All Bids Are Not Equal: Five Things to Ask on Your Next Landscape Bid

comparing bids

Do a quick Google search for “landscaper near me” and your query will return dozens, maybe even hundreds, of results. Choosing a new landscaper can be a daunting task.

Even more challenging is understanding the differences in bids. Two different companies can bid on an area with the same materials, yet their proposals will vary significantly in cost. What makes the difference?

The truth is in the details, and what you don’t know can affect the aesthetic appeal of your property and the long-term investment of your landscape. After more than 40 years in the landscaping business, we know what it takes to create a professionally finished job.

Today, we’re sharing those details with you. When considering a bid, there are five items that can make the difference in the final look and feel of your landscape.

Weed Blocker

As xeriscaping increases in popularity, some companies are finding ways to cut corners in order to provide lower bids. However, much of what is key to quality xeriscaping is invisible to the naked eye.

Also called geo-textile fabric, weed blocker is a barrier that goes underneath any cobblestone or gravel installation. You can’t see weed blocker on a finished job, but it makes a significant difference in the long term. Over time, rain can work dirt back up through the rock, creating a rock / mud combo that is expensive and time-consuming to fix. Weed blocker prevents this from happening.

Weed blocker also makes it easier to adjust xeriscapes and / or remove rocks.  Without it, your landscaper will need bigger equipment to remove the rock, which could tear up turf in the process.


This is another seemingly insignificant item that makes a big difference in the finished look of an area. Edging is used in areas with aggregates such as cobblestone or gravel. Not only does it look better, it keeps mud and rock from combining – which can wreak havoc on your landscape.


Not all mulch is the same, and the application strategy is vital to the long-term health of your plant beds. Mulch helps keep roots cool, retain moisture, and provides a protective layer from the sun. A good landscaper knows that a 2-3-inch layer is necessary to provide the right amount of coverage to your beds.

Irrigation Adjustments

This should be built into your bid, but if it’s not it can quickly become a costly add-on. Your landscaper should inspect your current irrigation equipment and determine what needs to be adjusted. Our bids include the cost for a crew to come to your property, turn on your system, and address the following:

  • Where are the sprinkler heads popping up? Are they effective?
  • Are the sprinkler heads the right size?
  • Do sprinkler heads need to be moved in order to accommodate new layouts?
  • Are any sprinkler heads damaged or in need of replacement?
  • Are rain/freeze sensors properly installed?

Tree Trimming & Tree Health

Your surrounding environment needs to be considered when planning a new landscape. Our landscape experts help our crews determine if proposed materials and design will work with your current tree layout. For example, a client may ask for a plant bed in an area that looks acceptable at first glance, but upon further inspection, we may realize that plants won’t get enough sun due to surrounding trees.

We also check the health of your trees and determine if any need to be trimmed before we begin adjusting your landscape. Tree health affects the grass and plants around it – if you’re planning a new installation without first checking the trees, you could end up with costly adjustments and repairs a few months down the road.

At Earthworks, we take pride in our expertise and customer service. Our bids always include the details that we know will keep your landscape healthy longer. In fact, many of our clients find that initial investments pay off over time in other areas such as water savings.

It can be easy to choose the lowest bidder, but if these five items aren’t included in your landscape you could end up spending more money down the road. Don’t be taken in by cheap bids that may cut corners and ultimately cost you.

If you’d like an estimate, simply click here to fill out our request form. Our staff is prepared to manage installations in a timely manner, even during peak landscaping season or on short notice. Reach out to us today and see the difference our details can make.


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