1. Did you know that you can install a root barrier on large trees and save the expense of taking it down in some cases? 

Always check with a Licensed Arborist before doing this.

How deep does a root barrier need to be?

Root barriers need to be installed to a depth of 30 inches minimum and they must extend above the surface of the soil enough to prevent roots from growing over the top.

What is the average cost?

If you are a re-labor and use a day laborer then material and labor is $500.00. If you hire an Arborist, then it’s typically a $ 1,000.00 minimum and $75.00 per foot.

2. Is a landscape design worth the money?

It depends on the value of the landscape rehab but the short answer is, if it’s a seller’s market then maybe no and if the house is under 400k then maybe no. However, if it’s above that, then yes. There are a ton of small mom and pop landscape designers that work out of their home and charge $75.00 an hour. You can get a plan for $500.00. If you want a full set of plans from a landscape architect you should plan to spend just as much as you would pay for a set of home plans $1500-$4000.00, depending on size of yard and scope.

Please note MetroGreenscape is not looking for rehab work, for we are high end, but would love to be introduced to your customers after the fact on homes above 500k.

3. Should I be doing outdoor living to my landscape rehabs?

In most cases the answer is no. However, have you ever thought about drawing a plan and offering a small allowance, make it 3D. You can do it yourself with software called Google Sketch Up. If you have something like a slope or a road in the back of the house or a awkward side yard, have a designer draw a patio and fire pit to show the people what the space could be.

Check this out and do a free trialhttp://www.sketchup.com/

4. Where do I buy Plants whole sale?

Do not buy these at Growers outlet! Any word that has outlet in it you need to have an eye to be able to pick through the bad and good. However, you can purchase plants at Baucom’s, Panoramic Farms, Beaver Dam, Latham’s, and perennials from Ross farms. Good plants for great prices without having to pass a plant on with a disease and fungus to the new home owner.


2309 E Lawyers Rd, Monroe, NC 28110
Phone: (704) 283-5696

Beaver Dam

12193 Pine Bluff Rd, Midland, NC 28107
Phone: (704) 888-1506


10020 John Russell Rd, Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone: (800) 438-0444

5. Should I use City mulch from Compost Central?

Never, for it is likely to have poison ivy, disease, fungus and deadwood which will rot and create termites. However, if you want good mulch for cheap, try Joe Cadieu with Cadieu Tree Experts. I do find that buying in bags you use less labor, less material and have less of a clean up, so it may be worth paying extra for bags. One yard of mulch at 3 inches thick goes a 100 square feet. If you have a higher end rehab use certified mulch from Site One, Hensons’ or Markham’s. I would also use double hammered hard wood mulch for it is the best for the plants and will web together on hill sides. Stay away from Pine straw which brings snakes or died mulch that hurts the plants.

6. Should I do some outside home staging?

I believe if the home is over 300k you should consider this. Cost is around $ 1,000.00 but the first impression the consumer has is the outside. If the flowers are perky, if there are pots with interest, window boxes, welcoming signs, bird feeders, it will feel inviting. Patio furniture for people to sit on and a fire pit on the patio. You could buy all this stuff one time for $ 1,500.00 and re-use, over and over again. When I look at feedback that realtors leave, it’s generally about the best and the worst thing the house has, this will guarantee not to make the worst list and may hit the best list.

7. How often should I have my grass cut during the rehab?

My opinion is you are there to market yourself to potentially get other deals in the neighborhood. How you treat the property with cleanliness of build, talking with the neighbors, and keep the outside even, know it will cost you an extra $ 400.00 during the 8 week rehab may make the difference and the neighbor that is emotionally attached to her house wanting to give to someone who cares before going to market with it.

Check out fun facts from NC State and agricultural school on turfhttps://content.ces.ncsu.edu/extension-gardener-handbook/9-lawns

8. How much soil should you back fill a tree before it starts to harm the tree?

The answer is 3 inches. If you go beyond this you need to use a product called stay light and consider drilling pipes into the ground with gravel to let air and water down. If not, your passing a problem onto someone else which morally you have to live with.
Don’t take my word for it; here is a resource for you: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/protecting-trees/

9. Should I sod or seed a rehab?

You should lean to seed the sides and the back and sod the front. Just know if you’re going to use Fescue sod it does not do well in the summer because it’s a cool season grass. It will likely get brown patch, a disease when you start to heavily water. Cost for sodding out sourced is around $1.00 a square foot and for seeding is .40 cents a square foot. New construction is 20% less. You can buy sod from farms like Turf Mountain and not have to go through places like Super Sod. You should pay around .30 cents per square foot which is .20 cents a square foot cheaper than normal. One pallet of sod goes roughly 500 square feet. There is a difference between blue tag certified sod and non-certified sod. The difference is the government monitors those certified sod farms so you don’t have disease, fungus, or bad pest that can come with sod and eat its roots.

Don’t take my word for it; here is a resource for you:  http://www.nccertifiedsod.org/who-is-nccia.php

10. What should I budget for my landscape rehab?

I would factor on average 1% of total after remodel cost. I know people will tell me that’s crazy high. However new construction is around 2% and after market people tend to spend up to 10%. If the aftermarket people are spending 10%, then I may argue the demand is there. Just remember what ever they see that you don’t do on the outside, with what they can see; they may wonder if what they can’t see was handled right. Appraisers are only going to give you value if you’re doing outdoor living with roof structures. However, if you just Google how to get the highest appraisal for my house, three sources saying here are top ten recommendations that landscape and curb appeal are the #1 and #2 items. Think about that next time you do a rehab.

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