Frequently Asked Questions

Reason #1: A professional will help you avoid expensive mistakes. Landscape architect John Johnson explains more and answers related questions:
 

SketchUp design software is one tool that we have to show you how your finished project will look. Landscape designer Andy Lofboom demonstrates this handy visualization tool:

 

Landscape designer Kelly O'Donahue describes the process from start to finish:
 

The process starts with a simple phone call to Villa Landscapes (651 773-7440). Landscape designer Lonny Sekeres explains it from there:

There appears to be no limit on the height of walls that can be built using segmental retaining wall systems provided that the wall is properly designed and constructed with appropriate soil-reinforcement materials. Requirements and construction technique will vary with height and site and soil conditions.
Pavers may be glued over existing concrete using a special adhesive known as Paver Bond. Avoid gluing pavers in ground level applications such as driveways, walks or patios as the existing concrete may not be of sufficient quality. Also, gluing in these situations nullifies the ability of the paver surface to adjust with movement during the freeze-thaw cycle. Pavers are most successfully glued in applications using retaining wall units such as stairways and elevated patios. Genuine Paver Bond should be used as ordinary construction adhesive will not provide a strong, yet flexible bond.
Concrete adhesive should be used above freezing temperature. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before application.
Generally, 4" to 6" of base is required for foot traffic (patios, walkways, etc.) and 10" to 12" is needed for driveways and other applications for vehicle use. Exactly how much a particular project will require will depend on use, as well as site and soil conditions. The sand setting bed should be 1" thick.

An appropriate base is needed for both retaining wall and paver applications. It provides a sound structural foundation to bear the weight of the project, while resisting moisture and the effects of movement from the freeze-thaw cycles.
In some small garden or planter walls, drain rock will not be needed. Otherwise a drainfield of 3/4" clear, angular aggregate will be needed. The size and location of this drainfield, as well as the location of geotextile fabric, if used, will vary from project to project.

Q: How long have you been in business?
Tip: Look for a company with an established business history in your community. 
Villa: Villa has been in business for more than 30 years.

Q: How many employees does your company have?
Tip: A year-round staff indicates a stable, credible company. 
Villa: Although our installers work seasonally, Villa's professional staff of landscape designers is available year-round for consultation, estimating and design work.  Don’t hesitate to contact us any time with your questions or concerns.

Q: Can you provide a list of references for projects you have done?
Tip: A contractor should be able to supply you with a minimum of three references. 
Villa: Each Villa designer has a list of five references.

Q: Are you insured and covered by workers compensation?
Tip: You can ask for copies of the insurance certificates to verify coverage of your contractor. 
Villa: We have current copies of all of our contractors’ insurance certificates on file.

Q: Does your company provide a written warranty?
Tip: A reputable company should warranty its work and material that is installed. 
Villa: Villa Landscapes provides a two-year written warranty on material and services and a one-year replacement warranty on plant materials.

Q: Is your company a full-service or specialty firm?
Tip: If you’re planning on replacing a fence or building a gazebo, you might be better off hiring a fence installer or a carpenter. However, if your project involves multiple aspects, consult a full-service or design-build firm. 
Villa: Villa landscapes is a full-service design-build firm specializing in hardscapes.

Q: Will we need a permit for this project?
Tip: A qualified contractor will be knowledgeable about the local permit process and whether it applies to your project. 
Villa: Your Villa designer will make sure all permits are obtained and underground utilities located before any work is done on the property.

Q: Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?
Tip: Get names and contact phone numbers for all persons who will be involved with your project. 
Villa: Villa Field Supervisor Greg Smedstad oversees each project along with the designer.

Q: When can you start?
Tip: Find out what time of day their crews will start and finish. 
Villa: Our lead time varies during the season anywhere from three to five weeks. Our crews will start between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and end between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Q: When will you finish?
Tip: If you have specific events or deadlines to meet, make sure that is in the contract. 
Villa: An average job will take 2 to 3 days; some more complex jobs can take up to 2 to 3 weeks. Once we start a job, we will stay on it until it is completed. The designer will contact you about delays or changes in the schedule.