Four Steps to a Professional Landscape

Are you interested in transforming your yard into an enchanting garden, recreational play land or relaxing get-away? Want to know more?
Want to landscape your property, but unsure how to do it? Whether it’s your first home or your dream home, here are four steps you can take to ensure that your new landscape exceeds your needs and meets your dreams:

  • Define Your Landscape Needs,
  • Consider Your Budget,
  • Design Your Dream, and
  • Select a Landscape Contractor.

STEP 1: Define your landscape needs

Why Are You Landscaping? To increase your property value? To enhance your enjoyment of your property? To save energy or water? To provide a safe environment for your children or pets? The first step toward a professional landscape is to clearly identify what purposes the landscape must serve.
Points To Consider:

  • What outdoor activities will your landscape support? Nurturing a personal green thumb in a rose garden? Entertaining boisterous children?
  • Do you have a desired style or theme? Are you seeking an English garden or a new age respite?
  • What features do you desire? Play areas, water efficiency, an outdoor kitchen, ponds and waterfalls?
  • What materials are best? Do you like the granite look, roaring water or subdued floral elegance?

STEP 2: Consider your budget

Honestly consider the amount of money available to meet your needs. The cost of your project will varying, depending on:

  • The overall size of the area to be landscaped,
  • The features to be included,
  • The state of the current terrain, and
  • The choices you make regarding materials, details and level of craftsmanship (Need some ideas? Check out award-winning landscapes at

STEP 3: Consider who will design your landscape

Your Choices Include:

  • A Landscape Architect. A professional licensed by the state of California who can develop plans that can be put out to bid by landscape contractors
  • A Design/Build Landscape Contractor. A professional licensed by the state of California who can design — and then create — your landscape
  • Landscape Designers. Unlicensed individuals which provide ideas, conceptual plans and planting plans.

STEP 4: Hire the right professional

You don’t really purchase a landscape. You buy the services of a landscape contractor to install and construct the project you want. A successful relationship between you and your landscape contractor may last as long as it takes to consider your project, or may span years, as your tastes change and your landscapes expand. Although there are no guarantees when it comes to hiring a professional, here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your landscaping experience fulfills your desires.

  • Get referrals from friends and neighbors who have landscaping you admire, or from the landscape architect who developed your plans.
  • See the back of this flyer for a list of landscape professionals in your area. You can also visit the landscape contractor search page at


About The California Landscape Contractors Association

The California Landscape Contractors Association is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of licensed landscape and landscape specialty contractors. Although formal incorporation as a non-profit trade group came in 1952, CLCA can trace its origins to 1937, to a loosely-knit group with humble beginnings in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through its 18 state-wide chapters, the association fosters professional development and the sharing of information of  mutual interests, so that members may further the industry and remain current with technological changes and standards.

About CLCA San Luis Obispo Chapter

Committed to Quality and Value for San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties...

Since our chapter’s inception in 1991, it has been the commitment of our members that all projects are well-constructed, meet regulations and requirements and provide consumer satisfaction.

Because of their strong efforts, commitment and professional goals, the C-27 licensed landscape contractors of CLCA are proud to hold a license that protects the consumer, maintains health and safety standards and encourages further development and enhancement of technical expertise.

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