Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of questions frequently asked by
prospective clients. Questions are grouped according to the following
ABOUT LIFESTYLE LANDSCAPES
What is your typical type of work?
We work with homeowners to renovate their
existing landscape and builders to create landscapes for
newly constructed homes.
How do you differ from a Landscape Architecture Firm?
Lifestyle Landscapes is a design/build
firm, meaning that we design and install landscapes and do
not offer design-only services. A Landscape Architect
typically creates a design and works with a subcontractor or
several subcontractors to install it. The Landscape
Architect's final product is the design, the concept on
paper. Our final product is a fully functional landscape.
Our designers hold the same degrees as Landscape Architects
and are able to act as both designer and contractor. Every
landscape design will require some modification at the time
of installation. The benefit of working with a design/build
firm is that these on-site adjustments can easily be
accommodated, based on a familiarity with the concept, needs,
and fixed bid of the project.
Do you have a list of references I could contact and/or view
Yes, references will be provided by your consultant.
Can I view your portfolio?
Yes, you can view it online.
Are you a registered and bonded contractor?
Have you won any awards for your work?
Yes, Lifestyle Landscapes received the
WALP (Washington Association of Landscape Professionals)
2004 Grand Award for maintenance. Members of our team
have also received WALP design awards, numerous Seattle
Street of Dreams Awards, Flower and Garden Show Awards
and M.A.M.E Awards.
THE CONSULTATION PROCESS
How long is a typical consultation?
The initial meeting in your home lasts
an average of 45 minutes. Typically, we are ready to
share our installation proposal with you within one to two
weeks of the initial visit, depending on the scope of
the project and your desired timeline.
What is the best way for me to communicate with my consultant?
By phone or email, based on your preference.
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS
What is the typical crew size?
Our crew works in 3-man teams, each
skilled in a full scope of landscaping elements including
maintenance, planting, hardscapes, irrigation, lighting,
water features and carpentry.
When does the crew begin and end work each day?
Our crew leaves the office at 7am and
works until 3:30 pm.
Do you use day labor?
No, as part of our commitment to quality,
we employ only experienced landscape professionals who have
completed our extensive background check process.
How do you schedule jobs?
Work is generally scheduled in the order
it is received.
How long after I accept the contract until work begins?
This date varies between 1 to 3 weeks,
depending upon the season. We are able to begin work on fall
and winter projects more readily as seasonal demand is not
How do I make a change to the project after work has begun?
Speak to your consultant. A written change
order will be created with the input of the consultant,
designer and production teams. A price will be calculated
and agreed upon and a change order signed by the you and
Lifestyle Landscapes before the change is implemented.
When is the work considered done?
When you are satisfied.
CONTINUOUSCARE ® MAINTENANCE SERVICES
What type of pruning do you do?
We normally hand prune but the selected
pruning method differs based on the needs of the plant and
Do you offer annual/quarterly maintenance?
Will you winterize my irrigation system?
Yes: on request, we will add you to
our list of irrigation clients. We will send you
reminder in the fall for you to make an appointment for
winterization, and another in the spring to schedule a
system start-up procedure.
When is a deposit due?
Typically the deposit is 50% of the bid
price. This is due when the contract is signed.
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, we accept Mastercard and Visa.
When is final payment due?
Payment in full is due upon completion
of the final walk-through.
Should I tip the crew?
We value our crew and pay them well; it is
up to the homeowner to decide if they wish to tip.
LANDSCAPING REFERENCE QUESTIONS
Sod vs. Seed: What do you recommend? What is the
difference between hydroseed and sod?
We recommend a lawn option based on the
your desired level of involvement. Seed requires a
significant amount of care and patience, but it is a more
affordable option. Sod is more expensive than seed, but it is
less time-intensive to maintain and provides an immediate
What is the best time to plant?
Successful planting can take place any
time of the year; however, there are advantages and
disadvantages to every season. Fall and winter planting
require less watering and are less stressful on plants due
to the fact that plants are entering dormancy. The
availability of some types of plants, such as trees, is also
at its peak in fall and winter. The warmer ground and wet
weather of spring are also ideal for planting. Summer
planting requires a great deal of watering and the
availability of many types of plants is scarce.
What is the best time to prune?
Pruning in done primarily in the fall, but
it also depends on the blooming cycle of the plant.
What is the best time to transplant?
Transplanting in cooler weather minimizes
stress on plants as they are dormant.
Should I use concrete, pavers or stone?
Concrete is an inexpensive and durable
option, but it will crack. Pavers are more expensive but
last longer, provide more of an interest from a design
perspective, and are easily repaired if earth shifting
occurs. Stone creates a beautiful and natural look but is
the most expensive option. Many stone applications can be
sandset, which is flexible to ground shifting. Occasionally
stone requires a mortar setting, which is less tolerant of
What is the difference between SteerCo and bark?
Bark (wood chips) provides better weed
prevention, but removes nutrients from the soil. SteerCo
(33% manure and 66% sawdust) is generally recommended
because it is richer in color and texture, takes longer to
break down, and has the organic matter to amend the beds;
but it does not prevent weed growth as much as bark. Another
reason to use SteerCo is that it converts "waste" into a
How often should I amend my planting beds?
Amending beds annually with either
SteerCo or compost can be beneficial but if too much
dressing is applied, plants can suffocate.
When should I aerate?
Aeration can be done any time of year;
however fall and spring are ideal as thatching, topdressing,
over-seeding and fertilizing can be done simultaneously.
Can you solve my drainage problems?
Properly diagnosed drainage problems can
usually be solved. Since some drainage problems originate
underground, unknown conditions may prevent a complete
solution. However, all drainage problems can be improved and
many can be solved.
In the winter I have a spongy lawn; can you fix that?
Generally we are able to rectify this
problem if the cause can be identified; as with drainage, it
can stem from a variety of conditions.
How often should I fertilize?
Trees and shrubs need fertilizer once
a year; a lawn requires fertilizer 4-5 times a year.
Annuals and perennials can be fed up to every week.
What fertilizer should I use on lawn? shrubs? trees? flowers?
An organic or time-release fertilizer
balanced in all three elements: nitrogen, phosphorus and
potassium (N-P-K). We use Nature's Turf 15-1-6, Turf Saver
4-3-4 and Tree Saver 3-0-20 from John Deere's natural
How much maintenance is there to a pond?
Ponds require quarterly maintenance to
address such issues as leaf debris, bacteria build-up and
filter care. A professionally designed and installed pond
can be constructed to include an appropriate depth for the
selected plants, the ideal placement within the landscape
and the right conditions to accommodate fish (such as the
depth of the pond and protection from predators). Lifestyle
Landscapes also maintains ponds as part of our
ContinuousCare maintenance services.