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Licensed landscaper in Indianapolis, IN

How to Hire a Good Landscaper in Indianapolis

In Indianapolis, nine out of ten residents want to live in a home with trees, grasses, and other living plants, and 84 percent of these residents are willing to pay for it. Whether you are selling or renting out your property, an investment in landscaping may be a smart option to get a quick offer and still earn a premium. The national professional association for landscape architects (ASLA) agrees that an investment in landscape improvement does pay for itself 100 percent or more.

However, before you conclude on a hiring a Landscaper in Indianapolis, ensure the professional has a firm understanding of the city's landscape regulations and can provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:

Question to Ask Before Hiring a Landscaper in the City of Indianapolis

  1. Are You Licensed To Practice as a Landscaper in the City of Indianapolis?

    Landscape experts in Indianapolis must obtain a license or registration to conduct specific landscaping services. Every landscaping job pertaining to landscape architecture and landscaping work involving the application of pesticide or fertilizer requires a license or registration. Landscapers in the city must register with the State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects if they intend to work as a landscape architect, and landscapers who intend to apply fertilizer or pesticides as part of their landscaping service must also get a license from the Office of Indiana State Chemist.

    Operating as a landscape architect without holding the appropriate landscape architect registration certificate is a class B infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000. Likewise, applying fertilizers or pesticides on any lot in the state without holding the appropriate license for such work is an offense punishable by a fine of $1,000.

    To obtain a landscape architect registration certificate from the State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects, applicants must complete an application for the certificate either by examination, reciprocity with CLARB, or reciprocity without CLARB, and applicants can submit their application online or by downloading, completing, and submitting the application for landscape architect form at:

    • State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects
    • Professional Licensing Agency
    • 402 West. Washington Street
    • Room W072
    • Indianapolis, IN 46294

    Note that it is only applicants who complete the requirements of any of the application methods that are issued a registration certificate. All queries concerning the requirements for obtaining a landscape architect registration certificate can be directed to the State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects by calling (317) 234-3022.

    Applicants who do not apply for a registration certificate or meet the requirements for obtaining a landscape architect registration certificate are not eligible to operate as a landscape architect anywhere in the state. As such, it is always important to confirm your landscape architect's registration status before finalizing an agreement.

    You can confirm a landscape architect's registration status by using the State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects licensee search tool. Having confirmed your landscape architect's registration certificate, it is important to understand that anyone intending to apply pesticide and fertilizer as part of their landscape service must hold a commercial pesticide applicator license issued by the Office of Indiana State Chemist.

    There are over 14 categories of applicator licenses in Indiana, and landscape-related pesticide applicator licenses include ornamental pesticide management licenses and turf management licenses. You can confirm if the individual that you intend to hire has obtained the appropriate applicator license by verifying their details on the pesticide applicator search tool.

    To obtain either the ornamental pesticides management license or the turf management license, applicants must pass a state-approved exam and provide proof of insurance coverage. For more information on specific-licensing requirements and procedures, applicants can contact the Office of Indiana State Chemist by calling (765) 494 - 9563.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Landscapers in the City of Indianapolis?

    It is estimated that Landscapers in Indianapolis earn $16.30 per hour. However, it is important to note that the hourly wage for a landscape service is influenced by factors such as the nature of the landscaping job and the amount of labor required to complete the job.

    Furthermore, you must also understand that not all Indianapolis Landscapers charge per hour for their services, as some landscape contractors in Indianapolis utilize other billing structures. As such, it is always crucial to confirm the billing structure your Landscaper will adopt for the work before signing a contract.

    Confirming the billing structure your Landscaper will adopt helps you plan for the project properly. Likewise, getting estimates from more than one landscaping company ensures that you do not pay more than the average market price for the project.

    A landscaper in Indianapolis earns an average wage of $39,890, annually. Listed below is the cost comparison of the average hourly wages of landscaping and groundskeeping workers in Indianapolis against those of this category of individuals across the rest of Indiana and four other major cities in the country:

    Indianapolis City Landscapers Average Hourly Wage
    $16.30
    Indiana State Landscapers Average Hourly Wage
    $15.25
    New York City Landscapers Average Hourly Wage
    $18.58
    Boston Landscapers Average Hourly Wage
    Chicago Landscapers Average Hourly Wage
    $16.89
    Houston Landscapers Average Hourly Wage
    $14.69

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Do You Comply With the City of Indianapolis Landscape Ordinance?

