Great Oaks Landscape FAQ

Why should I hire Great Oaks Landscape as my Landscape Contractor?

Great Oaks Landscape has been Michigan’s leading landscape design-build company for over 30 years, established into 1981. We have the expertise to create prestigious landscapes for residential and commercial properties.

The staff at Great Oaks Landscape has the passion, experience and dedication to create the most elegant landscapes that best suit your lifestyle and budget.

As a trusted Landscape Contractor, you can count on us to be the most well rounded, full service company, to serve any of your outdoor needs. We complement your architecture and make sure that your landscape is unique to your site and your lifestyle. As a customer, you are the most important part of our company.

Is there a way I can look at some of your past projects?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to look at our past projects and view our award-winning accomplishments. You can view several of our featured projects on the ‘Our Work’ page, as well as projects featured on Houzz.com and Google+, Facebook and Pinterest to see our most current projects.

One of our award winning projects is Hidden Lakes Community, please see our 5-minute video showcasing this 300-acre water site community.

Can I view some of your past clients reviews and testimonials?

Yes, Great Oaks Landscape Associates have been reviewed on several different websites including reviews on Great Oaks Landscape Google+ page, **Bing.com/Local, Yahoo.com/Local, Houzz.com, Yellowpages.com and AngiesList.com. We also have our own direct client testimonials on our websites Testimonial Page.

Do you have any company brochures or literature?

We would be glad to send you one of our printed brochures. Please see our Contact Us Page or Request For Consultation Page on our website or call us at 248-349-8555.

What if a plant or tree dies? Do you have a warranty policy?

Yes, we have a comprehensive warranty policy that covers trees and shrubs for one full year, labor and material. We also offer an optional two year warranty, which is above industry standards. The beauty and health of your landscape is just as important to us, as it is to you. If you would like a copy of our warranty, please see our Contact Us Page. 

What type and level of expertise do the employees at Great Oaks Landscape have?

We have a staff of registered landscape architects, with landscape expertise ranging from residential landscapes to golf course planning all the way to commercial land development. We also have the technical staff for all landscape computer and graphic designs.

We have a well rounded staff of landscape horticulturalists, master gardeners, arborists, construction project managers and installation experts. Our staff currently is comprised of over 150 employees, many have worked for Great Oaks for over 20 years.

Do you offer any specials or coupons?

Yes, at times, we offer specials and coupons in several different advertising venues. If you contact us regarding our landscape design/installation we will provide you with our current coupons and promotions. These are also displayed on several website search engines, on our Request a Consultation page, and our seasonal promotions in newspaper/magazine ads. We also offer specials and landscaping tips on our Twitter page @Gr8Oaklandscape.com and Professional Advice Page.

What are some traits that differentiate Great Oaks Landscape from other landscaping companies?

We are a professionally run organization with a highly trained management and labor staff. We have a full nursery with a full nursery staff, where customers can view and select their plantings.  We are proud that we have a reputation for high quality design and we have been in business more than 30 years, which speaks volumes of our experience and stability. We are a full service landscape company, from design to installation, including an exceptional ability to follow through with extended maintenance. Developing trust and confidence between our clients and the Great Oaks team is essential to our success. For most people purchasing a landscape is a rare occasion, which is why we make sure it is always enjoyable, educational and follows our standards of excellence.

What are some Landscape Associations and Licenses that Great Oaks Landscape Associates and its professionals hold?

Great Oaks Landscape is a member of: The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA).

We have a Landscape Architecture and Horticulture staff that has earned several licenses in the Landscape Architecture field including: The State of Michigan Landscape Architects License, The State of Michigan Residential Builder License and The State of Michigan Certified Arborist.  Certified landscape designer through APLD.

Design and Installation FAQ

How long does it take to complete the design process?

The complexity of the project has a significant impact on the design process. For smaller projects it could be designed in a matter of weeks, even days in some cases. Projects with more complexity, additions/revisions can add to the design time. This is why we gather so much information about you and your property at our initial meeting and at this time we will discuss the time line. We will give whatever time is necessary to make sure that the design is to your satisfaction.

