Finding a skilled landscaper you can rely on is an integral part of maintaining a beautiful yard. After all, these professionals have the right knowledge and tools to masterfully mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and plant your favorite hard-to-grow flowers. But for some reason, they always seem to be flakey and unreliable.
Here are the top nine reasons why landscapers are so unreliable:
- Lack of expertise in landscaping
- Extreme weather conditions
- Equipment malfunctions
- Landscaping can be seasonal
- Poor communication skills
- Sickness and injury
- Poor time management skills
- Lack of creativity
- Lack of professionalism
In the rest of this article, I’ll take you through a few reasons why landscapers are so unreliable and how you can avoid hiring a flakey landscaper. If you’re looking for a reliable professional to take care of your garden or lawn, be sure to do your research and ask around for recommendations. Let’s get started!
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1. Lack of Expertise in Landscaping
Although landscaping may seem like a simple task, it’s actually quite complex. There’s a lot of science involved in choosing the right plants for the right location, knowing how to care for them properly, and using the right tools and techniques.
Unfortunately, not all landscapers are equipped with the knowledge or expertise to do a good job. Some are simply in it for the money and don’t care about the quality of their work. Others may be new to the business and still learning the ropes. Either way, this can lead to subpar work and unhappy customers.
For a landscaper to succeed, they need to have a passion for the work. This includes possessing in-depth knowledge about plants, soil, hardiness zones, irrigation, and other aspects of landscaping (source).
They also need to be familiar with the latest equipment and techniques. Otherwise, they run the risk of falling behind and not being able to provide the best possible service to their customers.
Before hiring a landscaper, do your research and ensure they have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right. Check out their credentials, read online reviews, and seek referrals from people you trust.
2. Extreme Weather Conditions
Unlike most other services, landscaping is carried out outdoors. This means that the practice susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature, and landscapers are always at its mercy.
If it’s too hot, the workers will get exhausted and won’t be able to work as efficiently. If it’s too cold, the ground will be frozen, and digging holes or planting flowers will be difficult. Additionally, the yard will be too muddy to work in if there’s a lot of rain.
Alternatively, if there’s a drought, the plants will be wilted and dying. These extreme weather conditions affect scheduling, and customers may have to wait weeks or even months for their appointment, depending on the season.
Working in the scorching sun or freezing cold can also be hard on the equipment. Lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and other equipment can break down when they’re overworked or exposed to extreme temperatures.
This can leave landscapers scrambling to find replacements or make do with whatever they have on hand. Ultimately, this can lead to subpar work and unhappy customers with less than perfect yards.
3. Equipment Malfunctions
Landscaping requires a lot of equipment, from lawnmowers to leaf blowers and hedge trimmers to weed whackers. They need regular maintenance and repairs to function properly.
Motor replacement, oil changes, and part replacements are just some maintenance services that need to be carried out to keep the equipment running. However, even with regular maintenance, things can still go wrong.
Lawn mowers can jam, hedge trimmers can break, and wheelbarrows can tip over. When this happens, it can throw off the whole landscaping schedule. The landscapers will have to stop what they’re doing to fix the equipment or find a replacement.
This can cause delays and rescheduling, which is frustrating for both the landscapers and the customers. And due to the nature of the business, it’s not always possible to get the equipment fixed immediately.
You may have to wait a week or two for the parts or the technician to come in. If you need your lawn in tip-top shape for a party or event, you’re out of luck.
4. Landscaping Can Be Seasonal
Like many other businesses, landscaping is seasonal. This means that there are only a few months out of the year when business is booming. The rest of the time, landscapers struggle to find work.
For instance, during the winter, there isn’t much demand for landscaping services. This is because people are focused on other, more pressing activities, like shoveling snow and de-icing their sidewalks (source).
The snow and ice make it challenging to do any landscaping work. As a result, many landscapers go out of business during the winter months. They also take on other seasonal jobs, like plowing snow, to make ends meet. This can make it challenging to schedule landscaping appointments since the workers’ schedules are constantly changing.
As the calls for landscaping services start to pick up in the spring, many landscapers are already booked solid for the season. This can leave customers scrambling to find someone to do their landscaping.
5. Poor Communication Skills
Being a service business, landscaping relies heavily on communication. The landscaper needs to communicate with the customer to understand their needs and wants.
What type of plants are they looking for? What is the budget? What is the timeline? They also need to be able to communicate with the crew to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Otherwise, there will be misunderstandings and mistakes that can lead to frustration and even legal problems.
Unfortunately, not all landscapers are good communicators. Some may have difficulty understanding the customer’s needs. Others may be too shy or introverted to communicate effectively.
Some may simply not have the skills or experience to properly communicate with the customer and the crew. This can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and even conflict.
