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Ask a Pro

July 20, 2022

2 min


Landscape Contractor

View of exterior of home from driveway at dusk, exterior lighting is on.

We get a lot of questions about the benefits of working with a landscape contractor. So we asked some of the frequently asked questions we get to Tony Nasrallah, the President and Founder of Ground Works Land Design in Cleveland, Ohio, to get his thoughts.

What should homeowners consider before hiring a landscape contractor?

Relationship, budget, and time.

At Ground Works the satisfaction of our customers is the guiding force behind everything we do. Before any proposal or numbers are exchanged, we make sure to meet face to face and really understand our client's needs. Homeowners should definitely take the time to meet with different contractors to make sure they feel comfortable with whoever is hired for their landscape project.

Once the homeowner has built a rapport with a contractor, establishing a realistic budget is very important. The current landscape trends aren’t cheap and in an effort to save time for both parties, knowing what you want to spend will create a much more productive conversation.

Time is another large consideration. Most midsize to large scale projects can take 4-6 weeks from the first day of work, not including the planning stages. Realistically, contractors could be booking up to a year out, which is important to know before beginning the conversation with a potential contractor. “Good things are worth waiting for,” the saying goes…

View of exterior entryway to home at dusk, exterior lighting and path lighting is on.
View of exterior of home from driveway at dusk, exterior lighting is on.
What should homeowners expect after hiring a landscape contractor?

It's a competitive industry and homeowners who are hiring a pro expect award-winning full-service work from the first meeting through to the completion of the project. At Ground Works we get to know the person and property involved in the project first. Then our team of certified designers will create design plans, which are included in the proposal. When the proposal has been approved by both parties, a timeline is created and the work begins.

We often tell new clients to think of a landscape contractor like the general contractor of a new home build. We are your main source of communication and take on the responsibility and management for all vendors involved in the project. It’s much easier for our clients to call us directly for updates instead of them trying to get a hold of all the different subcontractors involved in the project.

What is the most impactful type of landscape lighting?

Every project is so unique, especially with all of the different offerings from Kichler Landscaping Lighting. Generally speaking, however, accent lighting makes such a difference at any home. Wall wash up lighting brings attention to the property that would normally be overlooked at sundown. Additionally, aiming spot and flood lights at specific trees and bushes surrounding the perimeter of your home adds an extra element to your outside space. If nothing else, landscape lighting adds curb appeal, and who doesn’t want that?

View of exterior of home at dusk, path lighting and exterior lighting is on.
Exterior view of home at dusk, shrubs and greenery lit with exterior lighting.
How can landscape lighting increase the overall value of outdoor spaces?

Landscape lighting is crucial to the overall aesthetics of a home. It’s commonly overlooked, yet a fairly budget-friendly feature we find ourselves offering to customers more and more. It’s easiest to work landscape lighting into the initial overall design project, but it can always be added at a later time. In addition to adding a focus on a home or landscape feature, lighting has large safety and functionality benefits. All hardscape features of a homeowner’s property should have lighting. Pathways, driveways, steps on decks, and patios all provide increased accessibility when lit up.

Tell us about a project you are most proud of…

We’re asked this question a lot, and not to sound cliché, but we’re proud of all our projects.

When it comes to landscape lighting, there is one particular home that comes to mind, and at sunset, it’s the standout of the neighborhood. The home actually won us the Ohio Landscaping Association ‘Landscape Lighting’ 1st Place Honor Award in 2018.

The project included wall washing the house, accent lighting on all the focal trees, and path lighting. The results are a warm curbside ambiance, path and under cap, lighting makes it easy to navigate the property in the evening and the steps are lit to provide a safe pathway from the back door.

Overhead rending graphic of landscaping plan.

Kichler Lighting has a wide product portfolio and works with professional contractors across North America, like Ground Works. We are proud of the products we sell, and to work with a professional network that brings lighting ideas to life for homeowners.

For more tips and ideas on how to think through adding landscape lighting, check out some of the articles below.

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