When it comes to landscaping, most people think about lush green lawns, full color gardens in bloom, and warm sunny days. During the winter months, when trees are bare and gardens bleak, the landscaping industry gears down to a creeping pace. Some companies even shut-down operations altogether. So why on Earth would this be a good time for you to work on your property?!
The natural ebb of the landscaping industry during winter months can prove advantageous to the savvy home owner in several ways. With the right planning you can find yourself with higher quality improvements, huge savings on professional help, and outdoor living areas complete in time for spring. We’re not talking about planting flowerbeds here (of course the cold weather will freeze out delicate specimens). This is the right time for big projects. Grading, demolition of unwanted growth, tree removal, retaining wall construction, installing paths or patios. The sort of projects that are built to last, and that add real value to your property.
It’s no secret that there is a low demand for landscaping services during winter. Because of the low demand, most landscape service providers have far more flexible schedules. This means they won’t be rushing to finish project after project, possibly cutting corners to complete their work for you and move on to another home. If you start a large winter project that requires professional help to complete, you can be confident that they will be able to spend more time and more resources on the details of your project without the distractions that warmer weather will bring them. This isn’t to say landscapers won’t give you a quality product during the summer, only that then they will not have nearly as much time to spend with you to learn exactly what your vision is and how to bring it to life.
With low demand comes low price. Your macro-economics professor wasn’t lying. The landscaping industry is very unpredictable when it comes to the cost of work and materials. What you pay will be entirely dependent upon the company you hire and how much they mark-up their costs, not any larger market trends. Large, corporate companies will generally have more stable prices throughout the year because they can rest on their income generated through lawn maintenance contracts. Small, local companies are forced to under-cut the competition at this time of year unless they have supplemental income through material distribution or diverse maintenance accounts. The best winter deals will always come from local companies that specialize in landscape design and installation. These are the companies that will be the hungriest for work, and will be willing to take jobs at minimal rates (some may even go low enough as to only cover costs and overhead). Because these small companies have such a narrow customer base, they are far more susceptible to damages from negative reviews. So not only will they work with you on a tight budget, they’ll do so with an eye to perfection.
If you’re living in Tuxedo Park or have a seven figure home value, finding the cheapest deal probably isn’t much of a motivator. Even if that’s the case, winter is STILL the best time for these projects! The reason for this is simple: why waste warm weather working on your landscape? Nobody wants to step outside in April with the smell of spring in the air and sound of bobcats, power tools, and installation crews toiling rumbling the planks of their deck. Waiting until the good weather comes to improve your outdoor living areas is like waiting until after your wedding day to order your cake. It’s already too late to fully appreciate what you’ve got!