A well accomplished landscape project in San Antonio increases your home's curb appeal and market value by up to 20 percent. As a matter of factor, Eight of every 10 realtors in Texas believe the attractiveness of your property exterior is a very key consideration for a buyer. Note, you will require the services of a qualified landscaper to achieve this level of attractiveness, as they are trained to design, manage, and upgrade a landscape in line with the San Antonio Landscape Ordinance.
When contracting a Landscaper in the city, endeavor to ask the following questions to ensure you a hiring the best hand:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Landscaper in the City of San Antonio?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Landscapers in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Comply With the City of San Antonio Landscape Ordinance
- Will You Get the Landscaping Permit Required As per the City of San Antonio Code?
- What Kind of Landscaping Services Do You Offer?
- What Are the Best Types of Grass for Lawns in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Landscapers in the City of San Antonio?
With the exception of landscape architects, other landscaping professionals in San Antonio do not require licensing to provide their services. San Antonio landscape architects must first obtain a certificate of registration from the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) before they can provide their services within the city. Operating as a registered landscape architect without holding a certificate of registration issued by the TBAE can lead to the imposition of an administrative fine of up to $5000 on the offender.
To avoid paying unnecessary fines, landscape architects are advised to get their certificate of registration from the TBAE. To qualify for a certificate of registration as a landscape architect, the TBAE allows applicants to choose between two methods of registration. The two methods of registration for landscape architects recognized by the TBAE are registration by examination and registration by reciprocity.
To apply for a certificate of registration as a landscape architect by examination, applicants must be graduates of any landscape architectural educational program approved by the TBAE and must possess satisfactory experience in landscape architecture. Applicants are additionally required to create a TBAE online account, pay the $100 application fee, and provide proof of legal status by submitting either a US birth certificate or passport.
Note that the TBAE requires all examination applications to be accompanied by college transcripts and a completed landscape architect registration work verification form, or a Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) record.
Similarly, to apply for a certificate of registration as a landscape architect by reciprocity, applicants must create an account with the TBAE, pay the $150 application fee, and provide proof of legal status. However, first-time reciprocal registration applicants are additionally required to complete a fingerprint registration.
In addition to fingerprint registration, the TBAE requires all reciprocal applications to be accompanied either by a certificate of standing containing license verification and exam history of the applicant from their former state of residency and a certified college transcript, or a current CLARB record for the registration application to be complete. For more information concerning landscape architect registration requirements, applicants can call the TBAE at (512) 305-9000.
Applicants that meet the requirements will be issued a landscape architect certificate of registration, which must be renewed annually. Before you hire a landscape architect near you, it is always crucial to confirm the individual's registration status as this can reduce your chances of falling into the hands of home improvement scammers, while making sure that your landscaping job is handled by an expert. You can confirm a landscape architect's license status by utilizing the TBAE licensee search tool.
Although a certificate of registration from the TBAE qualifies its holder to work as a landscape architect anywhere in Texas, it does not cover every service that may be needed in your lawn. For example, registered landscape architects who intend to apply pesticides as part of lawn maintenance must have obtained a pesticide commercial and non-commercial applicator license from the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Queries concerning the requirements and application process for obtaining a pesticide commercial and non-commercial applicator license can be directed to the Texas Department of Agriculture by calling (877) 542- 2474. You can also confirm whether a landscape architect has obtained a pesticide commercial and non-commercial applicator license by calling the aforementioned telephone number.
Professional landscapers in San Antonio can choose to bill for their services on an hourly basis, per project, or square footage. Accordingly, residents of San Antonio should always clarify the billing structure with their landscaper before finalizing any agreement.
By clarifying the billing structure with your landscaper, you will be able to identify the actual cost of your project and why the landscaper has chosen that particular billing structure for the project. Furthermore, it is crucial to get and compare estimates from different landscapers for any landscaping project to avoid paying more than the average market price for the project.
A landscaper in San Antonio earns an average wage of $29,870 annually. Listed in the table below is the cost comparison of the average hourly wages of landscaping and groundskeeping workers in San Antonio against those of this category of individuals across the rest of Texas and other major American cities:San Antonio Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$14.36Texas Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$15.04New York City Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$18.58Boston Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$20.13Detroit Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$15.88Chicago Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$16.89Houston Landscapers Hourly Average Wage$14.69
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Practicing landscaping in a manner that violates any section of the San Antonio development standards as documented in the city's Uniform Development Code attracts a fine of up to $1000 as civil penalty. As a resident, hiring a landscaper that is familiar with the rules and ordinances regulating landscaping in San Antonio helps you avoid fines and other financial liabilities that may result from code violations.
The rules and ordinances governing landscaping in the City of San Antonio are documented in section 35-511 of the city's Uniform Development Code. This section of the city's Uniform Development Code was established to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, through the preservation of natural resources, and maintenance of ecological balance in the city. It was also created to improve the appearance of properties when viewed from the streets by encouraging the preservation and grooming of native plants and trees.