Can I landscape part of my property, leaving the other parts for later installation?

Yes, we understand that installing a new landscape can be a major investment. We do break down many of our projects into phases. The Great Oaks Landscape team will work with you to decide which aspects of your landscaping are most important. We will make sure that the installation is done in the most cost effective way.

What happens if your design idea is not what I had in mind?

At Great Oaks Landscape we gather extensive information about our client and their property in order to design a landscape that we feel best suits their personality and lifestyle. We will blend your ideas, preference and functionality with our design expertise to come up with your perfect design

If there is a case in which our client does not like any of our conceptual designs, we continue to work with them until we design the landscape of their dreams. Installing a new landscape is an exciting process and we understand that this is your home and we won’t stop until it perfectly complements your preferences, needs and greatest expectations.

Once a design is completed how long does the typical installation process take to complete?

The complexity of the job dictates the time line, which will be discussed with you as part of the design process. Even before the design process is complete, a deposit reserves a starting date in the schedule.

How much do you charge to create a design?

Typically at Great Oaks Landscape if you have an installation contract with us, we will not charge you for design. If we do put a charge for a design, it will be used as a down payment and the money will be deducted from the final project payment.

How much should I budget for a Landscape Design and Installation?

The general rule of thumb for budgeting a complete landscape installation or renovation is approximately 5 to 10% of the overall value of your home and property value. Property appraisers and industry publications concluded that a well-designed landscape could significantly increase your property value, in some cases 10-15%.

But of course, at Great Oaks Landscape we work around your budget and keep it within your comfort level. At our initial meeting, we will give you cost conscious options that will enable you to have the landscape of your dreams and that it falls within your budget.

An attractive landscape not only creates personal satisfaction and expands the living space, but is also an investment that keeps growing. A well designed landscape adds enormous value to your property in several ways, so don’t let a limited budget discourage you from beginning the landscape process.

How do you begin the process of having your landscape installed?

The first step to getting your landscape installed is calling our office (248) 349-8555, emailing us at Info@greatoakslandscape.com, or visit our website and see our Request a Consultation.

Are there fees for initial consultation?

No, at Great Oaks Landscape the initial consultation is always free. We want to gather information about you and your property at this point in the process and we want you to make sure that we are the right company to fit your needs and that you have the faith and confidence in us, to go to the next step.

When is the best time to plan your landscape job?

Anytime is a good time. In many instances we have designed the landscape before the house is built. We consult on house orientation, setbacks, walkways, pool designs and layouts. A consultation is of utmost value in the building process. Spring and summer is hectic, so planning ahead makes the process more efficient. We have full staff all throughout the year.  Late fall and winter are generally our slow season, so that we complete most of our design services during the winter and fall season.

Can I look at the plant material before they are installed?

Yes, we have our own plant and tree nurseries where we provide a wide selection of trees, flowers and plants where you can view and select your own plant material. We have over 80 acres of nursery stock and have certified horticulturalists that will give you detailed information about the plant material you wish to install. We also have images of our nursery stock on our Nursery Page.

What areas do you service?

We primarily design-build our award-winning landscapes in Southeast Michigan, but have done work across the United States ranging from Ohio, North Carolina, extending to Oregon. Our primary service areas are in Oakland County, Wayne County, Washtenaw County, and Livingston County. Below are a list of cities we service in each county:

Oakland County, MI:        
Birmingham, MI                           
Bloomfield Hills, MI              
Commerce, MI             
Farmington, MI              
Farmington Hills, MI              
Milford, MI                   
New Hudson, MI              
North Farmington, MI         
Novi, MI
Oakley Park, MI
Orchard Lake, MI
South Lyon, MI
Walled Lake, MI
West Bloomfield, MI
Wixom, MI

Livingston County, MI:
Brighton, MI
Green Oak, MI
Hamburg, MI
Hartland, MI
Howell, MI
Lakeland, MI
Pickney, MI
Ruston, MI
Whitmore Lake, MI

Wayne County:
Canton, MI
Livonia, MI
Plymouth, MI
Northville, MI

Do you only install landscapes that you design?

