May 9, 2016

Are you willing to take a risk with your landscape investment?

Whether you’re the type of person who loves a do-it-yourself project or you’d rather hire a pro, making the switch to a beautifully designed and installed Xeriscape landscape is a visible investment that can be very rewarding and lead to a substantial return. Finding the right resources to help you design, install, and then maintain and protect your landscape is the key to protecting your investment.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

If you love a do-it-yourself challenge, there are many resources that can provide you with information about best practices for designing and installing a Xeriscape landscape. Water – Use It Wisely, sponsored by Valley water providers, offers many online resources including the Xeriscape: Landscaping with Style in the Arizona Desert booklet and online portal.

Leave it to the Experts

Rather leave it to a pro? Learn tips for choosing the right contractor service for any landscape job. Before hiring a landscape contractor, there are four important things to remember:

ALCA_PetraFINAL (2)#1 Choose an ALCA-Certified Contractor
Before hiring a landscape contractor, check for membership in the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association (ALCA), the only professional organization for landscape contractors in Arizona. When you contract with a member of ALCA, you are ensuring that the landscape professional you are hiring belongs to an association that provides specialized training. ALCA professionals have been trained to utilize proper installation methods and best maintenance practices for their customers. Their membership demonstrates a willingness to stay up to date on the latest techniques, newest trends and designs, and ever-changing industry rules and regulations. Check if your landscape contractor is a member of ALCA by contacting the office at (602) 626-7091 or by email at Judy@ALCA.org.

ALCA-Certifications#2 Check for ACLP Certification 
Check to see if your contractor holds an AZ Certified Landscape Professional (ACLP) designation. ACLP contractors are experienced professionals who have attended a series of ten hands-on workshops and have passed extensive examinations covering all aspects of landscaping.

#3 Protect Your Investment 
Once you have invested in the design and installation of your landscape, it is imperative to maintain and protect your landscape with proper maintenance practices. ALCA has created the Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) program that provides training and certification so that professionals employ practices that aim to preserve limited and valuable natural resources such as water, reduce waste generation, and strive for longevity and maturity of plant materials.

ALCA’s Board President Robert Clinkenbeard and Co-owner of Integrated Landscape Management says, “It is our desire for those involved with landscape management to read and understand the SLM principles and standards in an effort to elevate the quality and professionalism within the communities and cities where we live and work.”


#4 Do Your Homework 
– Ask for proof of insurance. A reputable landscape contractor will carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance coverage. The property owner could be held responsible for damages and injuries that occur.
– Check for necessary licenses. The Registrar of Contractors may require a license before any work can be performed.
– Ask for references. Your landscaping is a long-lasting investment; do not hesitate to request a list of similar jobs the contractor has recently completed.
– Check for any needed permits. Many cities require permits for electrical, mechanical, and/or plumbing work.

Be wary of individuals who go door to door and offer bargains for performing work. Improper landscape care will cost you extra time and money to correct or replace. Are you willing to take that risk with your investment?

Get the Extra Help You Need

Want to give your yard a makeover but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help! The 10-part Drab to Fab video series showcases how to take your landscape from drab to fabulous.

About the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association:
ALCA is a non-profit trade association with over 430 professional landscape and affiliated companies. Its mission is to provide the education and government representation resulting in the enhanced professionalism of members and the public’s perception of the Landscape Contractors and the Green Industry.