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How To Read And Understand Your Residential Estimate

 

To help you in understanding your residential maintenance estimate, please see the helpful tips below.

 

Set Price Quote (Flat Rate)

For services such as lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, lawn or shrub fertilizing, lawn applications such as fungicides and insecticides, sidewalk edging, dethatching and aeration the price is a set price for that service. That means the price you see is exactly how much we charge each time we preform that service for you. For example, your gutter cleaning price might say $95.

Hourly Work (Time & Materials)

For services such as shrub trimming, leaf clean ups, and weeding we quote an hourly price to do this work. The hourly price is written in above the words “per man hour”, and an estimated number of hours is filled in by the estimator that visited your home to see how much work you have.  The estimated hours are “man hours” not “crew hours”. If the estimator writes an estimate of 4-5 hours, it does not mean that the truck and crew will be at your house for 4-5 hours. What it means is that the estimator thinks 4 men would be there between 1 hour (4men x 1hour=4 man-hours)  and 1.25 hour (4men x 1.25hours=5 man-hours).  An example would be: If you requested shrub trimming, which is $35 per hour, and the estimator wrote between 4-5 hours, your bill should be between $140 and $175 to have your shrubs trimmed.

 

A question we get asked a lot is why an hourly quote? The reason why is because it’s the best way for you and us. For example, if we quoted your shrub trimming hourly at between $140 and $175, a set price quote would have to be $175 (the higher estimate of the hours). And if the work only took 4 hours, you would have paid too much with a set price quote. A set price estimate is always a “guess” and the estimator will “guess” higher than needed so the contractor doesn’t lose money on the job. This is why hourly work is better and cheaper for the client.

Another thing we like to mention about hourly work is that it is on all the variable type jobs that we do for you, such as shrub trimming and leaf clean ups. These services are variable because the amount of work can change in a matter of weeks. For example, if you asked for a set price to trim your bushes in early June, it would be far less than a set price in late August, because the shrubs have grown for an additional three months. Also for example, if someone cleaned up your leaves the first week in November, there would be far less work than if it was done in the last week of November.

Service Deposit

All work that we do requires a service deposit or “down payment” on the work. For landscaping work like planting a new tree, the deposit is 50%. For maintenance type work, like trimming shrubs or lawn mowing, we write the deposit amount in the box in the lower right corner of the proposal.

 

For example, if you request  shrub trimming, you would send in your deposit amount with your contract, then we would come out and trim. After we are done trimming, we would send you a bill for the total, minus the deposit amount you have already paid.

 

For a Lawn Mowing example, you would send in your deposit amount with your contract, and we would start mowing each week. At the end of each month we would send you a bill for the work we did that month. You last bill of the year (usually October) would have the service amount applied to it, usually giving you a $0 balance for the month of October. If your deposit is more than that last month, you can leave it with us for the next spring, or our office sends you a check for any leftover.

YES And NO Columns

Each item on the residential maintenance estimate form has a YES or NO box to the left of it. These boxes are for you to circle YES for the items you would like to have done, and NO for the items you do not want to have done. You do not have to accept every item quoted to you, you can pick and choose which items you would like.

Also, you can always change your mind later and add a service that you originally said NO to, there is no requirement to take any service at any time.

Write In Notes

Near the bottom of the residential maintenance form you can write in any notes you would like regarding any item on the form. For example: “Please don’t mow the dog run area” or anything specific you want to let us know. Of course you can always email us the request or information as well.

Billing

Most of our services are billed monthly, which means that we  do the work and then we send you an invoice for the work. Billing is usually sent out on the first of the month, with some exceptions. We ask that you send us a check for payment within 10 days of receiving the bill.

Email Address

Please feel free to write your email address in the box that says EMAIL or anywhere on the form. With your email we can send you your invoice electronically, or send you our newsletter, or just communicate in general, such as sending you a quote or pictures of a problem with your lawn or property.

 

Annual Flowers

Industrial Landscape Maintenance

Industrial landscape maintenance offers a unique challenge to landscape maintenance contractors. Industrial properties have concerns that commercial and multi-family properties usually do not have. Suburban Landscaping has years of experience in maintaining industrial properties and is flexible enough to service all types of industrial property. 

The types of properties we typically service

Industrial Landscape Maintenance

  • Manufacturing Plants
  • Transfer Depots
  • Storage Yards
  • Rail Service Yards
  • Assembly Plants

 

Below, we address some common concerns from industrial landscape maintenance clients and address how we can help.

