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Licensed Landscaper in El Paso, TX

How to Hire a Good Landscaper in El Paso

Properly done landscaping can bump up the value of your home in El Paso by up to 12 percent. A good design, lawn maintenance, mulching, fertilization, irrigation, and pesticide application are a few of the requirements to a properly laid out landscape. Do not fall into the temptation to hire a landscaper in the city based on low bids, qualified landscapers are better trained to guarantee you a lasting value and curb appeal. When contracting a landscaper in the city, ensure the professional is conversant with the El Paso Landscape Ordinance. It is also advisable to ask the following questions before hiring these professionals:

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Landscaper in the City of El Paso

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Landscaper in the City of El Paso?

    There are no local-level licensing requirements for Landscapers in the City of El Paso. However, all contractors in the city are generally required to complete an annual registration process with the El Paso Planning and Inspections Department. Parties that wish to complete this registration process will have to complete a Contractor Registration Application Form, pay a registration fee, and meet certain insurance and bond requirements. The completed form and copies of all other required documents and fees can be submitted at:

    • Planning and Inspections Department
    • One Stop Shop
    • 811 Texas Avenue
    • El Paso, Texas 79901
    • Phone: (915) 212-0104

    At the state level, landscapers in El Paso that provide services that involve the use or application of restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides are required to obtain a commercial pesticide applicator license from the Texas Department of Agriculture. This license can be obtained online or by completing and submitting an Application for Commercial Pesticide Applicator License Form to:

    • Texas Department of Agriculture
    • P.O. Box 12076
    • Austin, TX 78711-2076

    Likewise, El Paso landscape contractors that install, maintain, inspect or design landscape irrigation systems must also obtain an appropriate irrigation occupational license from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. State-issued irrigation license applications can be completed online. Note that applicants will be required to sit for and pass a licensing examination. Inquiries concerning state-issued pesticide and irrigation licenses can be directed to the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at (512) 463-7476 and (512) 239-6133 respectively.

    Always make sure that any landscaper you intend to hire in El Paso meets all necessary local registration and state licensing requirements. Contractors that fail to meet these requirements may face city and state-imposed fines and other civil and criminal penalties. Ensuring that you hire a duly registered or licensed contractor also provides you with a measure of assurance that your project will be handled professionally. You can find out if your Landscaper has been duly registered and licensed by contacting the El Paso Planning and Inspections Department at (915) 212-0104 or via email.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Landscapers in the City of El Paso?

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that workers in El Paso's landscaping industry earn approximately $11 per hour. Nonetheless, certain factors, such as the nature and scope of your landscaping project, the cost of landscaping materials, the size of the area that needs landscaping, and the labor intensity of the job, will affect the cost of your project. As such, it is always a good idea to get cost estimates from multiple Landscapers when looking to undertake a landscaping project in the city. Compare these estimates to get an idea of the average cost of your project and look out for estimates that are markedly higher or lower than others. This is usually an indication of fraudulent behavior on the part of the contractor.

    A landscaper in El Paso earns an average wage of $23,330, annually. The table below provides a cost comparison of the average hourly wages of landscaping and groundskeeping workers in El Paso against those of this category of individuals across the rest of Texas and other major American cities:

    El Paso Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $11.21
    Texas Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $15.04
    Houston Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $14.69
    New York City Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $18.58
    Phoenix Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $14.91
    Los Angeles Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $19.04
    Chicago Landscapers Hourly Average Wage
    $16.89

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Do You Comply with the City of El Paso Landscape Ordinance?

    Chapter 18.46 of the El Paso Code of Ordinances, also referred to as the city's Landscape Ordinance, is a local law that sets forth the minimum requirements for landscaping activities for property development within El Paso. This law aims to improve the aesthetics of development and construction in the city, promote water conservation and water efficiency, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents of El Paso. Some requirements of the El Paso Landscape Ordinance include:

    • The mandatory installation of plant material for every 1,000 square feet of landscapable area
    • The provision of at least one parking lot tree for every ten parking spaces in parking lots and vehicle use areas
    • The regular and proper maintenance of landscaping by property owners in the city
    • The installation of street trees for new residential developments as well as commercial developments in the city

    The provisions of this ordinance apply to all new constructions in the city that require building permits and are zoned for commercial use, expansions of existing buildings or parking lots, unmanned facilities, frontage landscape buffers, parking spaces, parkways, and residential property. However, exemptions are made for projects that fall under the following categories:

    • Historic structures building restoration projects
    • Projects on federal or state-owned land
    • Existing developments that change from one approved use to another, within the same zoning category
    • Expansions of existing structures or parking lots, provided that the existing landscaping meets all requirements for new projects of the same nature
    • Projects zoned or used for residential use. However, street tree requirements for these projects must be met
    • Existing building or parking lot areas that add a ramp, dock, delivery or loading area, or trailer storage area to existing concrete or asphalt surfaces
    • Projects that involve the addition of buildings on commercial lots, provided that these additions do not exceed a combined square footage of 1,200 square feet of floor area
    • Structures that are built from property line to property line. However, these types of projects must meet all applicable street tree requirements

    Hiring a landscaping company that is familiar with the El Paso Landscape Ordinance goes a long way in ensuring the success of your project. These contractors typically know the specific requirements of the ordinance that apply to various landscaping projects and do their work in strict compliance with these requirements, thereby avoiding code violations and potential sanctions. These sanctions include fines of up to $2,000 per violation as well as city-instituted civil actions and possible criminal prosecution. You can also consider contacting the El Paso Planning and Inspections Department at (915) 212-1643 and (915) 212-0104 to get more information on the city's landscape ordinance and the provisions of this law that are relevant to your particular landscaping project.

  4. Will You Get the Landscaping Permit Required as per the City of El Paso Code?

    Individual permits are typically not required for landscaping activities like lawn seeding, planting new flowers, mulching, and lawn mowing in the City of El Paso. However, if the landscaping project involves certain building and construction-related activities, then a building permit may be required. Examples of these activities include:

    • The construction of walls or masonry fences that are over 42 inches in height
    • The installation of chain-link fences that are over six inches in height
    • The installation of porches, awnings, decks, and carports
    • Concrete work that is more than 30 inches above grade or supports a structure
    • Any type of work on city sidewalks

    Also, per the requirements of the El Paso Landscape Ordinance, separate landscape plans must be submitted for review before the commencement of new commercial development projects as well as any other type of project that falls within the purview of this ordinance. Landscape plan reviews and the issuance of building permits are both handled by the city's Planning and Inspections Department. Certain information has to be included in these landscape plans, such as:

    • The botanical and common name, plant tags showing the plant types, legend reference, height, size, location, and quantity of proposed landscape materials for the project
    • The location of all existing and proposed structures, plant materials, project trees, frontage trees, parking lot trees, street trees, berms, swales, signs, and fire hydrants around the proposed project at the time of the submission
    • A representation of all curb cuts ingress, egress, and distances to plant materials
    • A representation of a five-foot clearance at maturity for all landscape material adjacent to hydrants, meters, utility boxes, or access points
    • The name, telephone number, and address of the property owner's representative

    Landscape plans can be submitted to the El Paso Planning and Inspections Department's One Stop Shop at:

    • 811 Texas Avenue
    • El Paso, TX 79901
    • Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Fridays

    Parties that wish to apply for building permits for their landscaping projects can also do so by submitting a duly completed Building Permit Application Form, along with any applicable permit fees and requested additional documentation, at the address listed above. Alternatively, building permit applications can be made online via the department's Citizen Access Portal. However, parties that wish to utilize this portal will be required to create a user account. You can direct landscape plan review and building permit-related queries to the Department of Planning and Inspections via email. Inquiries can also be made to this department by calling (915) 212-0104 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays, and 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Fridays.

  5. What Kind of Landscaping Services Do You Offer?

    Professional landscape contractors in the City of El Paso offer different types of landscaping services ranging from lawn maintenance services like edging, aerating, and mowing, to hardscape and softscape landscape design and installation services. However, you should always make sure that your Landscaper has the right skill set and equipment to accommodate your particular landscaping project. While many landscapers in the city may claim to offer personalized services, you should always confirm this by requesting copies of their portfolios and perusing these documents. You should also ask for references of past clients that you can contact to get first-hand reviews of the landscaper. It is a red flag if a contractor cannot provide this information or tries to convince you that these requests are not necessary, and you should strongly consider crossing them off your list of potential hires. It is also a good idea to find out how much the Landscaper charges for your required service. Cost estimates of some landscaping services available in El Paso are listed below:

    Lawn mowing and maintenance
    $31 - $36 per visit
    Lawn fertilization
    $53 - $58 per application
    Residential landscape design
    $56 - $63 per hour
    Landscape curbing installation
    $4 - $7 per linear foot
    Garden Planning
    $35 - $50 per hour
    General Bed Maintenance/Detailing
    $30 - $45
    Spring/Fall clean-up
    $70 - $300
    Pruning/Hedging
    $160 - $220
    Lawn irrigation system installation
    $1,550 - $3,650
    Lawn mulching
    $60 - $70 per cubic yard
    Leaf removal
    $90 - $250
    Sodding
    $1.14 - $1.38 per square foot
    Weed Control
    $40 - $85
  6. What are the Best Types of Grass for Lawns in the City of El Paso?

    El Paso has an average yearly temperature of 77 degrees and annual average precipitation of 8.8 inches. The best types of grasses that suit the city's weather conditions are grasses that are heat and drought-tolerant, like:

    • Bermuda grass
    • Buffalo grass
    • Centipede grass
    • St. Augustine grass
    • Texas bluegrass
    • Zoysia grass
    • Ryegrass

    Note that weather conditions should not be the sole factor that influences the type of grass that you install on your lawn. Factors like the type and depth of your soil, shade conditions, foot traffic, and how often the lawn will be watered should also be taken into consideration. To get the best results, you should retain the services of a qualified Landscaper in the city to help you determine the best type of grass or grass mix that will flourish in your lawn. You can utilize online directories provided by the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, and the Better Business Bureau to find qualified Landscapers that operate in El Paso.

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

    In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a total of 4,764 fatal occupational injuries and 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries. Hiring an uninsured Landscaper exposes you to financial and legal liabilities if any of these injuries occur during your project. You will also have to bear the costs of any property damage that may be caused by the contractor during your project. As such, it is always in your best interest to hire a duly insured contractor to execute your landscaping projects. Note that El Paso does not have any landscaper-specific insurance requirements. However, all contractors that register with the city's Department of Planning and Inspections must possess a minimum general liability insurance coverage of $100,000 per occurrence and a blanket building construction bond of $25,000. Verify that your landscaper is duly insured and bonded by requesting proof of this and authenticating it with the appropriate organization. You can also contact the El Paso Department of Planning and Inspections at (915) 212-0104 to get additional information on insurance and bonding requirements for city-registered contractors.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Landscaper in the City of El Paso

In May 2021, it was reported that the El Paso County Sheriff's Office had arrested a Landscaper that had been accused of defrauding homeowners in the area to the tune of up to $30,000. When searching for a landscape contractor in El Paso, you should always take certain steps to ensure that you do not end up getting scammed by a shady contractor. These individuals use methods like offers of free lawn inspections and discounted lawn maintenance services to defraud unsuspecting homeowners in the city. Many times, these contractors convince homeowners to pay the full cost of the project upfront or drop a large down payment and then take off after receiving this payment without providing the agreed-upon service. Some precautionary steps to take before hiring any landscaper in El Paso include:

  • Get referrals to landscapers from trusted sources. This can be friends, relatives, other home improvement contractors, or online platforms like the Better Business Bureau
  • Be leery of landscapers that knock at your door unsolicited or call you out of the blue and offer discounted services
  • Get and compare cost estimates for your project from multiple Landscapers
  • Do not hire any landscaper that cannot provide you with at least three verifiable local references. You should also contact any references that you are given to get reviews and opinions on the contractor
  • Contact the El Paso Department of Planning and Inspections at (915) 212-0104 to confirm that the contractor has met all applicable city-registration requirements
  • Make sure that you are given a written contract. However, do not rush into signing this contract. Take the time to read and understand it and make sure that it contains every necessary detail of the project. This includes a detailed description of the work to be done, the types of landscape materials to be used, the total cost, and an estimated date of completion
  • Do not sign any contract that has blank spaces
  • Avoid cash payments
  • Do not pay the full cost of the project upfront and limit down payments to a fraction of the project's total cost. Subsequent payment should be made in installments and should be in tandem with the level of completion of the project

The Texas Attorney General's Office is charged with protecting residents of El Paso from deceptive and fraudulent business practices, and this office receives over 30,000 complaints on these types of matters every year. You can file complaints concerning landscape scams with this office by completing and mailing a consumer complaint form to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • P.O. Box 12548
  • Austin, TX 78711-2548

Complaints can also be filed with this office online or by calling (800) 621-0508.