decided it would be a good way to go. After studying business in college, I worked with my dad for a few more years before getting my contractor’s license and starting my own business.”

Today, as owner of Natural Landscaping Contractors, Paul says he enjoys staying on the cutting edge of his field. “This is the type of industry where things are constantly changing and you’re constantly learning, so I’m always in sort of a growth mode. I feel like I could keep going in this business forever and never get bored.”

Originally from India, Paul came to the United States at the age of 17. “It was tough coming here from India,” he remembers. “I feel like I lost a few years just trying to learn a new culture, but I think I got them back once I adjusted to life here.” Today, as a resident of Concord (where he lives with his wife, Baljit, and their three children), Paul considers the Bay Area a perfect place to be a landscape professional. “Besides the great weather, people here are willing to spend money on their homes and landscapes, so there’s a very good market for what I do.”

In addition to working outdoors, Paul likes spending his free time there as well. “My family and I love outdoor activities like hiking, boating and skiing, depending on the time of year,” he affirms. “We also like to travel, but since we’re a young, growing family, we haven’t been able to do as much of that as we’d like. I think it will happen more as life progresses.”

In his life and career, Paul espouses the importance of taking a thorough approach. “When addressing an issue, whether it’s with your family or a customer, it’s important to be thorough and not just take the easy route,” he explains. “Rather than putting a bandage on it, you need to uncover the real issues and deal with them, as well as be proactive about dealing with them in the future. I think that’s a crucial part of doing well in both life and business.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Paul says he’d get involved in charity work. “My wife and I have hopes of one day going back to India and doing charity work, particularly with the youth. I’ve always considered the teenage years as a critical formative time that can determine the course of one’s adult life. That’s why I’d love to help out in some way, whether by doing job training or counseling at-risk youth. I think that would be a really good use of my retirement years.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Our kitchen at home—my wife cooks really good food.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Any holiday that gives me an extra day off with my family.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Learning to walk. I can remember my family helping and encouraging me as I took my first steps. It’s pretty amazing that I can remember that far back, considering I can barely remember what I did yesterday!

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Vinyl records. I have a whole bunch of them, ranging in genre from electronic music to classic rock.

Q: If you could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: Probably the past, just to relive some of my chaotic, carefree youth.

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How to Establish a Drought-Friendly Lawn


CONCORD — Due to the recent drought, many California residents are opting to replace their lawns with more drought-tolerant alternatives like rock gardens and synthetic turf. However, some homeowners aren’t as enthusiastic about the prospect of giving up the soft, lush lawns… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Plant a Drought-Friendly Lawn

Complete Video Transcription:

CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re torn between planting a lawn and conserving water, you’ll be glad to know there’s a way to do both. Today we’re… Read more




  • Dr. Earth

  • Lilly Miller

  • Rincon-Vitova Insectaries

  • Belgard

  • CalStone

  • Pacific Nurseries of California

  • Weathermatic

  • Basalite

  • Rain Bird

  • Keystone

Kichler Landscape Lighting
Monrovia Plants
Irritrol Irrigation Systems
Kim Lighting
Dixon Landscape Materials
Baselite Outdoor Lighting
Calstone Landscape Paving
FX Luminaire Lighting
Rain Bird Irrigation
Unique Outdoor Lighting
Hunter Irrigation
Toro Landscape Equipment
Keystone Retaining Walls
Jain Irrigation Systems
Orbit Irrigation Systems
Netafim Drip Irrigation
Intermatic Landscape Lighting
Hampton Bay Landscape Lighting
Hadco Lighting
McNear Brick & Block

pool area landscaping
commercial landscaping services
residential landscaping installations
landscape design
new landscape installation
landscape lighting installation
garden landscaping
landscaping rock installation
landscape maintenance
hillside landscaping plans
small landscape gardens
privacy landscaping design
patio landscaping
landscape supplies
backyard landscaping services
front yard landscaping installation
xeriscape design & installation
water-efficient landscaping
hardscaping / hardscape design
flower garden design & installation
landscape management
garden plant selection & installation
landscape edging design

Bay Point
Bethel Island
Discovery Bay
El Cerrito
El Sobrante
Hilltop Mall
Los Medanos
North Richmond
Pleasant Hill
Point Richmond
Port Chicago
Port Costa
Rheem Valley
San Pablo
San Ramon
Tara Hills
Vine Hill
Walnut Creek
Walnut Heights
West Pittsburg


Know What You Want
Describing Your Needs: What to Ask Before Hiring a Contra Costa County Landscape Contractor

The first step towards creating a professional landscape in your outdoor space is to plainly 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 a Contra Costa 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 cautious plan and budget, take a look at the questions below. If you answer them honestly for yourself, you will be well on your way to beginning the real process of hiring a good landscape contractor in Contra Costa County, including from any of the cities of Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Danville and Martinez.

  • 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 activities 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 (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 In Person
Questions to Ask Landscape Contractors Face to Face

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

Use these 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 Contra Costa 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. How quickly after we solidify my landscaping plan can I expect a contract?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions to Ask of Contra Costa County Landscape Contractors' References

    It is tough to be sure that the Contra Costa County landscape contractor you end up choosing is the best fit for you. But with Diamond Certified on your side, you will 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 excellence from a landscape contractor in Contra Costa 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 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 landscaping 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 hand-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 Contra Costa County landscape contractor references.

