7 Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring Local Landscapers

Having a great yard is a sense of pride for many homeowners.

Not only that, but it brings great resale value to your home as well! Whether you’re looking for a complete transformation or small project, picking the right landscaper is huge.

Read on to learn the questions you must ask any landscaping service.

Upfront Questions for Local Landscapers:

Do they offer consultations?

Ask them they if they will come out, see your yard and say what they think they can do with it.

Tell them your ideas for what you want and listen to their input.Being the professionals that they are, they’ll probably have some ideas you hadn’t considered. 

During this consultation, you’ll be able to get a feel for their expertise, and the type of worker they are. 

Be aware though, you are taking up a business person’s time and might be charged for the visit. 

What are their prices?

Once you’ve talked with different landscapers and hear their ideas for your yard, you can get down to the brass tax of it all. 

Find out the prices of your local landscapers before asking more specific questions. This way you’ll know which companies are within your budget and which companies you can eliminate right off the bat. 

Decide who gives you the best bang for your buck and then get to the details.

Learn More About the Company: 

How many years of experience do they have?

Knowledge comes from experience.

Are you more likely to trust your yard to someone who’s new to the industry or a company with years and years of experience? Look for local landscapers who have been around for a while who know what you want and how exactly to install it.

Experienced companies understand the type of soil, ground levels, and other nuances that newcomers may overlook.

What type of services do they provide?

You may like the prices they offer and the experience they have, but do they offer the services you are looking for?

Some companies will be full service and do landscape install, maintenance, and hardscaping where they’ll add a deck or patio to your yard.

Make sure the local landscapers you’re looking into offer what you want. Some companies just install gardens and other greenery. Some just do maintenance work on the yard for you.

Know what type or service you want and find the company that fits the bill.

What are their guarantees like?

If your plants or lawn starts to die within a few years, will they replace it at no cost to you?

All landscape contracts should come with a guarantee for their work.

Most – if not all – have a least a 2-year guarantee. Finding companies that give 3, 4, or even 5-year guarantees aren’t difficult to find, however. 

Ask, also, at this time if any equipment they install is also guaranteed or if it is guaranteed for longer or shorter than the greenery.

Can They Do What You Want?:

Ask to see examples or testimonials

A landscaper may talk a big game and offer you great prices and great ideas for your lawn, but the proof is in the pudding.

Before they get to work on your yard, ask them to see pictures of their former work. 

Look for work they’ve done on houses and lawns that are similar in shape and size as yours. Don’t be afraid to also check to see if they come with any recommendations or have customer testimonials you can read.

How long will it take?

Installing any landscape project will take time. 

That’s without including uncontrollable aspects such as weather and shipping delays, putting a deadline on a project may be unreasonable. 

It depends on what all you want to be done, but ask your local landscapers to give an estimated timetable for how long it will take them to complete the job. 

If you really have a date you want it to be completed by, ask how busy the company is with other jobs, where they get their resources from and how many laborers they’ll have on the job.

With the 7 questions listed above, you are now ready to look around your city for the best landscapers to hire. 


5 Residential Landscaping Trends You’ll Want to Get In On

Are you thinking about residential landscape design for your front yard or backyard? If so, you have so many options. How can you possibly narrow down your choices?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. By looking at the trends that have emerged this year, you can get some great ideas for what you should do with your yard.

Your home will be the envy of the block by following these five residential landscaping trends for 2017.

1. Promoting the Growth of Edible Plants

In a perfect world, you could grow your own food and live off that.

You don’t need a farm to be able to enjoy such a smart, healthy, sustainable life. Instead, it’s all about what you grow in your garden!

If you have the whole backyard to work with, grow your own vegetables and fruits. When the time comes, you can harvest these and consume fresh produce for weeks on end.

If space is an issue, you can still live off your garden, but on a smaller scale. Edible plants tend to grow vertically, so they won’t take up too much room. That means regardless of what kind of backyard situation you have, you should have space for these.

2. Inviting Bees with a Pollinator Garden

A pollinator garden, as you may have guessed, is like heaven for bees. The whole point of these gardens is to bring as many bees to your backyard as possible. That means growing pollen and nectar-producing flowers.

Bee population is a growing concern. By planting your own pollinator garden, you’re encouraging bees to propagate and thrive in your backyard.

Here are some quick tips for pollinator garden success:

  • Go pesticide-free if possible
  • Select plants for all four seasons to keep bees around all year long
  • Build protection for the garden in the winter months
  • Make sure the space gets plenty of sunlight
  • Mix up your flower varieties

3. Xeriscaping (And Other Sustainable Gardening Practices)

Today, everyone does their part for the environment. That means sustainable gardening is a huge trend for this year.

One of the mot popular types of sustainable gardening is xeriscaping. With xeriscaped yards, there’s an irrigation system for water to travel through. The plants you grow in a xeriscaped yard require far less frequent watering than many other types of plants.

