FAQs...

Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Landscaping

Frequently Asked Questions and Our Answers

We care for Your Landscape with Service that is Always in Season!

At Stout Creek Landscapes, we welcome your questions. We’ve successfully completed over 600 landscape projects of all sizes over the past 24 years in the Grand Rapids area.

If you want to increase your enjoyment and use of your outdoor living space with a new patio, new landscape plantings, new walkways, a water feature, retaining walls or landscape lighting or simply 4-season maintenance we can help.

We have extensive experience with drainage and water problems and can provide eco-friendly options like a rain garden. We strive to use plant varieties native to Michigan, and grown in the upper Midwest. Providing 4-season interest is one way that we beautify your property all year long.

We provide 4-season landscape maintenance and management services including: lawn mowing , spring and fall cleanups, insect and disease control, pruning, mulching, seasonal flower plantings and so much more. You can read about all of our services by clicking here.

Our success is based on performing to the standards we have set on every project.

These questions will help you get a clear picture about any landscape company you talk to in 3 key areas: The reputation and financial stability of the company, their expertise and experience with projects just like yours and their follow-up and service.

Reputation, Longevity and Financial Stability

How long have you been in business?

Contractors come and go. It’s more common than you think and is done to avoid creditors or past clients; some contractors close one business and then open up again with another name.

Some key points about Stout Creek and Doug Byl:

It may surprise you to learn that in a 2011 survey by a consulting company that specializes in the landscape industry that 35% of the companies in the survey had failed in the previous 5 years. We are proud to say that our company has been in business continuously since 1987 and that you can feel confident that we will be around to back up our warranty.

What type and level of insurance do you carry?

We maintain $2,000,000 of liability insurance and statutory worker’s compensation insurance.

Some of our competitors use day laborers and these workers are most likely not covered by the company insurance. Unfortunately, this is a very common practice because it is far cheaper to hire someone and pay them “off the books”.

What this really does is put the homeowner at risk if one of the crew members gets hurt.

In order to protect your home it is a smart idea to:

If a landscape contractor is unable to produce the appropriate insurance documents, do not hire them as you may be responsible for any injuries or other accidents that occur during the project.


Experience, Service, Installation Processes and Warranties

How many landscape projects have you designed?

Doug Byl has designed more than 600 Landscape Projects in the Grand Rapids area since 1987.

Many landscape contractors design 10 to 20 projects a year – at that rate they would need 40 to 80 years of experience to reach the level of expertise Doug already has and will employ in your design.

If you want to increase your enjoyment and use of your outdoor living space with a new patio, new landscape plantings, new walkways, water feature, retaining walls or landscape lighting or simply 4-season maintenance we can help.

We have extensive experience with drainage and water problems and can provide eco-friendly options like a rain garden. We strive to use plant varieties native to Michigan, and grown in the upper Midwest. Providing 4-season interest is one way that we beautify your property all year long.

We provide 4-season landscape maintenance and management services including: lawn mowing , spring and fall cleanups, insect and disease control, pruning, mulching, seasonal flower plantings and so much more. You can read about all of our services by clicking here.

What kind of advanced training and certifications do you have?

Without these certifications the landscape contractor may not have proven experience with your type of project.

Who will be supervising my project on a day-to-day basis?

This is a very good question to ask.

At Stout Creek, your project will be supervised by either Doug Byl, President with 30 years of experience or Jason Weir, Operations Manager, with over 20 years’ experience .

Do you use written installation processes or procedures?

Yes. Over the years Doug and his team have developed detailed preparation and installation procedures for each major type of landscape project that we design and install. The experience we have gained from installing hundreds of projects has allowed us to create processes that minimize the typical challenges found in most landscape projects.

Unfortunately, there are some landscape contractors who won’t provide you with their written processes since they don’t want to be held to such a consistent standard.

Avoiding those contractors is a smart move.

If you want to increase your enjoyment and use of your outdoor living space with a new patio, new landscape plantings, new walkways, a water feature, retaining walls or landscape lighting or simply 4-season maintenance we can help.

We have extensive experience with drainage and water problems and can provide eco-friendly options like a rain garden. We strive to use plant varieties native to Michigan, and grown in the upper Midwest. Providing 4-season interest is one way that we beautify your property all year long.

We provide 4-season landscape maintenance and management services including: lawn mowing , spring and fall cleanups, insect and disease control, pruning, mulching, seasonal flower plantings and so much more. You can read about all of our services by clicking here.

What employee conduct policies do you have in place?

All our employees are trained to act like guests on your property.

This is just common sense. You’d be surprised that many companies don’t provide basic training in this area.

In addition, as a condition of employment, all employees are required to abide by the terms of our policies. All subcontractors and their employees are subject to this policy.

These policies give you a level of confidence that the crews that are at your home or at your building are professionals.

What about daily clean up?

We’ll provide you with our Written Daily Cleanup Procedure.

A daily cleanup checklist should be utilized by all landscape contractors. This ensures that the customer’s location is ready for use at the beginning and end of each day. This is just part of a professional job performance.

Will you give me a start and finish date for my project?

What kind of guarantee or warranty do you provide?

We provide our customers with BOTH a Guarantee and a Warranty.

1. Price Guarantee

Landscape contractors will often present totally unrealistic bids just to get the project. They know that once a project is started – it will cost a fortune to fire the contractor. In effect, they can hold the homeowner hostage so they find lots of ways to jack up the price.

A written price and satisfaction guarantee is your only protection against faulty workmanship, substitute products and hidden charges.

Some landscape contractors are reluctant to specify in detail what steps they will perform because this eliminates their ability to add on charges for things the customer thought was included in the bid.

Sometimes during the course of a project the homeowner will request additional work or request a change in the plan that will require additional time or materials to be included in the project. When that happens we will make a recommendation on the additional items and provide a firm price as appropriate.

2. Material Warranty

We provide a 5 year guarantee on all hardscape installation projects. In plain English – if your project fails for any reason during the first 5 years under normal wear and tear we will fix it at no cost to you.

There will be a charge for material or labor if the area has been damaged under circumstances that are not part of normal wear and tear. We can’t possibly list all the crazy ways that landscape projects have been damaged in the 24 years we have been business, but if someone drove their car through your wall - that isn’t covered under normal wear and tear.

All plants we install are covered by a one-year warrantee.

There will be a charge if the homeowner has not maintained proper watering recommendations.

Do I need to be home when you’re working?

Not all the time but we do ask that you be available each day so we can provide you with our daily update of progress and answer any questions you have.

If you want to increase your enjoyment and use of your outdoor living space with a new patio, new landscape plantings, new walkways, a water feature, retaining walls or landscape lighting or simply 4-season maintenance we can help.

We have extensive experience with drainage and water problems and can provide eco-friendly options like a rain garden. We strive to use plant varieties native to Michigan, and grown in the upper Midwest. Providing 4-season interest is one way that we beautify your property all year long.

We provide 4-season landscape maintenance and management services including: lawn mowing , spring and fall cleanups, insect and disease control, pruning, mulching, seasonal flower plantings and so much more. You can read about all of our services by clicking here.

I encourage you to carefully review our site. We will provide you with a complete copy of our consumer guide and step-by-step installation process at our first meeting.

Many Landscape Companies FAIL in their FIRST 5 Years…
Stout Creek Landscapes has been in Business Continuously
In Grand Rapids since 1987 Serving:

Greater Grand Rapids, Ada, Cascade, Rockford, Belmont,
East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, North Muskegon, Sparta,
Cannonsburg, Grand Haven, Holland, Comstock Park,
Kentwood, Walker and Surrounding Communities.