Make sure your LA landscaper adheres to local laws
So, you’ve decided that it’s time to landscape your yard. With California enforcing laws on water conservation and green waste, it is important that you choose a landscape architect who is knowledgeable about the state’s regulations.
Before hiring a landscaper or landscaping company, it is important to research the field to make sure you’re making informed decisions.
Establish a distinction between landscape maintenance and landscape architecture. Landscape maintenance includes mowing lawns and trimming shrubbery and trees. Landscape architecture includes a designed overall landscape, which includes installing plants, trees, water features and sprinkler systems. Landscape architects generally have a college degree or several years of experience.
The Landscape Architects Technical Committee, which oversees landscape architect licensing in the state of California, requires that all applicants pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) and earn a master’s, bachelor’s or associate’s degree or an extension certificate in landscape architecture at an accredited institution.
The application for a landscape architecture license in California is very stringent. Applicants are required to submit information about their educational and professional backgrounds, criminal history and other personal information.
It also is important to understand state regulations about the use of chemicals. When interviewing potential candidates, find out if they are familiar with guidelines issued by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and be sure to know which chemicals will be used on your lawn. This is especially important if you have children or pets, as they are likely to be playing in and around areas that would be affected by these substances.
Whether a contractor possesses a license and is knowledgeable about the regulation of chemicals, you also should ask for references to judge the quality of the landscape architect’s work and professional conduct.
Most professional landscape designers will guarantee their work, but be sure that this is a policy with the landscaper that you choose. California law requires that all landscape architects have a written contract for all compensated services, and this should be clearly addressed. If it isn’t, insist that it be included, or find a contractor that is more in tune with your needs and demands.
Before launching any project, make sure you are aware of any requirements that your neighborhood or homeowners association may have with regard to landscaping. Some neighborhoods have strict regulations governing greenery, traffic and noisy machinery. Los Angeles requires permits when trees are being pruned, planted or removed and when land is being graded or landscaped.
The city of Los Angeles also has ordinances about water conservation and tree planting with which your landscaper must comply.