In order to be up front and honest with our clients we offer this document as a reference guide to them. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
Aquatic Gardens and Landscaping, Inc. offers free estimates to potential clients who already know what they want us to bid, but if we are asked to provide unique ideas to bid on we will
provide you a Landscape Design at our current going rate. Please contact us to set up a consultation time so we can best meet all your needs with the proposed project. We will then work on a proposal for your project to include the estimate, landscape design (if requested), and additional information pertaining to any unique issues or elements for your project. Once we are finished with the proposal we can either meet in person or mail you all the information for you to review. After reviewing the project details please let us know if you have any questions or need to make changes.
Aquatic Gardens and Landscaping, Inc. offers professional landscape design services from Ryan and Luke both of which graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in
Landscape Architecture, and they use that knowledge plus many years in the field to provide unique solutions to help clients obtain the landscaping they always wanted.
Our landscape design services are offered as a free gift to our clients as long Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. installs that design for them. If however you are a do-it-yourselfer and need our ideas to get started we offer landscape designs for a fee of $40/hour. That fee will represent any consultation / design time on the project. Clients may not use any portion of our design without either having us do the work or paying for the design service. Keep in mind that no one builds a house without architectural plans and it is equally important to obtain professional landscape design ideas to maximize your investment to your property.
After both parties agree upon the proposed project Aquatic Gardens and Landscaping, Inc. can offer the client with a contract for both parties to sign, or a simple old-fashioned handshake
will suffice. Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. operates primarily on a first come first serve basis, meaning who ever agrees upon the project details with us and makes an agreed upon down payment (depending on project size) first on the total amount of the estimate secures their place within our schedule. The down payment is needed for us to order materials ahead of time so they are ready prior to the start of the job, and it allows us to maximize our short work season with serious clients.
Starting the Job
Prior to starting the job we will order any materials that were needed for the project so that we can finish in a timely manner. We will contact clients to let them know as far in advance
as we can with our projected start date. Once we arrive we strive to finish the job as soon as possible so our clients can begin to enjoy their new landscaped oasis. Many times clients notice other areas on their property that they want additional work done to, and in these instances we try to stay on site as long as it takes to finish any additional work beyond the original bid while the equipment is on site to save costs.
Finishing a Job
We strive to answer any questions pertaining to the work completed such as, water feature maintenance, plant care, and so on. If clients have additional questions once we leave on their
new landscaping they are welcome to contact us so we can answer them. Once all work is finished we will send the clients an invoice for the remaining balance of the project to be paid in a timely manner as stated on the contract or interest fees will incur on the invoice.
Things for Clients to Keep in Mind
If Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. works on a proposed project from start to finish all at once it will save client's additional delivery fees and fuel surcharges.
Landscape Designs offer both parties a general layout of the project, but keep in mind that more than likely the design will change slightly once actually implemented since ideas on paper must adapt when presented with unforeseen site conditions, or possibly better solutions may be found while working on site.
If any changes are made to the overall scope of the agreed upon estimated project or additional work added once we have started work our clients must keep in mind that this essentially makes the original estimate void. This is due to the fact that the project will either have additional costs or less costs associated to the client's final invoice. Ask us for updated estimates throughout the project when making changes so that in the end there will be no surprises.
When reviewing our estimate keep in mind that all landscape companies have different ideas and materials for a project that will significantly change the overall cost. Always make sure you are comparing apples to apples if deciding solely on overall cost of a project. Also remember that a landscape project can be compared to a new house being built and that every contractor has more or less experience that will be represented in overall cost / quality of work, as well as materials play a huge role in a budget. You will pay a little extra for experience, reputation, quality, upgraded materials and peace of mind that the contractor you chose will offer you the finished product you expect. Always ask us if we can work with you in overall cost when dealing with multiple bids, since many times we can adjust ours to meet your budget.
Estimates are just that our best estimate as to the overall cost of a project. In order to be fair to both parties we always adjust the final invoice to represent the exact amount of labor hours and materials used. Keep in mind though our estimates are a very close representation to the final invoice balance.
Since we work seasonally we need to maximize our time working. For example, this means if we are working on a job that weather conditions prevent us from being there a few days we will switch to a different smaller job that weather is not an issue. This means even after the weather clears we may be at our newly started job for a few days before returning to the original one. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but ask that clients bear with us and realize we are merely trying to work while we can seasonally.
