How to Hire a Good Landscaper in Jacksonville
Qualified Landscapers in Jacksonville have mastered the act of designing and maintaining landscapes that can make your property the envy of the neighborhood and see you gain over 100 percent return on investment. While you may want to do some lawn care by yourself, activities like applying pesticides are delicate jobs that must be done by trained professionals. Altogether, finding a good landscaper in Jacksonville is your best bet at improving your curb appeal and property value.
When contracting a landscaper in Jacksonville, ensure to follow these tips to hire the most qualified landscaper:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Landscaper in the City of Jacksonville?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Landscapers in the City of Jacksonville?
- Do You Comply with the City of Jacksonville Landscape Ordinance?
- Will You Get the Landscaping Permit Required as per the City of Jacksonville Code?
- What Kind of Landscaping Services Do You Offer?
- What are the Best Types of Grass for Lawns in the City of Jacksonville?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Landscapers in the City of Jacksonville?
Landscapers in Jacksonville, Florida do not need a specific license to practice in the city. However, any Landscaper applying restricted use pesticides will need a pesticide applicator license and a limited certification for commercial landscape maintenance certificate issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Any individual who applies pesticides without obtaining the license and certification will violate the Pesticide Regulation And Safety and may be required to pay a fine of as much as $15,000.
FDACS issues three types of pesticide applicator license which includes a
- Certified public applicator license,
- Certified private applicator license
- Certified commercial applicator license.
The Landscaper must pass the requisite exam to apply for the pesticide applicator license. After the applicant passes the exam, FDACS sends all necessary documents to apply for a license. The applicant must, in turn, submit the completed application form and pay the pesticide applicator license fee to FDACS at the indicated mailing address in the documents. Alternatively, the applicant can complete an online pesticide applicator license application. If FDACS finds the applicant qualified for the relevant license, the applicant will be issued the relevant certified applicator's license after showing proof of insurance and surety bond.
To apply for the limited certification for commercial landscape maintenance certificate, the applicants must complete and submit the recommended application package, proof of six hours of training, a photo ID, and a check of $150 examination fee to FDACS at the mailing address indicated in the form. Also, the applicants must contact the University of Florida, IFAS Publications Office at (800) 226-1764 to order the study manuals for the certification exam. Upon completing the exam, applicants must submit their exam results and proof of insurance to FDACS before their certificate is issued to them. For more information regarding the licensing and the certification process, you can contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (850) 617-7997.
FDACS maintains reciprocal agreements with states with the same certification standards, waiving the requirement to take the Florida certification exams for landscapers from these states so they can practice in the city. For more information regarding reciprocal certification, you can contact FDACS at (850) 617-7870. When you plan to apply pesticides to your landscape, you can use the Licensed Pesticide Applicator Search tool provided by FDACS to find a Jacksonville landscape contractor near you.
Before hiring a Landscaper in Jacksonville, it is always best to determine how much the landscaping services will cost you and how it fits your project budget. According to the United States Bureau of Statistics, Landscapers in Jacksonville earn an average wage of $14 per hour. How much the Landscaper will charge usually depends on factors like the nature and scope of the projects, cost of materials, labor required, and experience of the Landscaper. Hence, it is recommended that you get estimates from at least three different Landscapers to get a fair cost estimate of your planned landscaping project and avoid being overcharged by contractors.
Jacksonville landscapers earn an average wage of $30,440, annually. The table below provides a cost comparison of the average hourly wages of landscaping and groundskeeping workers in Jacksonville and other major American cities:Jacksonville Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$14.63Florida Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$14.53Boston Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$20.13Chicago Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$16.89Detroit Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$15.88Houston Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$14.69Los Angeles Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$19.04
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Section 12 of the Jacksonville Zoning Code was designed to regulate landscaping activities across the city, including the use of land and buildings in Jacksonville. The Zoning Code also guarantees the promotion of public health, public safety, and the general welfare of the city's residents during landscaping activities.
When hiring Landscapers in the City of Jacksonville, you should ensure that the landscaper is conversant with the provisions of the Zoning Code and how it applies to your intended landscape projects. A well-versed and qualified Landscaper will ensure your landscape project does not violate the city's Zoning Code. Violation of the city's Zoning Code attracts civil penalties of $50 up to $500 per violation. In addition to hiring a knowledgeable Landscaper, you may contact the Jacksonville Building Inspection Division at (904) 255-8500 for more information regarding the city's landscaping regulations and guidelines applicable to your intended landscaping project.
The Building Inspection Division of the Jacksonville Planning and Development Department does not issue landscape permits. However, the Building Inspection Division must review the landscape plan before issuing a building permit for commercial projects. The Zoning Section of the Building Division must determine if the planned project conforms with the landscaping requirement in the city's Zoning Code.
The applicant must make sure they prepare the landscape plan according to the proposed project's specifications. Applicants must then book an appointment with the Zoning Section of the city's Building Division to - complete relevant permit application form, pay applicable fees, and submit two copies of the landscape plans among other relevant documents at
- Ed Ball Building
- 2nd Floor
- 214 North Hogan Street
- Jacksonville, FL 32202
- Phone: (904) 255-8211
- Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m on Monday through Friday
Alternatively, the applicant can complete a permit application, and submit the landscape plans and other required plans online via the Building Inspections Division System platform provided by the city's Building Division. Applicants will need to sign in with an existing account or create an account to use the online platform. After submission, the landscape plans will be forwarded to the landscape section for necessary reviews. The landscape plans will be approved if it complies with the city's Zoning Code. Before the project is completed, city officials will carry out inspections at intervals to ensure the project complies with the plans approved and the Zoning Code. For more information on guidelines and requirements applicable to landscape plans, you can contact Jacksonville Building Inspection Division at (904) 255-8500 or via email or by visiting the physical location at the address provided above.