Security

Most industrial landscape maintenance clients have gated, guarded, or restricted access areas throughout the grounds. Typically keys, swipe cards, and access codes for these areas are on a limited distribution and often change routinely. We are familiar with these concerns and have Manager level employees who account daily for the different access devices provided by our industrial landscape maintenance clients.  At the end of the landscape maintenance season, the return of these access devices is also accounted for.

Safety

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We know how important safety is at industrial landscape maintenance locations, and how it can impact our clients. At Suburban Landscaping we pride ourselves on our above average safety rating and the well being of our employees. Our Workman’s Compensation Experience Modification Factor is always better than average, and is monitored in monthly safety meetings. Our trained staff is very familiar with safety equipment and clothing that is necessary to work in an industrial setting. Hard hats, eye and ear protection, gloves and work boots are just the start of our safety procedures. If safety is your main concern, then the company providing you with industrial landscape maintenance should reflect that. Click this link to see our page on Insurance and a copy of our COI.

Clean Work Site

Industrial landscape maintenance can be a messy, dirty business. However, most industrial sites have requirements, regulations, or inspections that require a clean environment at all times. Knowing this, we have trained our crews on clean up procedures, gasoline concerns and use, and personal habits on industrial sites. At industrial landscape maintenance sites, a clean work site and safety often go hand in hand.

Vegetation Management

More than any other type of client, industrial landscape maintenance clients have a need for unwanted vegetation control. Fence lines, gravel lots, parking lots, foundations, and railroad tracks are just a few of the types of vegetation management that Suburban Landscaping can offer. We can evaluate and propose a plan for managing your vegetation areas and our trained staff can implement the plan on a one-time or ongoing basis. Another popular vegetation management service for industrial clients is field mowing. If you have a unused field or parcel of property waiting for development, have us mow the property on a set schedule to avoid municipal tickets or fines.

Snow And Ice ControlSnow Plowing Company 4

Winter can be the most challenging time of the year for many industrial properties. Our snowplowing and ice control services can be a valuable safety tool to most properties. Our 24/7 service with dedicated equipment and crews can make the winter months a painless time for facility managers. 

 

 

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Municipal Lawn Mowing & Field Maintenance

Park District Mowing Sports Fields

A large part of Suburban landscaping’s history and future are in the areas of municipal and state mowing projects. Our size and organizational systems have been valuable assets to many municipalities over the years. With our flexibility to arrange for special ceremonies or events, and our proprietary scheduling systems that ensure a reliable preform each week.

We can offer municipalities a large assortment of services to augment their staff, maintain selected parcels, or enhance the look and curb appeal of the municipality.  Being a full landscape build and maintain company, we can provide a one-stop-shop for all of your horticultural needs.

Some Mowing Services We Offer Municipalities:

  • Municipal Buildings
  • Athletic Fields
  • Parks
  • Road Ways
  • Field Mowing (Bi-Weekly, Monthly)
  • Tractor Mowing
  • Specialty Mowing (Hill sides, ditches, etc.)
  • Cemeteries
  • Schools
  • Water Departments
  • Code Enforcement

Retention Ponds

Expert Billing

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Municipal billing varies slightly from Town to Town, but our A/R staff is very familiar with everything from time tracked hourly bills to alternating week mowing schedules.  Detailed billing of several hundred vacant lots is not an unusual service at Suburban Landscaping. We are typically able to turn in billing within less than a week on any project, faster if needed.

We also can provide before-and-after photos if needed and all of our trucks are GPS located in real time for confirmation of work performed.

One-Stop-Shop

We pride ourselves on our ability to fully service our municipal clients, being the only phone number a Superintendent or Director needs to remember.  Below is a partial list of services we can offer municipal clients during the season.

As you will see here on our website, Suburban Landscaping has everything a municipality needs to help maintain a Village, Town or City.  

Different Departments

We gladly offer our service to any municipality, from the large 300 acre projects to the small one-time planting project.  We also work within a municipality as well

  • Water Department
  • Code Enforcement
  • Park District
  • Mayors Office
  • Building & Zoning
  • Health

Professional Service

Field Mowing Skid Steer

We know that anyone working for a municipality has lots of people watching, from supervisors to residents. Which is exactly why we pride ourselves on our professionalism when representing you. Our trucks are lettered, our employees are uniformed, and safety is our highest priority. Communication is ever present as well, from the Foremen to the Supervisors, our employees who deal with the public speak English and are able to photograph and report as needed.

 

RFP’s & Open Bids

We gladly participate in RFP’s and Public Bids alike. We are a transparent and open company that believes in following the rules. We are very familiar with bids, openings, and the requirements that go along with them.