    • Did this landscaping contractor provide open and timely communication throughout your project?
    • Did this contractor ensure that he/she left your outdoor space safe for your family and pets during the project’s completion?
    • Did this landscaping contractor clean up the worksite each day?
    • Did this contractor keep ahead of delays as much as possible and give good warning if a delay was unavoidable?
    • Was the project completed within the time frame and your agreed-upon budget?
    • Did this landscape contractor keep current with all building codes and permits?
    • If this contractor is providing landscaping maintenance, are you happy with their response time and maintenance service?
    • Were you satisfied with the service from this landscaping company?
    • Would you/have you recommended this contractor?
    • Would you hire this landscaping contractor again?
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  • Review Your Options
    Hiring a Good Landscape Contractor in Contra Costa County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Contra Costa County Landscaping contractors stand as one of the most intricate pieces of the home improvement industry puzzle. Some contractors work on small tasks like mulch delivery and installation, seasonal planting, sprinkler systems, etc.

    Larger landscaping firms in Contra Costa County often 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 Richmond, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Brentwood and Pleasant Hill or the smaller cities of Alamo, Briones, Maltby, Orinda and Vine Hill, both types of companies can be found and you have to 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 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 Contra Costa County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    • Have I carefully evaluated my needs, measured my property and done appropriate prior research to understand the type of landscaping firm I need to hire?
    • Do I have an idea of the design I am looking to implement, or do I need help with that first step?
    • What is my budget for this project?
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  • How To Work With
    Working with Contra Costa County Landscape Contractor

    Now that you’ve hired a Contra Costa County landscape contractor, you will want to be ready 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.

    • Initial consultation: 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.
    • Questionnaire or review interview: Synthesis of every wish and option talked about during the first consultation should happen now. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Ground-breaking: The start date for the project, usually beginning with the removal and rearrangement any existing landscape.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Contra Costa County landscape contractor may work in a different way through these steps, but the process should look similar and the main details should still be included, even if they happen at differing times.

    Reasons to Work with Contra Costa County Landscape Contractors
    You may wonder if it is worth all the trouble to look for and hire a Contra Costa County landscape company, specifically if you live in a smaller city like Alamo, Briones, Maltby, Orinda and Vine Hill. 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 Contra Costa 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: increasing your property value (in some cases, by as much as 15 percent); enhancing your outdoor space with their specialized knowledge of the land and climate; bringing 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 Contra Costa County landscape contractor can save you a lot more time, money and headache in the long run.

    Understanding Bonds and Your Contra Costa County Landscape Contractor
    Licensed bonds are required for Contra Costa 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 probable 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 Contra Costa County landscape contractor with more experience, whether you live in the larger cities of Richmond, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Brentwood and Pleasant Hill or the smaller cities of Bay Point, Clayton, Kensington, Port Costa and Walnut Heights, 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 possibility 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 Contra Costa County landscape contractor should be able to provide you with names of these type of companies.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    Customer Etiquette When Dealing with Contra Costa County 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 Contra Costa County landscape contractor.

    • 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.
    • Before you hire a landscape contractor in Contra Costa 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 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 and make payments promptly to keep the landscaping project on schedule.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Landscape contractors in Contra Costa 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
Paying for Your Project: What Contra Costa County Landscape Contractors Expect

You’ll want to be careful about how and when you make payments to your Contra Costa 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 Contra Costa 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 is 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 should be the responsibility of your contractor, and 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 Contra Costa County Landscape Contractors

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

For your protection, a contract for landscaping services in Contra Costa County should always include the following:

  • The landscaping contractor‘s name, address, contractor’s state license number and telephone number
  • 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 of the landscaping project
  • 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 landscaping contractor will uphold his/her bond, if one exists

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

If you have carefully planned the job and selected a licensed Contra Costa County landscape contractor, including those in the smaller cities of Alamo, Briones, Maltby, Orinda and Vine Hill, the job should progress without any major problems.

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Top 10 Requests
Popular Landscaping Projects Offered By Contra Costa County Landscaping Companies

Landscaping ideas can be as diverse as the number of people who own homes and want to beautify their outdoor spaces. It is difficult to narrow down what clients of Contra Costa County landscape contractors typically 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 yard installation. Talk with your Contra Costa County landscape contractor, including those that serve Richmond, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Brentwood and Pleasant Hill or your area, to see what they are willing and/or able to accomplish in your outdoor space.

Flowers and/or plants patch
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.

Your Contra Costa County landscape contractor can help you choose 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.

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 Contra Costa 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 calculable 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 Contra Costa County 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.

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.

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

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Contra Costa County Landscaping Company Terms

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

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

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
A digital design program that produces precise plans for landscaping projects.

Also known as: CAD, CADD, computer aided design, computer assisted design, computer assisted drafting

The form of the land. Contour lines are map lines which are used to show and measure slope and drainage.

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.

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

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

The legal grant to use an area of designated property.

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

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.

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 connecting 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.

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

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 Customers Ask of Landscaping Companies in Contra Costa County

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 offer?
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. 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 a Contra Costa 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 top 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 expenditure 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 progression 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. You need to feel like a partner in the process and informed along the way.

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