    Before making any arrangements with a landscaper in Indianapolis, you should always ensure that the individual is conversant with the rules and regulations guiding landscape development, installation, and maintenance in the city. Hiring a landscaper that is conversant with the city's landscaping standards means not only that you are retaining the services of a knowledgeable professional but hiring a professional that can help you avoid unnecessary delays and fines that may result from violating any section of the landscaping standards.

    The City of Indianapolis landscaping standards specify the minimum requirements for landscaping within the city, and anyone who violates any requirement of the landscaping standards shall be fined an amount not exceeding any limitation under IC 36-1-3-8 for each violation.

    A common requirement of the city's landscaping standards is the mandatory submission of landscape plans for all development and permit applications for single-family detached, single-family attached, or two-family dwelling units, individual lots with triplex, fourplex, or live-work units that are not part of a larger project.

    Other requirements of the city's landscaping standards include, but are not limited to, regular maintenance of a landscape area and installation of a signpost anywhere there is a natural landscape. For more information concerning other requirements of the city's landscape standard and what should be included in a landscape plan, call the city's Department of Metropolitan Development at (317) 327-5155.

  4. Will You Get the Landscaping Permit Required As per the City of Indianapolis Code?

    Landscape-specific permits are not required to install, maintain, recover, or remove a landscape in Indianapolis. However, as a resident of the city, it is important to note that landscaping is often included in site plans for the application of a building permit, and where it is not included, a separate landscape plan must be submitted as part of a single-family detached, single-family attached, or two-family dwelling units, or individual lots with triplex, fourplex, or live-work units building permit application.

    A landscape plan and other permit-related documents must be submitted to the city's Department of Business and Neighborhood Services before a building permit can be issued. Although it is not a mandatory requirement that an engineer or architect must draw your landscape plan, you should always ensure that the plan contains the right information.

    You can ensure that your landscape plan contains the right information by reading the city's landscaping standards thoroughly or getting the help of a professional that is conversant with the landscaping standards. Once the landscape plan is ready, you can submit it to the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services using the online permitting system. Note that each applicant must create a user profile before they can submit their landscape plans and applications online. Furthermore, applicants may also submit their landscape plans in person at:

    • Departments of Business and Neighborhood Services
    • 1200 Madison Avenue
    • Suite 100
    • Indianapolis, IN 46225

    Once the plan and other building permit-related documents have been submitted and approved, a permit covering all construction work and landscaping will be issued to the applicants. For more information concerning the requirements for landscape plan and application for building permit, call the Departments of Business and Neighborhood Services at (317) 327-8700.

  5. What Kind of Landscaping Services Do You Offer?

    Landscape and groundskeeping workers in Indianapolis offer a variety of services ranging from simple maintenance to specialized services such as xeriscape, hardscaping, and softscaping. However, you should always ensure that the individual you intend to hire specializes in providing the services you need before finalizing any arrangement with them.

    You can do this by asking the individual about their qualifications and years of practice. Furthermore, you can also ask the individual to provide evidence of similar jobs they have done in the past to ensure that they are capable of handling your project. More so, it is necessary to note that fraudulent landscape and groundskeeping workers can lie about the quality of their work. To avoid falling for lies relating to the quality of work, you should always ask your landscaper for pictures of past jobs and a means to verify them.

    Once you have been able to verify the landscaper's claim, you can now ask for a detailed estimate for the project. Always make sure that the estimate includes a breakdown of the total cost of the project to ensure that you do not pay more than the average market price for the project. Listed below are the prices of common landscaping projects in Indianapolis:

    Commercial landscape design
    $50 - $70 per hour
    Residential landscape design
    $45.70 - $70.00 per hour
    Residential Landscape architectural work
    $65- $100 per hour
    Garden planning
    $50 - $90 per hour
    General Bed Maintenance/Detailing
    $45 - $110
    Spring/Fall clean-up
    $100 - $300
    Pruning/Hedging
    $50 - $95
    Lawn irrigation system installation
    $1,600 - $3,400
    Mulching
    $85 - $110 per cubic foot
    Leaf removal
    $87 - $350
    Sodding
    $1.10 - $1.33 per square foot
    Weed Control
    $53 - $68
    Fertilization
    $55 - $100
    Landscape installation
    $50 - $60 per hour (labor only)
  6. What Are the Best Types of Grass for Lawns in the City of Indianapolis?