This can often result in poor quality work and unhappy customers. Hedges may be too short, flowers may be the wrong color, and the lawns may be patchy. If you’re hiring a landscaper, be sure to communicate your needs and expectations clearly. The last thing you want is your landscaping project to be a disaster.
6. Sickness and Injury
Landscaping is a physically demanding job. Landscapers are constantly lifting, carrying, and moving heavy equipment and materials. They also work outside in all types of weather, from hot and humid summers to cold and snowy winters.
This can take a toll on their health, leading to sickness and injury. When landscapers are out sick or injured, it can cause delays and rescheduling. This can be frustrating for customers waiting for their projects to be completed.
While they might not have control over getting sick or injured, there are things landscapers can do to reduce the risk. Taking breaks between tasks, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen are just a few precautions they can take to stay healthy.
Wearing proper safety gear, such as gloves, goggles, and steel-toed boots can also help prevent injuries. Having the proper tools and equipment for every task is also essential. Otherwise, landscapers could be using too heavy or awkward tools, which could lead to strain or injury.
7. Poor Time Management Skills
Time management is essential for any business, but it’s vital for service businesses like landscaping. Customers expect their projects to be completed promptly.
If a landscaper can’t stick to a schedule, it can lead to delays, cancellations, and even missed appointments. This can be extremely frustrating for customers, and it can damage the reputation of the landscaper.
Several factors can cause landscapers to have poor time management skills. Perhaps they’re taking on too many projects and biting off more than they can chew, or maybe they’re not properly planning their days or weeks.
Whatever the reason, landscapers need to learn how to manage their time effectively. Otherwise, they’ll never be able to meet the expectations of their customers, which can lead to a lot of frustration and anger.
Planning ahead, setting deadlines, and being organized are just a few things that can help landscapers manage their time better. Following these tips can help ensure that projects are completed on time and that customers are happy with the results.
8. Lack of Creativity
Designing and building a beautiful landscape takes more than just a green thumb; it takes creativity. Landscapers need to be able to see the potential in a piece of land and then transform it into something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This takes a lot of imagination and an understanding of design principles.
Unfortunately, not all landscapers are creative. Some may be able to follow directions well, but they lack the imagination and creativity needed to design and build a truly stunning landscape. This can be a deal-breaker for customers looking for top-tier level work.
While it’s not always easy to spot a lack of creativity in a landscaper, there are a few signs you might want to look out for. If they’re always using the same plants and design elements in their projects, that’s a good indication that they lack imagination.
Likewise, if they’re constantly asking you for input and direction, it’s likely because they don’t have the vision to see what would work best for your landscape.
If you’re looking for a professional who can create a one-of-a-kind landscape, ask about their design process and look at examples of their previous work. This will give you a good idea of whether or not they have the creative vision you’re looking for.
9. Lack of Professionalism
Professionalism is a critical quality for those involved in the service industry to have. After all, landscapers are working in people’s homes and on their property. They need to be respectful, courteous, and professional at all times. Unfortunately, not all landscapers display these qualities.
Some may arrive late for appointments or fail to return phone calls on time. Others may be unorganized, messy, or simply disrespectful. These are all red flags that indicate a lack of professionalism.
If you’re looking for a professional landscaper, ask about their policies and procedures. Find out how they communicate with customers and their process for handling complaints and concerns.
Moreover, be sure to ask for references so you can speak to previous customers about their experience. Professional landscapers should have no problem providing you with this information.
Tips for Hiring a Reliable Landscaper
If you need landscaping services, it’s essential to take your time when hiring a professional. There are a lot of factors to consider, and you’ll want to be sure that you’re hiring someone reliable, trustworthy, and capable of meeting your needs. Here are a few tips to help you find a landscaper that you can trust:
- Get recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors. Ask them who they’ve used in the past and whether or not they were satisfied with the results.
- Read online reviews. Online sites like Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List are great resources for finding reviews of local businesses. Reviews can give you a good idea of what to expect from a particular landscaper and help you identify red flags.
- Check their credentials. Make sure that they are properly licensed and insured. This can also protect you when accidents or mishaps occur.
- Assess their portfolio. Ask to see examples of their previous work. This will give you a good idea of their style and whether or not they’re capable of meeting your needs (source).
- Get everything in writing. Before you hire a landscaper, be sure to get a written estimate of the cost of services. In case of any misunderstandings, you will have a reference point.
While landscapers can transport the look and feel of your home, they can also be unreliable. This is often due to a lack of experience, creativity, or professionalism. Extreme weather conditions significantly affect the landscaper’s ability to do their job and can greatly inconvenience customers.
If you need a reliable landscaper, get recommendations from friends and family and read online reviews. Be sure to check their credentials and portfolio before hiring. Finally, get everything in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.