Before hiring a Landscaper in Jacksonville, it is important to confirm that their specialization aligns with your proposed project. Landscapers in Jacksonville offer different types of landscaping services to city residents. This includes
- Landscape design
- Landscape installation
- Landscape maintenance
You can confirm that your intended Landscaper has the required skill set and experience to handle your project by requesting references from similar work carried out and their work portfolio. You should also inquire how much they will be charging you for the projects. Any landscaper who is unable to provide you with all this necessary information should not be hired for lack of transparency.
Cost estimates of readily available landscaping services in Jacksonville are provided below:Landscape installation$38 - $63 plus materials (per hour)Landscape curbing installation$4.76 - $5.38 per linear foot (mid-grade concrete)Garden planning$50 - $75 per hour.General Bed Maintenance/Detailing$35 - $80 per hourSpring/Fall Clean-up$153 - $520Pruning/Hedging$48 - $79 per hourIrrigation System start$1,320 - $5,650Mulching$65 - $78 per cubic yard (material and local delivery)Leaf Removal$400 - $700 per acreLawn Mowing$75 - $98 per visit (one acre)Sodding$1.27 - $1.70 per square foot installedFertilization$54 - $59 per application (1/4 acre)Weed Control$44 - $149
Jacksonville is characterized by warm and temperate weather due to constant rain, averaged at 1047 mm even when the weather is dry. No surprise why the city is characterized by plush lawn care and landscape activities which means residents have an extensive range of grasses they can grow. Some of the species of grass that can grow in Jacksonville include:
- St. Augustinegrass
Homeowners in the city are advised to seek the best hands when planning a landscape project. As such, you should hire a qualified Landscaper to help you determine the most suitable grass for your lawn and help you plant and maintain it.
To find qualified Landscapers in Jacksonville, you can use online directories provided by organizations like the National Association of Landscape Professionals and third-party websites like Better Business Bureau. Note that if your project involves the application of pesticides, you should ensure you confirm the licensing status of your intended Landscaper via the Licensed Pesticide Applicator Search tool provided by FDACS
Landscapers in Jacksonville are exposed to several on-the-job hazards ranging from slips, trips, falls, chemical exposure, hand injuries, cuts, and even amputations. In 2020, the country recorded more than 100 fatal occupational injuries and 10,000 nonfatal occupational injuries among landscaping and groundskeeping workers. When work-related injuries occur during your project, you will be-financial responsible for the hospital bill of uninsured workers, and may be sued if you cannot pay the bill. . Hence, it is recommended that you hire only a Landscaper with general liability insurance to shield you from incurring any of these liabilities. You should request a copy of your intended Landscapers' insurance certificate before hiring them, and you may take further steps by contacting the relevant insurance provider to confirm the insurance policy is active.
Landscapers in Jacksonville with pesticide applicator licenses are mandated to carry general liability insurance or surety bond in an amount specified by FDACS. As such, it is important to confirm from the landscape contractor planning to apply pesticides on your lawn if they are insured and carrying a surety bond. You can contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (850) 617-7997 to confirm if your intended Landscaper is duly insured and carries the required surety bond.
In October 2021, the Florida Attorney General's Office announced the arrest of a contractor -Ricardo Villarroel Duerto-for allegedly defrauding nearly 100 homeowners across the state of over $1 million. An investigation revealed that the contractor collected 40% of the initial project price with no intention of doing the job. While most Landscapers are legitimate, there are often cases of dishonest landscapers preying on homeowners in Jacksonville planning to overhaul their landscape. These deceptive individuals often solicit door to door trying to take advantage of people in desperate need of landscape revamp. Other methods used by these deceptive Landscapers include
- Requesting full payment upfront to order the materials and equipment
- Encountering unforeseen problems, and requiring additional payment
- Claim to have materials left over from previous jobs.
To avoid falling victim in Jacksonville to these fraudulent contractors, you can protect yourself by taking the following preventive tips:
- Get and compare at least three estimates or bids from Landscapers.
- Be wary of a Landscaper that approaches you unsolicited or promises to carry out the landscape work at a discount with leftover supplies from another job.
- Get references from trusted friends and neighbors when looking for a Landscaper. You can also check reputable online websites like Better Business Bureau. This helps you access reviews about your intended Landscaper work and professionalism.
- Execute a written and binding contract with the Landscaper. The contract should state how much you will be expected to pay, how long the work will take, and the cost of materials.
- Ensure you understand the fine print of the contract before you sign it. Never pay the full amount of the proposed project upfront. If the contractor collects more than 10% of the project cost, Florida law requires such contractor to apply for a permit within 30 days and start work within 90 days.
- Verify the licensing status of your intended Landscaper if they will be applying pesticides. You should also confirm the certification status by contacting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (850) 617-7997
- Keep copies of your signed contract, receipts, invoices, and all other important project-related documents
If your hired Landscaper turns out to be fraudulent, you can file a complaint with the relevant authority. You can file a complaint against a Jacksonville Landscaper with the Florida Attorney General by completing an online complaint form. Alternatively, you can complete and submit the complaint application form to the address indicated on the top of the form. Note that the Attorney General's Office cannot guarantee the outcome of the resolution process. As such, you can file a legal action against the erring Landscaper at the Duval Circuit Civil Court. Before filing an action, it is advisable to seek proper legal advice from a practicing lawyer. You can find active lawyers near you in Jacksonville by utilizing the lawyer referral services provided by the Jacksonville Bar Association. For low-income earners and other special need groups in Jacksonville in need of a lawyer, you can contact the legal aid services of the city's Bar Association at (904) 356-8371.