What We Do

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do you charge for design work?
    It varies from site to site, but typically ranges from $300.00 – $600.00 for an average plan; it can be more for large sites and multiple views. It can also be less for simple concepts or quick sketches.
  • Do you charge for the first appointment if I do not decide to have you do the design?
    We do not charge for the first appointment; however, if we feel that you are looking for landscape advice at this appointment, then we will charge a consulting fee.
  • Is the design fee refunded?
    No, we spend a large amount of time working on landscape plans, so we ask that you budget this cost into your project.
  • What if I don’t like my plan? Does the fee include revisions?
    Rarely does a client completely reject a plan. We have an extensive question and answer period at our initial meeting, and we listen to what you want. We can make most revisions on the spot during the presentation of your plan. In most cases, a new drawing is not necessary. If we need to draw a completely new design, based on a change of heart or ideas on your part, then there will be a new fee charged. This is a rare occurrence, however. Some revisions may be necessary to satisfy Homeowner’s Associations or Preservation Boards. We will not charge you for these revisions, provided you commit to having us install the project.
  • Who will oversee my project?
    All of our projects are designed by either Sharon or Bruce. Before the project begins, we will do an on-site layout and answer any questions that you may have. A landscape foreman will be assigned to your project, will be on-site throughout the work, and can answer most questions. Bruce or Sharon will come by periodically to check on the progress of your work, and are always available to answer your questions.
  • How long does it take to do the work?
    The length of time varies according to the scope of the project. We can typically install an average size walkway in two to three days, for example. But a large patio, plantings and lighting can take a week or two. We can give you time estimates based on the work that you choose to do.
  • Will you do maintenance on our yard?
    We will do seasonal maintenance (and in some cases, monthly) on projects that we have installed. This includes spring spruce-up and mulching, perennial maintenance, etc. We do not do any mowing, lawn care or pesticide applications.
  • How do I get started?
    It all begins with a phone call or email us through the link here. Take a look at our Design Process for a complete explanation.
  • Do you have any Certified Nursery Professionals on staff?
    Yes. However, keep in mind that there is no substitute for experience. And even our non-certified people have this experience.
  • How long do I have to wait to have the work done once I decide to do it?
    Historically, we have been scheduled out between eight and fourteen weeks from the time we receive a deposit check.
  • What is your payment policy?
    We require a 10% deposit to schedule the project. Then, in most cases, we will require a 40% payment upon commencement of the work, and the remaining 50% immediately upon completion. In the case of large projects, we will require progress payments weekly.
  • Do you guarantee your work? What are your guarantees?
    Yes, we will provide you with a detailed guarantee sheet when we present your plan.
  • Do you do bid work?
    We do not engage in competitive bidding and will not install any other designs, except those drawn by designers or architects whose work we know.
  • Do you subcontract any work out?
    We have a small group of subcontractors who we work with; they must work within our time parameters and they have proven themselves to be great assets to Zaretsky and Associates. They are part of the ‘Associates’ in Zaretsky and Associates.
  • How far in advance should I call if I want to be on schedule for spring?
    We advise new clients to call as early as the previous summer to make sure that they will be on schedule for spring. We have clients who phase their projects and they schedule as early as a year in advance. Also, any fall projects not completed before winter are automatically moved ahead of all other projects in the spring.