The landscaping section of the Uniform Development Code stipulates that permits for a new building project can not be obtained unless a landscape plan for such a building has been submitted and approved by the city's Development Services Department. It also requires all landscape areas to be irrigated with equipment that is suitable for the type of plantings installed in the area.
Other requirements of the landscaping section of the San Antonio Uniform Development Code include the prohibition of artificial plants for landscaping, and the distancing of antennas, satellite dishes, refuse, off-street loading spaces, outdoor storage areas, and mechanical equipment within a homeowner's yard from all public streets.
Queries concerning distancing and other requirements of the landscaping section of the city's Uniform Development Code can be directed to the San Antonio Development Services Department by calling (210) 207 - 1111.
In San Antonio, landscape-specific permits are not required to undertake or maintain a landscape project. However, the city's landscape ordinances mandatorily require residents to submit a landscape plan as part of the permit application process for new building projects. Building permits can not be issued in San Antonio until a landscape plan for the building has been approved by the city's Development Services Department.
Residents of San Antonio are advised to hire registered irrigators or landscape architects that are conversant with the city's landscape ordinances to draw landscape plans for their projects. By hiring competent individuals to design landscape plans, residents can be assured that their landscape plan will meet the minimum landscaping standards in the city, and get the approval of the city's Development Services Department.
Review and approval of landscape plans in San Antonio take place within the first five days of submission of a landscape plan, and the first step of this approval process is to confirm if the landscape plan meets the requirements of section 35-B107 of the city's Uniform Development Code. The next thing is to confirm if other relevant applications requiring action by any other city agency have been filed and whether all filing fees have been paid.
If after reviewing the landscape plan, the Director of the Development Services Department determines that the plan is incomplete, the applicant shall have 35 calendar days to provide the necessary information before the application will be closed completely. Applicants can submit their landscape plan at:
- San Antonio Development Services Department
- Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center
- 1901 South Alamo Street
- San Antonio, TX 78204
Once a landscape plan has been reviewed and considered to be complete, the applicant can proceed to obtain a building permit for the project. Queries concerning the other processes involved in getting approval for your landscape plan, as well as other requirements for obtaining a building permit can be directed to the city's Development Services Department by calling (210) 207 - 1111.
Professional landscapers in San Antonio offer a variety of services to interested persons within the city. These landscaping services generally include landscape design, landscape installation, landscape removal, landscape maintenance, and landscape restoration in both residential and commercial areas.
Other landscaping services that are available in San Antonio include, but are not limited to specialized services such as plant health care maintenance, lawn mowing, hardscape, softscape, and xeriscape. Note that most landscaping services require a great deal of expertise and knowledge of subjects like plant science and pest control. Accordingly, it is always good to ensure that the landscaper that you hire is qualified and specialized in providing the particular landscaping service that you need.
Depending on the type of landscaping service you need, the first step in ensuring that your landscaper is fit for the job is by confirming their registration status. While there are no specific registration requirements for landscape contractors and landscapers in San Antonio, landscape architects are mandatorily required to register with the TBAE. You can confirm a landscape architect's registration status using the TBAE licensee search tool.
Once your landscaper's license status is confirmed, the next thing to do is to ask the landscaper for references from similar landscaping jobs they have done in the past. You can ask for pictures of these projects and legitimate means of contacting the owners of these projects to verify the landscaper's claim.
Professional landscapers should provide you with relevant information about the quality of their service, including proof of similar landscaping jobs they performed in the past. Be wary of any landscaper that refuses to provide relevant information about the quality of their service. Once you have confirmed the landscape's qualification and competency to handle your project, the next thing is to request a work estimate for your project.
Provided below are cost estimates for common landscaping services in the City of San Antonio:Commercial landscape design$43 - $84 per hourResidential landscape design$54.60 - $65.43 per hourResidential Landscape architectural work$75 - $95 per hourLandscape installation$35 - $60 per hour (labor only)Landscape design$80 - $120 per hourLawn fertilization$30 - $75Garden planning$60 - $90 per hourGeneral Bed maintenance/Detailing$30 - $60Spring/Fall clean-up$80 - $250Pruning/Hedging$40 - $78Lawn Irrigation system installations$1500 - $3000Mulching$80 - $120 per cubic yardLeaf removal$96 - $500Sodding$1.32 - $2 per square footWeed Control$35 - $90
San Antonio has a warm, temperate climate that supports a wide array of plant species including shrubs, small and large trees, ground covers, and grasses that makes it less difficult for homeowners to create a green space in their lawn. According to a document published by the city's Office of Historical Preservation, residents of San Antonio must retain at least 50% of green space in their landscaping plan through the use of turfgrass, and integration of native, drought-tolerant, and low maintenance plantings.
Lack of 50% green space in an area typically results in less shade for pedestrians, increased heat island effect, and increased energy demand. To avoid these environmental effects and encourage the achievement of 50% green space across the city, the City of San Antonio currently maintains a list of plants that are suitable for xeriscape and landscaping.
