Step 4: Build

Why we’re better during the Construction phase

When comparing one landscaper to another, we can understand why one contractor putting a shovel in the ground looks like another contractor doing the same. What separates your typical landscapers and contractors from the rest is what you don’t see. The organization, the planning, the logistics, the precise communication, and the general intentional effort.

Why Communication plays such an an important role

Before shovels hit the ground, there’s a tremendous amount of preparation, planning, and communication by people who are educated and have gone to school for this. We make an emphasis on communication because there’s a surprising amount of nuance and precision to landscaping. What you communicate to our designer, Kim or one of our project managers needs to be shared with the  team and leads down to the individual laborers so they know precisely what your vision or concerns are before shovels ever hit the dirt.

This continues throughout the project. We hear it over and over from our clients how refreshing it is to have someone listen to their opinions, concerns, ideas, and repeat back everything they said and to know it was received in its entirety. It’s a sharp contrast to their gardener who might struggle because of the language barrier. That’s not a problem with us. Our team leaders have strong English skills and have been trained by Chris to ensure everything you share with us actually gets translated into our work.

You tell us where you want to go, we’ll drive the car

Another scenario we’ve heard from clients who’ve worked with other contractors is the leadership dynamic. We had one client tell us that she felt like she was the one “driving” the landscaping project on a day by day basis. Every day, the team would ask her what she wants done, what plants she wants and where. They’d even take her to Home Depot to pick out the plants.

This was obviously frustrating for a few reasons, she became burdened with all the daily interruptions and mental capacity she had to devote to managing her landscaper when she wanted them to just execute on her vision. The other problem was she didn’t know what plants to choose, she didn’t know what’s a sun plant vs a shade plant. What’s a high-water plant vs a low-water plant. 3 months later, all those plants they had her pick out ended up dying because they weren’t the right plants for her property.

This really highlights the dynamic that we believe we need to take with you. We’re the experts BUT it’s your property and your vision. It’s a similar dynamic to a limousine driver, you tell us where you want to go, but we’ll choose the best route to get you there. Another analogy we like is a doctor preparing for surgery, you want them to tell you what’s wrong and what’s the best course of action to remediate it while keeping you informed throughout the entire process. What you’re getting with us is the expertise, skills, and wisdom to make sure the job is done right the first time. Imagine spending $10 grand on your property just to find out you got the wrong plants or improper drainage and now have to spend another $3k to fix it 3 months later. It’s going to make you mad. That’s the difference hiring a high-caliber team like us vs someone who is 10% cheaper will make. 

For whatever reason, people seem to have accepted a pretty large degree of incompetence when it comes to working with contractors and that’s likely because there’s very little barrier to entry. For example, it doesn’t require a ton of equipment or any licensing to become a maintenance worker, (commonly referred to as gardeners). But if they work in your yard as your gardeners it does not mean they are a full fledged landscaper as they have no bond and no license. It can be difficult to know the difference but one is maintaining what is there, the other is designing, building, and literally creating what will be there. Unlicensed gardeners also typically have no online reputation to uphold and thus you have no way to hold them accountable if and when things go awry. We are the antithesis to all of that. We’re licensed, we’re insured, we have a sterling online reputation, and we truly have one of the most highly-trained and experienced teams in the country.

Getting the job done as fast as possible

Have you ever seen an empty jobsite on a weekday with no one working on it? Strange isn’t it? We think so too. There’s probably a few potential reasons why other contractors do this but not with us. Some contractors might not plan as efficiently as we do and thus not have the right team or materials ready at the right time OR their laborers might not be full-time and thus are splitting their time across several projects at once.

With us, we don’t take weekdays off unless it’s a holiday and our teams don’t split their time between projects. We finish one and then move on to the next. We know it’s not fun seeing your property in the construction phase and we want to bring your vision to life just as quickly as you do. This means we don’t spend any time longer than we have to to transform your property into your dreamscape.

There may be unforeseen situations where we run into an unexpected obstacle such as finding something underground where we weren’t expecting it such as a water main or gas line or materials that haven’t been delivered when it was expected. Short of that, we don’t stop until the job is finished.

