DIY or hire a professional landscaper. What's more cost effective?

How in the world would it cost you less to hire a pro then to do it yourself? Well, while reading this article I want you to think of a few things:

  • Time is money
  • Do I have the know how?
  • Will it cost me more to repair my work?
  • Can I flood my house?
  • Do I want a weed infested yard?
  • Why don’t I get a landscaper rate at the nursery?


Time is Money

You have probably heard the phrase “time is money” plenty of times in your life. This is true for trying to do the work yourself. How many hours in the hot sun do you think it will take you to re-landscape your yard? Or fix some sprinkler valves? Whatever amount of time you say, I would recommend tripling that amount and that will be pretty close to accurate. Honestly, I think my personal time and family time is more important than trying to figure something out about something I have never done before.


Do I have the know how?

Most likely this question comes up with landscaping jobs and sprinkler repair. Most people don’t know the proper steps to install a new drip line and how many drip emitters can be on a single line. Installing professional grade materials or where to get them is another common task homeowners have. When it comes to landscaping most people don’t know which plants grow well in full sun, partial sun and shade environments.

Yes we can get an education in “YouTube University”, but it can be time consuming to watch and rewatch those videos before you get the task done right. Even if we do find a video relating to what we are doing it can sometimes be hard to relate as they might be in a different climate or have different materials which makes it hard for us to get the project done how we want it.


Will it cost me more to repair my work?

Yes is the simple answer. It will cost you more time as well. Say you had all of the materials that were correct for the project but ended up missing an important step such as compacting the ground before installing your pavers. The pavers can then shift and settle unevenly. This leads to having to uninstall the pavers, raking off the sand, compacting the sublayer and re installing the pavers all over again. If you hired a pro, then they already know the necessary steps to make the project last. This mistake depending on the size of paver patio could cost a few grand to fix.


Can I flood my house?

This is possible as well. We had one client who forgot to turn off their backflow preventer and when winter came it cracked the $400.00 part and would have caused major flooding issues when springtime came if he hadn’t called us. His comment was “how come no one tells us these things when we buy a house?” He had a good point. There is no manual on how to turn off the sprinklers, turn off and drain the backflow preventer and blow out the sprinkler lines. We hope that with these articles we can help our clients avoid these common preventative mistakes.


Do I want a weed infested yard?

When we first bought our home it was infested with weeds, especially dandelions. We didn’t realize how bad it was until springtime came and each weed was about 6 inches away from each other. We had a yellow flowered lawn when the dandelions started to bloom. We were in trouble and before we educated ourselves with proper weed extermination with our business we tried everything to get rid of them. We had thin grass, horrible soil and more weeds than we knew what to do with. Google told us the best course of action was to dig up the dandelions. Thanks Google, but that was not a good option.

We had about 3500 sq feet of lawn and it took us several days to dig up the weeds with several dumpster cans full of the annoying weeds. Wow if I could go back in time I would have saved so much money and time. We spent more in hand tools than some weed killer. Looking back at it the proper steps would have been to spray the weeds with a selective herbicide to target only the weeds we had and to stop them from spreading, follow up with an aeration a few weeks later and fertilize the lawn with a good feeding fertilizer to help the grass roots spread and fill in the voids to eliminate weed seeds taking root. The most important step after doing all of that work is to make sure you mow your lawn weekly, aerate the lawn in the spring and fall, fertilize to grow the roots and kill weeds and making sure to water the right amount.


Why don’t I get a landscaper rate at the nursery?

The simple answer is you are not a landscaper. Nurseries tend to give landscapers a discounted rate so they can make some money to keep running the business. Plus landscapers are at their nurseries each week buying materials and plants, so for the nursery it is a win win by offering a discount. Homeowners tend to pay about 30% more for materials than landscapers. Paying full price for a tree is not fun, plus you may not know what to look for when picking plants like a landscaper would. We are very picky with how the plant looks aesthetically, the general health of the plant, what areas of your yard the plant will thrive in and what plants will do well in your area.  


DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd