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Local Articles in San Francisco

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Angie's Answers

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I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


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One of the more difficult issues facing you will be making sure you compare apples 'n apples while understanding the differences between apples 'n oranges.

Some things common to all:

How far from your (water) meter pit to the home?

Do you know what sort of water pressure you have?

Those two questions sortta drive the rest.  How many sprinklers you have is a piece of the puzzle but it is lower on the issues list than how much water pressure and gallons per minute of flow (gpm) you have.  Knowing the water pressure and gpm coming to the house is important because it is the info divided by the flow rate of the heads to tell you how many you can run at a time.

 That, plus the number of heads it takes to cover your yard will let them decide on how many zones to cut the yard into (each zone is X number of heads that run at the same time).

Will the different estimates be for systems that are all parts from a single manufaturer or will it be a collection of brands?  Some will tell you that the parts (controller, back-flow, heads and even specific heads) are better from different manufacturers while others will tell you that all from a single manufacturer will give you an optimized system.

And, are the contractors equally certified?  Not only education and experience but certifications from the various manufacturers who's parts they want to use.  And, will their installations be the same?  Will they open trenches all around your yard and be a week getting the stuff layed, connected and back-filled?  Or, will they pull the flexible pipe and be in 'n out in one day with water flowing to cover their intrussion before they leave that day?

Will your system need to be blown out with pressurized air at the end of the season to avoid winter freeze and bursts or will it drain automagically?

I know, I took your simple question and made it hard.

When I bought my system about 9 years ago, I had a variety of estimates and the differences sortta fell into the mess I listed above.  The low estimate was a person who seemed to be from the "get it in the ground and fix it later" school.

The highest estimate was from someone who seemed more concerned about my yard and the final result than I was.  The low person was using parts 'n pieces from a variety of manufacturers.  The high person was certified by the company that made all the parts he was wanting to use and he carried a fairly high rating from them for his past performance..  He would vary for me if I wanted but he had sound reasons from the controller to each of the heads as to why he preferred his "brand".

It doesn't look like you are a member of Angie's List.  Given the size of the investment you are looking at, this might be a great time to join and see how others in your community have rated the contractors you are considering or if there is one you should add to your list. 

My yard is between 12 and 15,000 square feet less the house, deck, two mini-barns and it is interrupted with a number of blocking (blocks the stream of water) evergreens and planting beds.

The low estimate I had was about $2,500 and would take three days to put in from the time they began to trench.  I don't recall how many heads he wanted to put in but if it was off, he'd be able to put another anyplace and tie it to the nearest zone to give me good coverage.  Uh, this was the get it in the ground 'n adjust later person.

The high estimate I had was around $4,500.  This proposal was for seven active zones each having 5 to 7 heads.  There was enough capacity (extra zone controllers and space within the system controller) built in to add drip irrigation at a later date for the planting beds without having to replace anything.  He drew the entire yard and gave me a copy with the heads marked showing the "throw" of each and the overlap he built in to avoid any missed areas.  And, they wanted to arrive in the morning and leave that evening with the system watering to cover their tracks throughout the yard.  One day and they would not leave until it was working as advertised!

I took the high estimate.  I have a neighbor who bought from the other folks.  Both of us are happy.  He is really happy because each time he calls his company for adjustments or corrections (yep, they got it in the ground and are still putzing with it) they are out within the week, they are really easy to do business with and their service calls' costs haven't gone up a whole bunch.

Sorry, you can't look at the price and divide by X number of heads and have a fair comparison.

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1) IF you are talking the root crown - the portion where it is not one solid truck or "bole", but still a solid or near-solid mass of roots coming off the base of the trunk, then that has to come out on way or another. Typically, once you get beyond about a 3 foot circle then you are in the radial portion of the roots where they spread out laterally, and are a foot or more apart, and new roots can grow in that area fro the new tree OK. Of course, be prepared to have to trim some volunteers so the old tree can't come back, and be sure to fertilize the new tree per recommendations because the old roots will still be trying to extract water and food from the soil to support the tree that they do not yet realize is gone. Do NOT put stump killer or poison in the old tree - will kill new one too.