Exact Pricing

Since 1984 we have been perfecting our system of bidding projects and properties. We are very familiar with unit pricing and price per acre, and we know exactly what we need to do a project. You won’t find a gamble or guess on our proposal; everything is measured, calculated and tested.

Insurance & Licensing

We are fully insured with an AAA rated company and have an experience modification factor above average. In addition to general liability, we also have Workman’s Compensation and an umbrella policy. Certificates are available upon request to all clients. Click here to see our page on insurance.

Our state applicator and operator license are also available to be seen on the same page. 

 

 

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Condominium Landscape Maintenance

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Condominium landscape maintenance is a unique kind of landscape maintenance for many reasons. In general, the physical maintenance services offered to condominiums is the same as a residential home or other multi-family properties, but the difference comes in how we approach a condominium’s needs.

These needs are different because instead of being home to a single family or a place of work, condominiums are home to many, many families. This can create a unique set of issues that need to be addressed in not only the way the property in managed, but in how the actual landscape maintenance is done. We address some of those areas below.

Board of Directors

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In condominiums, the elected Board Of Directors (residents who live at the property that were voted to be in charge) are our partners in obtaining the best aesthetics for the property. We like to schedule walk-throughs with the Board to keep them up to date with our work and any projects that may be underway. We also communicate frequently with the Boards, especially for disease and insect infestations that may arise that may require quick response to avoid further damage. Since Boards are an elected position and often can change personnel, we are used to bringing new Board members up-to-speed on our work in progress and the landscape maintenance as a whole.

Management Companies

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Unlike single family homes and industrial clients, condominiums often use a Management company to handle their day to day work, such as overseeing the landscape maintenance company. We already have friendly working relationships with almost all of the management companies in the area, so communication with them is already established. In most situations, Management companies handle the same responsibilities that the Board would have, including making decisions for the Board as to immediate response items such as insects and disease issues. We often do walkthroughs with the management company to discuss property enhancements or routine maintenance. We also are reporting to your management company on a regular basis with photographs of work preformed or enhancements completed.

By Laws

Most associations have a set of rules, or By Laws, under which they operate. These By-Laws differ from one condominium to another, but in general they all have some similarities. As experts in condominium landscape maintenance, we have become accustom to dealing with these rules and how they can affect the implementation of our work.

Landscape committees

Larger condominiums often have Landscape Committees that act as the Boards representatives for the lawn and landscape. Determining things like new plantings, removals, and quality of work. On-site Foreman and Account Managers often check-in weekly with this liaison to the Board. 

Individual requirements

With many families living in one condominium association, there will inevitably be requests made from non-Board member residents. We are very experienced at handling these requests and how to satisfy the residents and Board. Our crews are trained to report all communication with residents to their Account Manager or Division Manager for determination of what action should be taken, if any. These requests usually get passed up the line to your Management Company, Board or liaison. 

Budgets

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The one thing that condominiums have in common with single family and industrial properties is that most properties work within a budget. With our years of experience in prioritizing projects and reserve funds, we can offer Boards or Management Companies our recommendations and set up multi-year plans for larger projects. A large portion of most condominium associations budgets are spent on landscape maintenance, so having a contractor that knows how to work within a budget can be vital.
Our winter snow plowing contracts are also budget oriented, included standard in every proposal is the option to but your salting budget directly into the contract. With this budget established, we can work with your numbers to achieve the best service within your numbers, and offering advise when we cannot. 

 

Communication

Condominium Board members are often very hands on people and wish to be kept in the loop as to the condition of the property. We provide you with your Account Managers cell phone number as well as the General Managers number. We also can email monthly reports to the Board if they wish as well as winter storm updates before and during the storm. Our idea of good communication is responsive, informative answers before your residents ask the questions.

 

Suburban Landscaping has specialized in condominium landscape maintenance since 1984. With multi-family properties making up about 50% of our maintenance clientele, we have learned the intricacies and needs of providing the best in condominium landscape maintenance.

 

Testimonials

Pat Henaghan
2015-09-04, 15:28
Planting of river birch trees has solved my flooding problem in my backyard! Thank you so much for the suggestion. Prior to planting the river … read more
Mr. & Mrs. David Kowalski
2015-06-27, 09:54
Hi Al, just wanted to let everyone know how happy we are with Suburban Landscaping and your service. I know my mom just signed up with you as well … read more
Tony Davis
2015-07-19, 11:07
Thank you for saving my basement and my sanity. You guys really know your stuff, especially with the drainage stuff. I don't know if I mentioned this … read more