The main question we are asked by our clients is "What is your schedule like, and when will you start our project?" The answer to this is a difficult one since there are too many variables out of our control to offer an exact start date. The variables out of our control include, weather, other contractors on site who hold us up, other clients requesting additional work done while we are on site, material shipments being delayed at the factory, equipment repairs, and so on. We do our best to offer clients with an accurate start date, but ask that they bear in mind the work is done outside in an uncontrolled environment and sometimes dealing with other contractors making it hard to predict exact start dates.
Customer Service is Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. greatest concern and we strive to help in any way we can on a project.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. guarantees the life of trees and shrubs as long as Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. performs the installation. Each installed shrub and/or tree is guaranteed to survive for one year starting from the installation date. If a tree or shrub dies within the first year after installation, Aquatic Gardens will provide another tree or shrub and no cost, but will charge the homeowner for labor to remove the dead one and to plant the new one. After the warranty period has expired, we will be a charge for the new plant material and the labor to install, which will be billed at the current labor rate at that time. Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. is only responsible for the replacement of plant material that is dead, and then will only replace that plant one time.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. will try in its best effort, in the need to replace a certain type of plant material, to provide the same size and type of plant material that is being replaced. However, Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. will not be liable for, or required to provide an exact match or upgrade of the replacement plant.
If for some reason a particular replacement plant is no longer available from Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. sources, than Aquatic Gardens reserves the right to substitute another plant of similar growing characteristics and size as a replacement for the dead plant material.
Do to the growing characteristics of perennials, and aquatic plants, Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. cannot guarantee their survival from year to year. It is in our best interests to only select and install hardy perennials and aquatic plants that will survive in our growing climate.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. is not liable for the replacement of plant material that is sick looking, damaged due to, but not limited to, vandalism, theft, accidents, neglect or acts of God, such as fire, flood, lightning, snow, ice, or storms. If any such circumstance may occur, Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. will, at the owner's request, replace the plant material for the current market price of the specific plant and at the current labor rate for installation.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping reserves the right to decide how or what caused the death of any and all shrubs, trees and perennials.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. guarantees all water features from leaking either from the pond or streams/waterfalls for the duration of two years. Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. does not warrantee manufactures materials including, but not limited to, Skimmers, Biofalls, Check valves, Autofill valves, underwater lights and transformers. Submersible pumps are covered either under a two or three year warrantee, depending on pump style and manufacturer, from date of installation. Any labor costs associated with the repair or replacement of manufactured materials will be charged to the owner at the current labor rate.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. is not responsible for damages to water features they have installed if the water feature is not taken care of properly or due to neglect, vandalism, theft, misuse, or acts of God such as, but not limited to, fire, flood, lightning, snow, ice, or storm.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. is not obligated to warrant any water feature if the owner authorizes or performs any alterations, installations, repairs or modifications.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. does not guaranty the clarity of the water in any water feature installed. It is the responsibility of the home owner to follow instructions on how to maintain a proper water feature.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. does not guaranty against algae in any water feature. Each water feature is unique in its own design, size and water chemistry so there is no way to control what might happen to the water clarity once the pond is in operation.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. will warrant hardscape items (i.e. pavers, retaining walls, etc.) for three years from the date of installation. This includes fixing sunken pavers and tipping retaining walls if such should happen.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. does not warrant the manufactured material, only the installation of said materials. Any additional expenses that may occur due to the repair of replacement of hardscapes due to faulty manufactured materials will be invoiced at the current labor rate at that time.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. does not warrant hardscapes against acts of vandilism, neglect, theft, accident or acts of God such as, but not limited to, fire, flood, wind, rain, hail, snow, ice or storm.
In the event that a hardscape may fail due to poor installation procedures, (i.e. pavers moving, wall tipping, wall caps falling off) Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping, Inc. reserves the right to either repair or replace the defected hardscape in question.
Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping requires a deposit of 50% of the total cost due before materials are ordered. Once the project is half completed another 25% is due and the remaining balance will be billed when the total project is complete. After final bill is received you will have a maximum of 15 days to pay the balance.
If a home owner fails to pay off the total balance of their invoice, Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping reserves the right to go back and charge interest starting from the date of the final invoice. The interest rate is calculated at 18% annually. If after another 30 days goes by and the balance is still not paid in full, Aquatic Gardens & Landscaping will pursue legal action.