    The City of Indianapolis has a warm and temperate climate characterized by a significant amount of annual rainfall that makes it a viable area for a variety of native plants, including shrubs, trees, groundcovers, and grasses.

    In Indianapolis, it is a common belief that the installation of these native plants in residential areas must be encouraged and regulated to preserve the appearance, character, general health, safety, and welfare of the city. Accordingly, the city has established both the landscape standards and the green factor requirement to encourage residents to maintain a proper landscape with plants that are more resilient, drought-resistant, and free of diseases.

    The City of Indianapolis, therefore, requires all native plants, including grasses, to conform to the American Standard for Nursery Stocks and be strong enough to survive in central Indiana. Examples of native plants in this category are grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, Indian grass, sideoats grama, and prairie dropseed.

    While some of these grasses can grow with little or no effort, you need an expert to install grasses like fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass in your yard. As such, it is important to speak with or hire the services of a professional landscaper before planting any grass in your yard. You can find competent professionals for your landscaping job on third-party websites such as the Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp. You can also find experts from professional organizations such as the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Regardless of how you come in contact with the professional, you should always ask for their license or qualifications, and the appropriate means of verifying them.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Landscapers in the City of Indianapolis?

    In Indianapolis, landscape professionals are not required to maintain an insurance policy before they can work. However, it is important to note that reputable landscape professionals will carry the necessary insurance policy to protect their clients from financial liabilities that may result from potential work injuries, property damage, and deaths during a landscape job.

    It is estimated that more than 143,000 people in the country get injured during landscape-related activities annually, and the majority of these injuries were as a result of exposure to machines, chemicals, and severe weather conditions. Considering the number of people that get injured during landscape-related activities annually, it is always important to ensure that the individual you intend to hire is insured.

    You can confirm a landscaper's insurance status by asking the individual to provide their insurance certificate. Furthermore, you should contact the company that issued the certificate to ensure that the landscaper has an active insurance policy with them.

How To File a Complaint Against a Bad Landscaper in the City of Indianapolis

Home improvement scams are widely reported across the state of Indiana. Every year, the Indiana Attorney General's Office receives thousands of complaints involving citizens and their home improvement workers. This has led the State Attorney General to issue a consumer alert warning citizens of fraudulent contractors posing as home improvement workers. In Indianapolis, several fraudulent contractors are claiming to be home improvement workers.

These individuals move from one part of the city to another, offering home improvement services such as plumbing, roofing, painting, and even landscaping services. In January 2016, some employees of a landscaping company in Indianapolis stole thousands of dollars from senior citizens by bullying them into hiring the company to perform yard tasks at exorbitant prices. Residents of Indianapolis must understand that fraudulent individuals are always looking for unsuspecting citizens to defraud. Listed below are some tips to take to ensure that you do not fall victim to fraudulent landscapers:

  • Be wary of landscapers that utilize high-pressure sales tactics
  • Hire only individuals that have a physical business location
  • Always ask the individual to provide proof of license, registration, or any other qualification and the appropriate means of verifying them
  • Contact the Indiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have been filed against the individual in the past.
  • Get and compare bids from more than one landscaper
  • Get bids in writing and ensure that they reflect the work to be done
  • Get a list of work references and a means of verifying them
  • Always ask for an insurance certificate. Make sure you verify the details from the company that issued the certificate
  • Insist on a written contract and do not sign until you fully understand it
  • Always request for a final walk-through inspection before making final payment for the project

Landscape scams in Indianapolis can be reported to the Indiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division online or by downloading, completing, and submitting a printable consumer complaint form at:

  • Consumer Protection
  • Office of the Indiana Attorney General
  • 302 West. Washington Street, 5th Floor
  • Indianapolis, IN 46204

Similarly, if the landscape scam involves a licensed landscape architect, you can report it to the State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects by calling (317) 234-3022.

Likewise, if the landscape scam involves pesticide or fertilizer application, you can file a complaint with the Office of Indiana State Chemist by downloading, completing, and submitting a complaint form at:

  • Office of Indiana State Chemist
  • Purdue University
  • 175 South. University Street
  • West. Lafayette, IN 49707-2063