2) The proper commercial way to do this is to have the entire root crown and larger roots removed with a stump grinder - looks like this -

http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/attachments/build-yourself/117273d1230307978-stump-grinder-questions-stumpgrinderred.jpg

You need a tree service that can grind down at least two feet below ground level and remove the root crown and larger root segments. If you hve large roots running laterally quite a ways, he can grind them up too - ditto to "trippers" sticking up above ground. Just be sure to have it clear (spray painted) upfront how far he is going for what he quoted - typically about $150 for tree up to 1-2 feet in diameter, up to $500 for a massive sycamore or walnut or cottonwood or redwood with 6 foot diameter crown. While you can rent stump grinders at tooll rental places, I REALLY do not recommend it - the rental ones you can afford to rent for one use are pretty light duty, and they can chew a person up in no time flat if you lose control when it snags in the wood or hits a rock.

3) Another way is to go out to where the massive roots taper off to something you can reasonable cut - say 4-6 inches in diameter, and cut them all in a circle around the stump, then with a come-along or CAREFULLY (not more than a few hundred pounds) with a vehicle with a trailer hitch, put a steady pull on a good rope or strap or chain in a shallow notch cut around the top of the stump (so it does not pop off easy), then while it is being rotated up out of the ground walk around and cut any root you see still attached or trying to lift out of the ground. This works much better if the stump is left about 4-6 feet high so you get some real leverage on it with the pull, but if already cut down short run chain or strap over the top of it and around a large root on the far side of the stump. I use a Sawzall with foot long coarse tooth wood cutting blade for this - goes through roots really fast, and blade is only $1 or so apiece so ruining one or two hitting rocks is no big thing, and also reaches in under the stump better and safer than an axe. I helped a neighbor take out a back yard full of birches this way - took us about half a day to remove about 15 trees with about 6 foot diameter circle of crown and roots, leaving holes about 1-2 feet deep where each tree was. Remember this - whichever way you use to take it out, you will need maybe 1-5 wheelbarrow loads of good growth medium to replace the divot. 

4) Cheaper route - cut off flush with ground level (or leave some stickup as a planter or stool or feeder base or whatever), and plant new tree at least 4 feet away from old crown, in a spot between the old roots.

?
'Reasonable' is one of those words that means wildly divergent things to different people.  Check with your local high school to see if they have  any sort of agricultural program.  If yes, perhaps someone in that program could help you.  Being a landscaper myself, I must say it sounds like you want something that is - first and foremost - cheap.   This is NOT the best way to look for any service.  You would be better served looking for 'competant' than with 'cheap'.  The nicer you want your flowerbed to look, the more important it is to find someone who REALLY knows what they are doing.
?

Natural stones will have some degree of variance given the lack of pre-made consistency.

 

1/2" is too much from stone to stone and should be able to be fixed with additional leveling sand. 

 

 

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Fountain Installers in San Francisco