4. Installing Outdoor Kitchens

With such a lovely yard, why not spend some extra time out there? If you have the space (and the budget), outdoor kitchens let you reconnect with nature.

We’re talking about more than a dining table and grill in the backyard. This is the whole hog: an oven, refrigerator, and more. Many of these appliances are “smart,” meaning we can control them via a smartphone app.

5. And Our Favorite Residential Landscaping Trend for 2017 Is…Hardscaping

Sculptures, rocks, and stones are still made for a wonderful addition to any backyard, even in 2017.

There’s a reason hardscaping is still all the rage. These additions, although costly, will often last for years with basically no maintenance. Hardscaping adds personality to any backyard, and who doesn’t want that?

Need some help getting the residential landscaping of your dreams? Contact us at DeCarlo Landscaping Contractors. Whether you need shrub trimming, weed control, yard cultivating or other landscaping services, we’re happy to offer them.


5 Tips to Make the Design Outdoor Spaces People Love

design outdoor

It’s summer. Everyone wants to be on a patio or a porch, coffee or wine in hand.

The National Association of Home Builders finds that 80% of potential homeowners believe porches and patios are essential when considering a home to buy.

You have your patio dinner party ready to impress your guests. Your summer dishes are out, the bistro lights are strung.

But wait, is your yard looking like the garden of Eden, or a neglected home for weeds? Is your patio furniture looking like a place to sit or a place to put the dog?

Remember, your guests will be gazing at every last detail of your design outdoor surroundings while they relax in your company.

Creating a luxury space will make for a night of entertaining that your guests will never forget.

Here are 5 tips to make the design outdoor spaces people will love:

1. Keep It Fresh

Once you’ve found your inspiration, go hard in that direction.

There are always look-a-like affordable options for the high-end furniture or patio awning you dream of.

Replace sun damaged cushions. Spray paint old planters.

It’s all in the details when you dress up your design outdoor space. Put a fresh coat of paint on your patio for the season, and revive the plant hangers. Purchase throws and hang them over your patio furniture to add layers.

Outdoor rugs are always a huge plus and make any outdoor space feel comfy. Considering humans spend 7% of their life outdoors, let’s make that 7% incredible.

2. Light the Way

Lighting is a key element to any event. It can completely set or ruin the mood.

Once your walkway leading to your oasis is lit, shower your patio with candles and lighting overhead.

Have your favorite landscaping company install lights at the bases of your surrounding tree trunks.

When it comes to the patio, lights are an affordable option to help set a magic mood as the sun starts to go down. Hang lights from awnings or any posts that you deem useable. The higher up you hang the lights, the more encompassing your design outdoor space will seem.

3. Give Your Yard a Boost

Whether your driveway needs a repave, or your walkway needs some new stones, contact the pros who can lend a hand.

Make sure your grass is cut and the weeds are pulled. Replant any dying flowers, and give the yard a good spray to avoid fungal mushrooms.

You’re sure to impress with a yard that is well maintained.

Planting rosemary bushes and basil plants is always a pleasant surprise for guests as the wind blows the scents their way.

4. Overhead Design Outdoor

Canopies. Awnings. Pergolas. Large umbrellas.

Not only will these overhead elements keep you out of the sun should you be on your porch during the day, they are also a beautiful addition to your space.

Overhead elements add a luxurious feel to any design outdoor space.

5. Make it Unique

Whether with a stone fire pit for pizza or a unique chandelier, make your space special and bold.

While traveling, pick up tiles or statuary you can incorporate into your design outdoor space.These will serve as great conversational pieces while you entertain.

Maintain a blend between where the house ends and the outdoor space begins. The segue from house to patio should be fluid and beautiful, welcoming your guests to the extension of your home.

Final Word

By using a fantastic landscape designer, great lighting and comfort elements, you are sure to have an outdoor space you (and your guests) will love to be in.

Contact us to help you rejuvenate your design outdoor space for an unforgettable outdoor season.


How to Properly Clean Brick Pavers Without Causing Damage

There’s a lot of outdoor home decor trends that come and go. At one point everybody wanted fountains and big decorative boulders, and the next people are looking for native plants to fill their gardens with.

If there’s one home decor trend that has staying power, it’s using brick pavers. Brick pavers can form a beautiful walking path, highlight a new garden, or just add some decorative flair to your home.

The Simple Way to Clean Brick Pavers

Brick pavers can add some class to a home, but a lot of homeowners struggle with maintenance. Is it okay to use a power washer, or should you use something more gentle? Will you need a harsh horsehair scrub brush to keep the pavers clean, or should you use a soft bristle toothbrush?

If you’ve been struggling to find a way to keep your pavers clean, you don’t have to worry anymore. We’re going to let you know the best way to keep your pavers clean and gorgeous.

