Signs of a Low Quality Landscape Construction Job

The completion of a landscape construction project at your home is always an exciting time. The construction crews are gone, leaving you ready to enjoy your newly finished landscape.

How long is this new landscape expected to stay “new”? If you are worried about whether everything is OK with the finished project, what are some signs of landscape problems?

Compared to the inside of a home, landscapes are dynamic and much more subject to variations of weather and other factors. No landscape is maintenance free. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you have minor maintenance issues or real landscape problems.

Here are some things to look for that indicate it is time to give your contractor a call:

  • Movement in stone work
  • Discoloration in the leaves of plants
  • Soft, rotten or wobbly wood structures
  • Weeds or ants in your interlock

Did You Get a Guarantee?

Most reputable landscaping companies in Oakville should guarantee their work for at least one year. This would include any landscape problems due to improper installation or defects in the materials that were used. A reputable landscape contractor will repair or replace anything that goes wrong within their one year warranty period.

Frontiers provides a one year warranty on our construction projects.

Weedy Walks and Patios

Though weeds are a common landscape issue, a new walkway or patio, whether it is surfaced with gravel or unit pavers, should not be filled with weeds just a few weeks after construction.

A couple of weeds would not be unusual; lots of weeds indicate a problem with the material under the surface. Either a weed barrier was not installed or there is a lot of soil near the surface. Both paver and gravel surfaces should be installed over a well compacted, weed-free gravel base. 

Polymeric sand (jointing sand) must be re-installed every couple of years, as part of proper maintenance. If you leave it too long it will slowly weather away and dust/debris will settle in – giving weeds a place to take hold.

Dips and Bumps

Your brick or concrete paver patio or walkway should have a smooth even surface. While it is sometimes required to have a slight slope to provide drainage, there should not be excessive dips or bumps that cause water to puddle or make it feel uneven for walking. Uneven settling of your pavers is probably due to the base or subsoil not being compacted properly, or not being a proper depth.

Lawns and mulched beds should also have a relatively smooth surface. They will, of course, not be as level as a patio, but they should allow for proper drainage and look pleasing to the eye.

Waterlogged Soil

Speaking of drainage, water should not only drain from the surface of your landscape, but should move through the soil beneath the surface. If you have a raised planter or planting bed that stays wet for extended periods of time, the soil is not draining properly. Either subsurface drainage pipe was not installed or the soil mixture has too much clay.

Shifting Structures

If you have a new deck, retaining wall or overhead structure, it should have very little, if any, movement over time. Minor defects in wood and stone are to be expected, but bulging walls, warped lumber, leaning posts, and wobbly railings are all causes for concern. It may be that your contractor skimped on the size or quality of structural materials.

Do Your Research

It is important to do a little research before you hire a contractor. All reputable landscaping companies in Oakville should be happy to provide you with references and contact information from previous customers.

Landscape improvements are a big investment; you should expect good results. A well constructed project should be virtually free of problems and last for many years.

Interested in a quote for new, long-lasting landscape construction? Contact us today.