Residential & Commercial Landscape Contractor | Construction | Sonoma | Marin

Landscapece FAQs

Residential Commercial Landscape Construction

Are you a licensed Landscape Contractor?
Yes, Phil Thomas, the owner of Glen Springs Enterprise, is a licensed landscape contractor in the state of California.  Phil holds a C27 license.  Someone who holds C27 contractor’s license is authorized to construct, install, repair all things related to public and private gardens and outdoor spaces for architectural, aesthetic or horticultural needs. You can review ours or any contractor’s license online at

Why is having a contractor’s license important?
A licensed individual or company ensures competency, which can also bring you greater peace of mind. Landscaping is a significant investment in your home or commercial space. You certainly don’t want to run the risk of hiring an unlicensed individual whose work history and integrity may be in question.

What should I look for when seeking the services of a landscape contractor?
The Contractors State License Board has published a useful tip sheet. The information is clear, direct and will help you get started. The fact sheet applies to all contractors, not just landscape contractors.

I’m a new homeowner and want landscaping done. Do I need a landscape architect in addition to a landscape contractor?
Often it is necessary, especially on jobs with a certain degree of complexity, involving several contractors doing multiple jobs.  In this scenario, each contractor will be working from the landscape architect’s master plan.  The landscape architect is your advocate to insure quality. But whether a landscape architect is needed, again, is determined by your project’s scope and degree of complexity.

A Landscape architect, for instance, creates a plan for the size and arrangement of structural elements, such as retaining walls, walkways, patios and more, and provides general oversight.  But sometimes an informal design may be all that is necessary to create a beautiful yard.  In such cases, a landscape contractor, such as Glen Springs Enterprises, may serve a client’s needs effectively.

How much should I budget for a job?
On a comprehensive landscaping job, a good rule of thumb is to budget roughly 15 – 20% of your home’s overall value, though the precise amount may vary. It is important to note that a well landscaped yard or outdoor space will pay off financially: The return on investment for a landscaped home or yard can return anywhere from 100-200%.

What is hardscape and how does it differ from softscape?
These are two complementary elements. Hardscape refers to the “hard” elements in a backyard or outdoor environment. These are things made of concrete, stone, wood, stucco, plaster and other hard materials. Softscape is any planting elements selected for a landscaping job.  The goal, typically, is to strike a balance between hardscape and softscape. How these two things are balanced will depend on available space, design goals, aesthetic considerations, and more.

Do I start with hardscape?
Yes, you do. It just makes more sense than working around plants, or potentially damaging them. It’s better to get the overall layout established—where immovable elements will be—prior to planting. Trees and shrubs can shift slightly, or to larger degree, depending on the need. Hardscape elements once built cannot be moved without creating cost overruns or other disruptions.

I have trees and large shrubs that are mature. Is there a need to fertilize them?
Yes, even mature plants or trees can benefit from supplemental nutrients, which can stimulate new growth and create healthier foliage.

What type of year-round maintenance services do you offer?

  • Lawn care
  • Maintaining water elements
  • Drainage—clearing downspouts, eliminating back ups
  • Tree Pruning
  • Erosion control and replanting
  • Irrigation

What type of landscape construction does Glen Springs Enterprises provide?
We design, install and build any type of outdoor environment, from backyard patios with grills to fire pits, to planting fruit trees and creating new lawns with paved walkways and driveways.

Our services include both commercial and residential landscaping installation and maintenance:

  • Hardscape
  • Drainage
  • Irrigation
  • Planting
  • Maintenance
  • Low Voltage Lighting
  • Woodwork
  • Fences

My home is on a steep hillside. Before getting started on a landscaping job, should I be worried about drainage?
Many homes on hillsides have drainage issues and erosion.  Each home should be addressed individually. The first step is to assess the situation, and then Glen Springs Enterprises can offer the best solution given the particulars of your property.  Proper drainage is an integral part of the overall landscape design, a starting point well before concrete is poured or plantings are installed.

Do you install decks? Is that part of what you do as a landscape contractor?
Yes, we do.  Our skilled team builds decks out of Redwood, Ipe (Brazilian hardwood) or trex (a durable composite).

Do you offer free estimates?
Yes, we offer a free phone consultation or a one-hour, face-to-face appointment. Landscaping is a visual enterprise. To understand what you want and to offer a fair appraisal of the work involved and provide an accurate price, it requires that we see the property in person.

What happens if changes are needed during the construction process?
We make them, but we always consult with you beforehand to come up with the most effective and expedient way to go about it. When a landscape gets rendered in three dimensions from a two-dimensional drawing, things will change. Our job is to interpret an architectural plan and bring your dream to life. High-quality landscaping arises from clear planning and effective execution. All projects require close monitoring and oversight; and some projects naturally require shifts in practical or aesthetic direction.