Eliminate Growth

One of the most troublesome aspects of caring for pavers is the amount of plant life that can grow on them. Moss, algae, and even slime can grow on your pavers and be hard to get rid off.

These kinds of organic growth love moisture and a minimum amount of sunlight, and unfortunately your pavers provide the perfect environment for them to flourish in. Luckily there’s a simple way for you to get rid of those troublesome growths without risking damage to your pavers.

You can find sodium hydrochloride at almost any home goods store. Most people use it to clean pools, but it can also be used to clean stucco and pavers.

Simply mix a solution that’s one part sodium hydrochloride and ten parts water for a cleaning solution. Apply that to your pavers with a scrub brush, leave it for about 20 minutes, then rinse with your hose.

When you’re doing this be sure to be safe. Protective goggles, gloves, and other clothing are recommended.

Use Weed Killer

Most pavers usually don’t have this issue if they’re well sealed, but it’s possible for a few to slip through when the pavers start to show their age. Dealing with weeds around your pavers doesn’t have to be difficult, handle them how you would any troublesome weed.

First, you need to get some weed killer. Most are tough on weeds but shouldn’t do damage to the bricks. 

After you’ve sprayed the weed killer, it’s time to pull out what’s left. Don’t assume that the weed killer will do the job. Pull up everything by the roots to ensure that they can’t grow back.

Scrub Gently 

Now that you’ve taken care of the surrounding plant life, you can clean the actual pavers. If you just have some dirt, a gentle sweeping with a broom should be enough to keep it clean. If there’s dirt caked on a blast from a powerful hose should be enough.

If your pavers are seriously dirty, you don’t need anything special to clean your pavers. Simply mixing some dish soap like Dawn with warm water should be enough. Get a scrub brush and work on the worst stains.

Do you have any cleaning tips for brick pavers? Tell us about it in the comments section! If you have additional questions about home maintenance, please feel free to contact us so we can help.


Ashley Arroyo

Why use Travertine Pavers around your Pool?

When you’re investing money in your backyard, landscaping or home in New Jersey, your money needs to be spent wisely. Although New Jersians are used to driving down the shore to the beach with plenty of access to the water, many also opt to have a pool installed in their yard as well. Those who are investing in a purchase such as a pool, are interested in using the best quality materials for their install, and Travertine Pavers are a top choice. Read more

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Revamp your Driveway with Pavers

If you are looking to revamp your New Jersey driveway, brick pavers and concrete pavers can enhance the appeal of any mundane driveway. Transforming your asphalt driveway into an eye catching paver driveway starts with choosing the right hardscape contractor to design and install it. DeCarlo Landscaping can help you choose just the right type of pavers, design a unique paver layout and can even remove old asphalt, grade your driveway if needed and expertly install your new paver driveway.

Understanding that proper removal of asphalt and preparation of a paver driveway is important for long lasting durability is the first step. This sets the groundwork for an even driveway surface. If asphalt isn’t completely removed, or your surface is not properly graded, overtime sinking, spreading, and cracking can ensue turning your investment into an unsightly mess. Companies with little to no experience in the business may not pay attention to the small details which can lead to big problems if not done correctly. Using a company with experience is key to making your investment last. 

Don’t install a paver driveway yourself or hire an inexperienced contractor, save your investment by calling us. Based in Tenafly and Brick, New Jersey, DeCarlo Landscaping provides experienced installation services of paver driveways, paver walkways, and paver patios. 

Ashley Arroyo

Taking your Kitchen Outdoors

Its been a few years now since the trend of taking your kitchen outdoors became a top trend in the hardscape industry. Unlike most trends that fade after a few years, this one keeps evolving and changing with the trend getting bigger each year. In fact, we’re seeing backyard kitchen design taking off more than ever this year. If you’ve been thinking of taking your kitchen outdoors, its time to do it!  Read more

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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

This Spring was wetter than ever in Northern NJ and if you listen closely, you’ll hear a faint tune of “rain, rain, go away!” as eager New Jersey residents are ready for warmer weather. Read more

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30+ Years of Experience in Landscaping Design

For 30+ years, DeCarlo Landscaping Design has been one of the top choices for landscape design in New Jersey. Priding ourselves in our commitment to being and honest and family-owned company who give their clients exactly what they need at a fair price has always been our aim. With an owner who was driven to make his Bergen County based business a familiar name throughout the state when it comes to landscaping design, after this many years you can absolutely say our company has held onto its core value of providing design, installation and honest work. Read more

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Three Easy Walkway Ideas

Every homeowner wants their garden to look appealing, whether battling their neighbors for best on the street or looking to impress themselves when their hard work pays off. However, spending large amounts of money to get to that end point is not what homeowners typically want to do. Luckily there are many easy ideas for walkway installation which can give a bold appearance for a low cost pulling the whole yard together. Read more