Construction FAQs

How early and how late will you work on my property?

We start at 7:30 am and wrap up at 4 pm.

Will I have access to my garage and my driveway?

Obviously, every property and project is going to be different. We’ve had projects where the driveway is a quarter mile long and for efficiency’s sake, we can’t hump equipment and materials that far back and forth all day long. So in that situation, we’ll need to use your driveway. If we’re replacing your driveway, of course garage access is going to be problematic during that time.

The good news is that we have our own roll-off dumpsters, our own dump trucks, and our own equipment. With other contractors, you might get used to a dumpster being placed in front of your property for the length of the project. With us, we’ll only have it for as long as we need it and we will absolutely work with you to accommodate any requests you may have.

Will you make a mess in my yard?

The short answer is yes but only for a short period of time. It’s a means to an end, and it is going to be very messy but we have to demo the space first before we can eventually create the vision you dream of.

Keeping your property tidy during this process is something we’re exceptional at. It’s not too dissimilar from cleaning while you’re cooking a big meal. There’s a lot less to clean up after the meal if you clean everything you can while the food is still cooking.

There will be piles of trash, equipment, tools, and materials but we’re pretty good at keeping them tidy. At the end of each day, our guys spend the last 20 minutes sweeping, tidying up, and putting equipment away so you’re not walking into a war zone on your way home from work. We cover our trenches, we put safety caps on rebar, we put up caution tape and generally run a tight ship even when in the thick of the demo phase.

What happens if you damage my home?

If we damage your home, we make a run for the border (totally kidding!). We’ll give you $100 off your project if you mention this joke. But on a serious note, it’s exceptionally rare! Our team knows what they’re doing but this is exactly why we’re insured for your peace of mind.

Our guys are experts at demolition including finding piping systems which prevents most issues in the first place.

What if I have a pet that needs to be outside?

We love animals ourselves and if you need to have your dog outside during construction, we can set up a temporary fence so your animal is safe and contained. We also set up this temporary fence as a safety precaution for kids as well to prevent them from falling into trenches or wandering off the property.

Do you work on weekends and holidays?

Generally no, but if it’s a special situation, we may ask to work on a weekend day. For example, if it’s Friday and we have just one more day of work left to finish a project, we may ask if we can wrap things up on that Saturday. On weeks with a holiday or rainy weather, we may wish to catch up on our progress on a weekend day as well.

How involved do I need to be during the project?

To be honest, not that much. We really try to cover all the big picture items during the design phase with Kim. We’ll have materials and plants picked out. We know how frustrating it can be when another contractor constantly asks for your feedback or guidance and that’s not the experience we want to deliver.

In general, we’ve got our marching orders and we’ll stick to it throughout the entire project.

How often will you provide me with updates?

That really depends on you more than anything. Our standard approach is to deliver a full report once per week with a full breakdown of everything that’s going on line by line. How much material costs were, how much labor costs were, etc. In general, you’re going to have a pretty good idea of what’s going on with your property just based on that alone.

Some people like to be updated BEFORE things happen and we can make that happen no problem. Others just want to be informed what happened after we’ve already done it, that’s fine too!

If you’d prefer more frequent communication from your project supervisor twice per week or perhaps would just prefer an email rather than the supervisor knocking on your door at 4 pm Friday afternoon, that can be arranged as well. The best part is you’ll have a single point of contact with your project supervisor from the moment we start construction until we pack up our gear for the last time.

Clearview Landscaping is the premier provider of landscaping services in the Santa Barbara area. For over 20 years, we’ve been transforming bland outdoor spaces into beautiful sanctuaries with integrity.

200+ 5 Star Reviews across the web

“Every time my sellers have gone with Clearview the property value of their home has increased dramatically prior to selling it.”

- Justin E. (via Yelp)

“Transforming your property is a carefully orchestrated sequence of deeply interconnected steps.

It takes vision to create beauty. Organization to deliver quality. Communication to maintain harmony. And unwavering integrity to respectfully manage your project from start to finish.

That’s why working with a single contractor like Clearview ensures success.”

Chris Hulme