No. We often install landscapes that are designed by other landscape architects or designers. We can add another level of expertise if desired or follow existing plan and exact specifications to produce the highest quality installation. This is why many landscape architects and designers or general contractors recommend Great Oaks Landscape to install their landscape plans.

Is Great Oaks Landscape primarily a residential home design-build landscape company or more a Commercial landscape contracting company?

Great Oaks Landscape is a rare landscape company because it has two distinct design-build teams dedicated to both residential and commercial landscaping. We have won countless awards and accolades in both areas of expertise and both areas of expertise have given us insight into the characteristic needs of each type of project.

Doing larger commercial projects has given us the larger scale insight and allowed us to buy in quantity, keep our prices down, design on a more commercial scale and for longevity.

Doing residential landscapes has given us insight into the intimacy of a personal landscape and being able to customize each project to individual homeowners’ preferences.

Due to the fact that we landscaped some of Michigan’s most recognized/publicized individuals we have a strict confidentiality policy.

On the other hand we can proudly acknowledge our work in the development of some of Michigan’s most well known commercial properties which we have designed and or installed the landscape. To view some images of our commercial developments or inquire about design-build landscape details visit or request one of our vast collection of portfolio’s or visit Our Work on our website.

What are the benefits of professionally landscaping your property?

First and foremost, landscaping your property will make it stand out, creating an attractive outdoor living space. Besides the obvious benefits of landscaping like increasing your curb appeal, landscaping has other many other major benefits, including, extending your living space to the outdoors, increasing property value, creating a cleaner, sustainable, environmentally friendly planet and drastically reducing energy bills.

How can landscaping the exterior of my home increase property value?

Landscaping your exterior is an investment that keeps growing. The following publications have reported studies that support landscaping’s effect on property resale value.

According to Smart Money magazine, published by the Wall Street Journal, "If you spend 5 percent of the value of your home on landscaping, and do it wisely, you can get 150 percent or more of your money back."

Landscaping not only creates value for your property in the immediate future but also increases its monetary value. Another article written by CNN.Money stated, “High-quality landscaping adds 5 percent to 11 percent to its price.”

Landscaping can have the largest recovery rate effect, more than any other home renovation. Money Magazine reported Landscaping could bring a recovery value of 100 to 200 percent at selling time.  Kitchen remodeling brings 75 to 125 percent recovery rate, bathroom remodeling a 20 to 120 percent recovery rate, and addition of swimming pool a 20 to 50 percent recovery rate.  

Landscaping can add between 7 and 15 percent to a home's value. According to The Gallup Organization.

According to a Clemson University study Homes with "excellent" landscaping can expect a sale price about 6 to 7 percent higher than equivalent houses with "good" landscaping, while improving landscaping from "average" to "good" can result in a 4 to 5 percent increase.

How can landscaping the exterior of your property increase the usable living space of your property?

A properly designed landscape extends the living area of your house into the yard, maximizing your property land you never knew you had. For example, a new dining patio with outdoor kitchen provides more room to entertain. According to Money.CNN "It opened up a whole new space in our house…we are constantly entertaining out here." The exterior of your home is the first thing people notice when they see your house. Creating a new outdoor living space not only creates a new space for you to entertain your friends and family in, but can also extend your home’s welcoming experience. This makes people’s first impression of your house an unforgettable one!

How can landscaping the exterior of your property help the environment and create a more eco-friendly planet and lower energy bills?

Trees and other plants have a positive effect on air quality, human well-being, and wildlife habitat, while reducing water and soil pollution. The U.S Department of Energy stated landscaping may significantly reduce energy bills. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of a typical household's energy for heating and cooling. Computer models from DOE predict that just three trees, properly placed around the house, can save an average household between $100 and $250 in heating and cooling energy costs annually.

According to American Forests, A single urban tree can provide up to $273 a year in air conditioning, pollution fighting, erosion and storm water control, and wildlife shelter benefits. Engerysavers.gov reported on average, landscaping for energy efficiency provides enough energy savings to return an initial investment in less than 8 years.

Properly installed irrigation system saves you money. 

In LawnCare, about.com “The savings are incurred by eliminating overwatering, and providing perfect, efficient coverage. Hand watering is no match for the efficiency of an irrigation system.”

How is sustainability an integral part of the landscape design process?

It is our job in the Landscape profession to conserve the natural ecosystem and reduce the amount of negative impact resources have on the environment. We use eco-friendly products and renewable resources to help keep the environment a safe living environment.

General Landscape FAQ

What is Hardscape?

Hardscape, in the practice of landscaping, refers to any materials placed on ground, such as pavers, boulders, retaining wall, walkways, patios, pools and paved surfaces.

What is Softscape?

Softscape includes the plant material, soil, bark, water, things of more an organic nature.

What is a Trellis?

A Trellis is an architectural structure made from interwoven pieces of wood or metal. It typically has climbing plants like ivy or climbing roses.

What is a Pergola and what is an Arbor?

A pergola is a garden feature with posts or pillars supported by crossbeams. This creates an open shaded walkway or sitting area.  Freestanding Pergolas can be attached to a building/home and extend into a garden feature like a pool deck or terrace.

The difference between a Pergola and Arbor is a debated topic. A Pergola has more of an open space with an open roof with vines growing up the columns and covering the roof. An Arbor is an archway or series of archways, in some cases creating a tunnel like structure, which vines can grow on and cover.

What is microclimate and why is it important when landscaping your home?

A climate that directly surrounds your home is your home’s microclimate. Microclimate is important to understand when installing a landscape as it impacts energy efficiency and what plant materials can be used. It’s different then regional climate because of its can vary from home to home or even from the front yard to back yard of same property. Each property receives more sun, shade, wind, snow, rain, moisture then their neighboring homes. The slope of the property is also a very microclimate element to consider. Properties located near a body of water may decrease air temperature or increase the humidity.

What is the difference between a landscape architect, landscape contractor and landscape designer?

Landscape Architects have a formal degree in Landscape Architecture from a certified school. Great Oaks Landscape has several licensed Landscape Architects on our staff.

Landscape Architects typically deal with site analysis, landscape design, site grading and construction techniques as well as have extensive knowledge of plant material and horticulture.  Landscape Architects develop designs, plans, and construction ready documents for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

Landscape Designers have training and education in landscape design and horticulture either through extensive job experience or formal education.  Great Oaks Landscape Designers have years of experience and have designed award-winning residential and commercial landscapes. The designers create design concepts for the clients, landscape plans, and select the type of plant material and hardscapes for their assigned project.

At Great Oaks Landscape our designers have close contact with contractors and are directly involved in the projects from initial consultation to installation. We have designers who specialize in a wide range of design services including designs for residential, commercial, industrial projects. Our design team is composed of designers with expertise in designing elaborate water features/pools, hardscape work, golf courses, memorial gardens, parks, and numerous other outdoor living spaces.

Landscape Contractors perform services such as lawn and garden installation, lawn care service maintenance, masonry, hardscape installation, and countless other landscape elements. At Great Oaks Landscape we do most of our landscape installation in house, which is why we are recognized as one of the most experienced well-rounded landscape contracting companies in Michigan.

We also have artisans and subcontractors that we hire for areas of expertise to round out our contracting services.

With over 30 years of experience we have established excellent working relationships with the best contractors in Michigan. Our connections and trusted relationships give us a competitive advantage because we receive the best prices for material and installation. This creates an enormous advantage for the customers who hire us as their design/build landscape company. We are able to leverage the exceptional care and discounts the contractors provide us down to our clients. This drastically reduces the time and increases efficiency for our projects.