We are landscape design/build contractors serving Madison, WI and the Dane County area.
Local – I’ve been a homeowner in the Greenbush neighborhood since 2005. I don’t ever plan to leave. I’ve spent the majority of my time since 2000 working in Madison. I have a good deal of experience with local suppliers, specialty contractors, and ordinances/regulations. These make a project more predictable and run more smoothly.
My kids go to Franklin School and will one day go to West. Because I live where I work I see clients (past and current) nearly every day. We would do great work even if we knew we’d never see you again, but since we will likely see you many times in the future we’re especially focused on doing things right.
Working near home also makes it easy to stop by and chat after work or check in on things in the future.
Built on Word of Mouth – Well over half of our work is based on referrals and repeat business. This says a lot about our work and our way of doing business.
BS-Landscape Architecture ‘05
Associates Degree - Landscape Horticulture ’00
Experienced- In addition to our education, much of our knowledge comes from decades of experience. We see potential issues that others don’t. I won’t go so far as to say we’re the Sherlock Holmes landscape Sleuthery but we have seen plenty ‘problem landscapes’ that we’ve learned a great deal from. We know the costs associated with tricky projects.
I can’t find fault with less experienced contractors- I don’t think they are trying to “low-ball” and then tack on additional costs – they simply don’t anticipate some of the issues that come up because they haven’t experienced them before. They don’t want to give a price that seems overly high and risk losing the job so they whittle down their estimates to the bare minimum. They don’t know the costs of legally operating a business.
Good Communicators - We work closely with clients to be sure needs and desires are satisfied to the best of our ability. Our goal is to let you know what I am doing, why, how long it will take, how it will impact your life while in the process, how we can minimize those impacts, what to expect when we are done, and how much it will cost. If you have any questions about these things or others, just let us know and we can be sure we're on the same wavelength. Most projects we’ve worked on have led to happy clients and great results. When minor problems have arisen, it's always been because of rushed communication. To ensure there are no misunderstandings, we provide a clear, detailed contract that outlines our proposed scope, and other important considerations. We also utilize a Landscape Client Questionnaire to ensure we create the best possible landscape for you with as few complications as possible.
Cost Conscious / Value Conscious – We always try to discuss project costs early and accurately so we can find a comfortable budget. Everyone’s heard horror stories of contractors providing low estimates to land the job and then gouging clients throughout the project. With any project we try to discuss possible issues we might encounter - we might even propose contingency plans like options to reduce size/costs of the plantings if we encounter cost over-runs early in the project.
Although we try to minimize costs we aren’t inexpensive. We charge enough to so we’re not rushing, so we can do things right, so we don’t need to beg for extra money at the end of a project. If something unexpected comes up we can often address it within the project budget. If something needs to be fixed, we can afford to do so rather than increasing costs – or worse yet, hiding the problem. We charge enough to provide a safe, fair workplace for great employees - career landscapers who wouldn’t want to do it any other way.
….And we’ll be sure to be in business for a long time down the road so you’ll always have a great landscaper just a call (or email) away
Small Scale - As a company, we choose to stay small. This allows us to focus on our passion for residential landscapes rather than focusing on running a business. Clients have the benefit of knowing who they'll be dealing with on a day to day basis. Communication is so much easier when you've discussed details with the person completing the work rather than a salesperson who translates it into a work order to hand off to a project manager who interprets it for a crew leader who....
Although we are small, we are not slow. The right low-impact equipment and a 'can do' attitude allows us to complete a great amount of work in a day. From time to time, we also work with a few carefully selected sub-contractors that can expand our capabilities while still keeping the company flexible.
Our small scale allows us to keep our overhead low so we can keep pricing fair for all clients. This attention to overhead management is evident with our marketing. This website for example was created 100% in house using photos we took and text we wrote. With many companies, 8% or more of the price you pay is used not for your project, but instead used to pay for marketing expenses. Rather than charging you more so we can afford to pay for advertising, we'd rather create marketing on our own that is truly representative of our work and save us both some money.
Owner Managed –
We plan to stay at a scale where the owner is a primary contact for all projects and is deeply involved in all aspects of the business.
We are fully insured and offer solid warranties on our work.
And one last thing…
Sometimes clients ask how we learned to be so good at customer service. Well, not only do we have years of landscape design/build experience - we also have personal experience with hiring a lot of different contractors. You see, beyond hiring subs for landscape projects, I put an addition on my home over the last several years. Through the process I've hired an interior designer, a concrete guy, a framer, a roofer/ sider, a plumber, an electrician, a tile installer, an HVAC guy, and a few other people to help. It was incredibly challenging to find contractors that were competent and good to work with. I’ve learned a lot about what works well - and what doesn't - from a client’s perspective.
Yes - there were a great deal of headaches from thinking I could run a major addition project - but I sure learned a lot about what it’s like to be a client.
If you chose to work with Aspen, we can’t offer a “no headache guarantee” but we will do our best to make the process run smoothly.