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

A Affordable Handymen Maintenence Services

870 E El Camino Real
Mountain View

A SILVESTRI COMPANY

149 S LINDEN
South San Francisco

ABLE HANDYMAN

301 MONTEREY BLVD
San Francisco

Adrian Interior Design

4284 Deer Trail Rd
Santa Rosa

Aesthetic Tile Imaging

17739 Deemar Way

AGCI, inc

336 Bon Air Center # 104
Greenbrae

American Built Construction

P.O. Box 804
Pleasanton

AMERICAN LEAK DETECTION OF THE EAST BAY

1442-A Walnut St #57
Berkeley

B Side Construction

1940 Union St
Oakland

Babylon Gardens Landscaping

2657 Donner Trail
Riverbank

Bay Pointe Landscape

530 Old County Road
Belmont

BCP CONCRETE INC

1065 SERPENTINE LN
Pleasanton

Better Landscape

6017 Snell Ave #427
San Jose

BETTER ROOFING WITH TRAVIS

220 Mar Vista
Watsonville

Botany Of Design

161 N 11th St
San Jose

Buhler Construction Company

3614 16th St. #1
San Francisco

Caffrey Landscapes

108 Belle Ave
San Rafael

Cary C Hover Construction Inc

5768 Pontiac Dr
San Jose

Christopher Carlson Construction

730 w verano ave
Sonoma

Closed

San Francisco

Cornerstone Concrete Company

1873 Seville Way
San Jose

Creative Ponds And Gardens

PO Box 505
Millbrae

Crowworks Construction

1440 Drake Way
San Pablo

Custom Landscape

800 Longbrook Way Apt 175
Pleasant Hill

CYPREX CONSTRUCTION LANDSCAPES

1116 CURTNER AVE
San Jose

D&B Happy Landscapes

1369 19th Ave
San Francisco

David E Conroy Construction

1512 Sweetwood Dr
Daly City

Detail Construction

117 South Street
Cloverdale

Diana's Toolbag

35815 Augustine Pl

Diviney construction

945 Taraval St
San Francisco

DreamScapes

1191 Benicia Road

Eco-Systems Landscape Solutions, LLC

410 Maple Street
Redwood City

Exalted Fountains Llc

311 Oak St
Oakland

Exterior Designs

2108 San Carlos Ave

EZ Build Masonry

P.O. Box 1
San Geronimo

Fleece Construction

PO Box 6001
Concord

Floors R Us Construction

2324 Lafayette St
Santa Clara

FMG The Landscape Professionals

2225 Saint George Dr
Concord

FOR YOUR GARDENS' NEEDS

118 Taylor Drive
Fairfax

Foster's Constructon & Electric

5554 Amby Drive
San Jose

Fountain-Statues

7145 Watt ave #5
North Highlands

French's Waterscapes

PO Box 4085
Walnut Creek

Generation Builders

P.O. Box 23
Riverbank

Global Sun Landscape

114 Greenwood Dr
South San Francisco

Goulart Designs

22244 Main Street

Groundbreaking Landscapes

461 Molino Ave
Mill Valley

HONEY DO Repairs

777 14th street
San Francisco

Huettl Landscape Architecture

3496 Buskirk Ave Ste 106
Pleasant Hill

Hunter Designs

2131 Delaware Ave.
Santa Cruz

INTERNATIONAL MASONRY SPECIALISTS

3668 DELMONT AVE
Oakland

Jazzy Joel Productions

921 Transport way
Petaluma

Jewels Museum

842 Stanton Road
Burlingame

LA RENAISSANCE BUILDERS INC

1061 BELL MARIN KEYS
Novato

Landcon Landscape Construction

1689 Garvey Pl
San Jose

Larson Landscape

833 Promenade Ct
San Jose

LEBEC Inc

8494 Lone Tree Way
Brentwood

LEE OLAETA PLUMBING

P O BOX 750213
Petaluma

M&M Construction & Home Design

1647 Willow Pass Rd
Concord

Maximum Builders, Inc.

908 Copal Ct.
San Jose

MAXIMUM SERVICE LANDSCAPING

48 Chester St
Daly City

Michael H. Casey Designs Inc

1510 Indiana St
San Francisco

Mike Davis Landscape Services

305 Vineyard town Ctr #362
Morgan Hill

MOONHILL CONSTRUCTION

PO BOX 123
San Geronimo

MOTT LANDSCAPE

PO BOX 373
Aptos

Nationwide Secure inc.

3215 Calhoun Ct
Antioch

NatureWorks Landscape Services

17360 Grand Prix Way
Morgan Hill

North Arrow Landscape Design

334 Encina Avenue
Redwood City

QOIO

4068 24th St
San Francisco

R & M Builders

PO Box 4583
Santa Clara

REMUS CONTRACTORS, INC.

PO Box 505
Burlingame

Roca Enviroworks

1734 13th str
Oakland

RPM Contractors

2510 Carlmont Dr.

San Jose Sprinkler Repair Company

2033 Gateway Place
San Jose

Sarah Ray Design

714 Cornell Ave
Albany

Seagren General Contracting

4104 24th St
San Francisco

SG Electric

Pleasant Hill

Shambhala Landscapes

643 Mangels Ave
San Francisco

Shaz Construction & Design

PO Box 1083
Novato

Silva Contractors Inc

2550 Appian Way
Pinole

Sky Renovation

5632 Van Nuys Blvd
Van Nuys

Smart Remodeling & Design

1501 19th Ave
San Francisco

Smart Remodeling and Design Inc

1501 19th Ave
San Francisco

SolyLuna Landscapes

143 Mariposa Ave
Daly City

Sonoma Old World Cast Stone

2995A Wiljan Ct.
Santa Rosa

Sophia Othman

723 Marin St
Vallejo

Stonelight Tile

609 So. First St.

The Fireplace Element

2444 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View

Unique Concrete Creations

1079 Elm Street
San Jose

United Artworks

8730 E St.
Oakland

Vasona Construction

4120 Business Center Dr
Fremont

Walnut Creek Landscaping

3607 Village Rd
Concord

WatersideUSA

San Jose

WildRose Gardens & Ponds

3615 Ardley Ave
Oakland

Wilkinson Design+Construction Inc.

72 Clayton Street
San Rafael

Wskonnekt LLC.

1900 Camden Ave
San Jose

Zenscape

po box 727
Woodacre

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