Mitch Answers Your FAQ’s

How long will it take to complete my landscape design (or construction)?

This is a two-part question with a two-part answer….a design can take 4 weeks to complete, but of course that depends on how much detail is needed and how many changes there are to the first draft. We usually "hit the nail on the head" with the first draft, but there are those rare occasions when we need to redesign, this can take up to a week longer.

As far as construction, again it depends on what we are building. I can say that any project that includes a pool will take between 3-4 months, although this is mainly because we cannot rush the curing of the gunite shell. Most projects are quicker than you’ll imagine. This is mainly due to the fact that at Solena we pride ourselves on having a full crew on your project until we are complete. This not only impresses the client, but also makes us more efficient. We regularly prepare a timeline for the client that shows how long each task should take – so if you wish, request one at the beginning of the job.

Can you give me some idea of the cost for my project?

The variables are endless, depending on the size of the property and the scope of the project. A great analogy is the cost of a car….with all of the accessorizing that can be done (seat heaters, GPS system, sunroof, etc.) cost really depends on the client. One thing to remember, though, is a BMW does not come at the cost of a Hyundai.

If you are not sure what your project SHOULD cost, this may help: As a rule of thumb, experts suggest planning on an investment that equals approximately 10% of the value of your property for landscape. For new construction, planning ahead can help you budget an appropriate amount into your construction loan. Of course, if you are considering a "show-stopper" landscape, then consult with us in advance for a closer approximation of cost.

For landscape remodels, the same rule of thumb applies in respect to overall investment. However, you may choose to refresh targeted areas over time to spread the cost, take advantage of the latest trends, and constantly bring new life to your landscape.

Wise homeowners know there is an excellent Return on Investment (ROI) from any landscaping project designed by a professional firm. In fact, MONEY Magazine found that among home improvements, landscaping returns 100 to 200 percent of the investment compared to kitchen remodeling returning 75 to 125 percent and bathroom remodeling returning 20 to 120 percent.

But there are other intrinsic benefits that you may not have thought about. Many of our best referrals come from clients taking a cue from their neighbor's great new project who decide to refresh their property as well. Neighborhoods that show their pride with beautiful landscapes become known for their ambiance and charm. And when it's time to sell your home, the "curb appeal" of your home's exterior will draw potential buyers to take a look inside, while conversely, the most elegant interior will go unnoticed when the landscaping gives an impression of poor taste. But irrespective of value in dollars and cents, the most important return on investment is the added enjoyment of your home every day, in every season.

Why do you charge for providing a landscape design?

This is a great question. Like most companies, our greatest expense is in hiring and retaining talented people who are committed to doing exceptional work for our clients. The process of putting together a design involves a significant amount of time, beginning with the initial telephone conversation, continuing through one or more client meetings, researching plants and materials, time to accurately estimate costs, preparing full-scale drawings, and ultimately presenting the proposal to the client. Even though we charge for our design services, our costs for creating a design are never fully recovered if the prospect does not proceed with the project.

What are the most important things I should consider when choosing a landscaper for my project?

First, meet with the landscaper and size him up. When you set a meeting was he on time? Did he carry himself in a professional manner? Does he answer your concerns honestly and straight forwardly? Did he get back to you with an estimate in a timely manner? These first impression basics can tell you a lot about the person and company you are dealing with. You’d be amazed at the companies that fall short right out of the gate.

Request a list of client references, or better yet, visit one of his completed jobs and walk thru it with him. Have him describe the process to you of how that particular project came together. Also, see a job in progress and ask to speak to the homeowner. Then ask that homeowner the qualifying questions.
Make sure that he has the appropriate General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance…as well as being licensed and bonded.
These are just a couple of ideas. To learn more, you may want to read our consumer guide: “8 Insider Secrets Every Homeowner Considering Investing $100,000 Or More on a Landscape Project Must Know!”. Call our office to have a free copy sent to you.

What is included in your guarantee?

Every element of the work we do is guaranteed – each spelled out by California law and the manufacturers we use for various elements. The guarantees are different for each element, however here are a few examples; pool/spa equipment is guaranteed (by the manufacturers) for 3 years and workmanship for one (1) year from date of installation. Our sprinkler systems are guaranteed for one (1) year and plant material for 6 months. Unfortunately, with plants we cannot guarantee against over or under watering or acts of God. Because these things are out of our control once we leave the job, they are the responsibility of the homeowner. We use specific detailed contracts drawn up by the California Landscape Contractors Assoc. which are designed to protect both the homeowner and the contractor.

Please do not hesitate to call our office with any other questions that you may have.


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“We own an English Tudor home in Long Beach and had the front yard re-landscaped by Mitch. We wanted an English garden with lots of flowers and color and he did an outstanding job. We have had several compliments from neighbors walking by about how pretty it is. We would recommend Mitch and his crew, who did a great job in a timely manner. They were very professional and a pleasure to work with during the redesign. Thanks, Mitch!”

~ Andrew & Sheila B., Long Beach

“I can't tell you how impressed Jeff and I are with the work.  The workers are polite, clean and work their tails off, plus know what they are doing”.
Pam Kellogg, Long Beach
“Mitch and Solena Landscape provided us with a wonderful remodel plan for our pool and backyard. More importantly, Mitch was instrumental in the timely execution of the plan. The yard is magnificent and has become a focal point of our living space.”
Burt S., Manhattan Beach
“I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for the wonderful experience my wife and I had working with Solena Landscape”.
Michael Fong