You can find the complete list of plants recommended by the city in Appendix E of the Uniform Development Code. Some of these plants include different species of grasses such as bermudagrass, buffalo grass, St. Augustine grass, prairie mix, muhly grass, and butterfly weed. Note that most of the grasses listed in Appendix E of the Uniform Development Code require expertise to maintain. As such, residents of San Antonio should always hire or seek the advice of a competent landscaper before planting any grass on their lawn.
Interested persons can find qualified landscapers on third-party websites such as Better Business Bureau and professional organizations such as the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Regardless of how you find your landscaper, it is always a good idea to confirm if the individual is registered as a landscape architect in Texas. You can do so using the city's TBAE licensee search tool.
In San Antonio, there are no mandatory insurance requirements for landscapers, Landscapers, and landscape architects. However, any of the aforementioned professionals that wish to provide tree maintenance as part of their landscaping services must register with the San Antonio Development Services Department, and maintain liability insurance in a minimum of $300,000, with the City of San Antonio listed as the certificate holder. Residents can confirm whether a landscape professional has obtained the necessary insurance coverage to perform tree maintenance on their lawn by requesting an insurance certificate and contacting the insurance company that issued the certificate for more information. However, it is crucial to hire a landscaper, Landscaper, or landscape architect that is insured, irrespective of whether the individual will perform tree maintenance or not.
This is because landscape professionals are exposed to chemicals, machinery, noise, and harsh weather conditions that may result in serious injuries or even death. As a result of the health risks associated with landscaping, at least 143,000 persons in the US get injured while performing landscaping-related activities every year. Considering the staggering rate of injuries that occur during landscape-related activities, it is always a good idea to hire a professional that is insured. Hiring a landscape professional that is not insured means that the homeowner will be responsible for the financial liabilities associated with the landscaping-related injuries that occur on their lawn.
How To File a Complaint Against a Bad Landscaper in the City of San Antonio
According to a document published by the Better Business Bureau, there were over 130,000 reports of fraud, with over $249 million losses in Texas within the first three quarters of 2021. Among the consumer fraud reported during this period, home improvement scam ranked second on the list of consumer fraud with the highest monetary loss per incident, with each home improvement scam incident resulting in over $2,700 monetary loss.
Home improvement scams are common in San Antonio, and residents of the city lose several thousands of dollars to fraudulent contractors, including individuals that claim to be legitimate landscapers, landscape architects, and Landscapers.
In October 2020, a San Antonio man named Carlos Elizondo was accused of theft by former lawn care customers in at least three jurisdictions in the city. According to the San Antonio Police Department detective investigating the case, Carlos defrauded residents by visiting their homes claiming to be a police officer that also provided lawn care services. Carlos collects payment for lawn care from the victims and never completes the job.
Due to the kind of financial loss associated with home improvement scams in Texas, government agencies have established various ways of helping residents of San Antonio and other parts of Texas avoid fraudulent landscapers and lawn care workers anywhere in the state, including the City of San Antonio. For example, the TBAE has directed all landscape architects to issue a written statement of jurisdiction to each client for whom they render landscape architectural service in the state.
The statement of jurisdiction stipulates that the TBAE has jurisdiction over complaints concerning the practice of landscape architecture across the state. Likewise, the state's Attorney General has advised residents of San Antonio to take their time in evaluating the individual they want to hire for any home improvement work before finalizing any agreement. Listed below are common tips on how to avoid fraudulent landscapers, Landscapers, or landscape architects:
- Be cautious of door-to-door Landscapers, especially individuals that utilize high-pressure sales tactics
- Hire Landscapers with a physical business address
- If you are hiring a landscape architect, make sure the individual is registered with the TBAE. You can confirm a landscape architect's registration status using TBAE licensee search tool
- Check Better Business Bureau or any other third-party websites to see if complaints have been filed against the contractor in the past
- Get work estimates from more than one person and ensure that each person clarifies the details of the job to be done
- Be wary of Landscapers whose prices are lower than normal
- Always ask for reference. You can ask to speak with satisfied customers to verify the contractor's claim
- Insist on written contracts and do not sign until you have read and understood every aspect of it
- Do not make full payment until the job is satisfactorily completed
If you suspect a landscape-related fraud, you can report the matter to the TBAE by downloading, completing, and mailing a complaint form to:
- Texas Board of Architectural Examiners
- Investigations Division
- P.O. Box 12337
- Austin, TX 78711-233iu
You can also report a fraudulent contractor to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office. You can file a complaint against a contractor online, by calling (800) 621-0508, or by mailing a completed Consumer Complaint Form to:
- Office of the Attorney General
- Consumer Protection Division
- P.O. Box 12548
- Austin, TX 78711-2548
While the TBAE and Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office help to resolve consumer complaints, residents of San Antonio must understand that filing a complaint with any of these agencies does not guarantee that they will recover all they lost to the contractor. Residents seeking full monetary compensation should consider filing a small claims lawsuit at Bexar County Justices of the Peace if the compensation sought is valued below $20,000. However, it is always important to consult an attorney before filing a lawsuit against your contractor.